Typically, a drunk driving accident continues to be a problem throughout the United States and worldwide. Depending on the impact of the collision, hundreds to thousands of individuals can get injured or die due to vehicular accidents annually. Hence, if you’ve sustained an injury or a loved one dies due to a drunk driving accident, you are eligible to file a claim to obtain compensation for all your losses. However, it’s important to note that filing a drunk driving accident claim may differ from a claim arising from other car accident situations.
Although both may entitle you to compensation and have the same statute of limitations, below are the five things that make a drunk driving accident claim different from other vehicle-related cases.
- Insurance Companies Will Take A Drunk Driving Accident Claim More Seriously
Before an accident case proceeds to trial, the injured party should file a claim with the insurance company. However, unlike other car insurance claims, those arising from a drunk driving accident may be treated differently.
Since the driver’s fault can be established in a drunk driving collision and the extent of damages sustained can be more profound, the insurance companies may be required to pay a large payout to the injured victim. Thus, if you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, the insurance company will more likely do its best to limit or deny your claim.
When this happens, you may need the services of a dedicated drunk driving accident lawyer to help you obtain a more favorable result. They can become aggressive when negotiating with the insurance service provider to ensure you get a fair settlement for your injury. But, if you want to understand better how a legal professional can help, you can read this information and resource websites.
- Multiple Parties Can Be Held Liable In A Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Unlike the traditional car accident claim, the one arising from a drunk driving collision may involve multiple parties or defendants. Depending on the state you live in, you can name the restaurant owner or other relevant party who sold the alcohol to the drunk driver involved in the accident as defendants in your drunk driving accident claim.
But, since several parties can be held liable, you need to work with a legal professional to conduct an extensive investigation about the crash. That way, you can gather valuable pieces of evidence to establish the defendants’ liability in your claim.
- Filing A Drunk Driving Accident Claim Does Not Preclude You From Instituting A Criminal Case
Generally, drunk driving can be considered a criminal offense. When you’ve been involved in an accident caused by another driver’s drunk driving, you can have two legal remedies. If you want to seek damages for the injury you suffered, you can file a drunk driving accident claim. If you wish the drunk driver to be criminally liable, you can file a driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) case against them.
Also, it’s important to note that your criminal case is separate from your civil claim for damages. In short, filing an accident claim doesn’t prevent you from bringing a criminal case against the at-fault driver.
- Negligence May Be Easier To Prove
When filing a car accident claim, you need to demonstrate the elements of negligence. Unfortunately, proving negligence on the part of the responsible driver can be challenging if you have no valuable pieces of evidence. However, when bringing a claim arising from a drunk driving accident, establishing negligence may be much easier.
If you want to have a successful claim, you can use the high intoxication level of the drunk driver as evidence to show that the intoxication was the cause of the collision. Along with the blood alcohol content (BAC) test results, you also need to prove that the driver didn’t exercise reasonable care in driving safely on the road. You can use certain pieces of evidence like a police report, photos of the accident scene, and witness testimonies to substantiate your claim.
- Punitive Damages May Be Awarded In A Drunk Driving Accident Claim
It’s essential to remember that not all car accident claims award punitive damages. But, if your claim arises from a DUI accident, you may be entitled to these along with certain economic and non-economic losses. Typically, the courts award punitive damages to punish the at-fault party for their willful disregard for the safety of others.
Since drunk driving is treated as grossly negligent behavior, you may expect compensation for punitive damages when filing a drunk driving accident claim.
Bottom Line DUI accident claims can be challenging to navigate, especially if you have no idea what steps to take from the very beginning. Therefore, if you suffered an injury, it’s best to keep the information mentioned above in mind to know the differences between filing a drunk driving accident claim. By doing so, you’ll learn how to handle your case to protect your rights and ensure a more positive outcome.