Many of the most horrible pedestrian accidents involve drunk drivers. In fact, the FBI determined that in 2010, 23 percent of non-commercial drivers involved in fatal car accidents had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. This dangerous mix of speed and alcohol often leaves pedestrian victims severely injured, paralyzed or even dead.
While criminal laws can punish the driver for their reckless behavior so that they can pay their debt to society, car accident victims must look to civil courts to obtain the true compensation they deserve. Medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and loss of a normal life can all be accounted for as damages, allowing victims to pick up the remaining pieces of their life and move on without an undue financial burden.
Learn more about how victims can recover damages from a drunk driver with the help of a car accident lawyer by reading on.
Intoxication and Negligence
There is absolutely no such thing as a guaranteed case outcome, but documented signs that a driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident can certainly make a personal injury lawyer’s job easier.
They gain this advantage because most personal injury lawsuits deal with negligence. Negligence is the idea that someone had a duty of care to the injury victim but somehow violated it. In the case of a drunk driver, choosing to operate a vehicle after consuming more than the legal limit is almost always an inherent breach of a duty to only operate a vehicle when it is safe.
Also, looking from another perspective, many injury victims are successfully able to argue that, had the driver not been drunk, the accident would not have occurred, strengthening their case.
Some civil lawsuit defense lawyers are able to convince judges or juries that the fact that their client was drunk was immaterial to the situation, but they face an uphill battle considering the mountain of evidence against them.
Damages Available to Injury Victims of Drunk Drivers
Injury victims can claim both measurable damages, like the costs of medical treatment for their injuries, and abstract ones, like the amount they have suffered from their injuries. Generally speaking, a car accident attorney will help a victim assess the total costs of:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of a normal life, including an inability to do certain activities or permanent impairment, disfigurement and scarring
- Pain and suffering
Claiming Damages From Insurers With Help From a Car Accident Lawyer
When engaging drunk drivers in a lawsuit, injury victims are typically negotiating directly with the driver’s insurance company and their attorneys rather than the driver themselves. These insurers will not just argue the facts of who contributed fault to the accident, they will also argue about the dollar amount victims attempt to claim in damages.
Since injury victims often face a mountain of financial and personal hardship following their accident, they literally cannot afford to have a tough negotiator aggressively chip away at their award or settlement. They can have someone negotiate on their behalf and increase their chances of a favorable outcome by working with a car accident lawyer as soon as they can.