According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million people are arrested every year for driving under the influence. With so many people driving drunk, there is a chance that you could be in an accident with a drunk driver every time you go out on the road.
Being hit by a drunk driver can have a major impact on your life. The added financial costs and interruption to your daily routine can leave you with a lot of stress and financial problems that you were not expecting.
If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, you might have the right to hold them responsible for any related expenses. By filing a lawsuit, you can claim compensation for the cost of your recovery. If you are thinking about filing a lawsuit, an Oakland drunk driving accident lawyer can guide you through the process. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-959-1444 for a free consultation about your case.
Understanding Your Rights
If you are hit by a drunk driver, that driver will face criminal charges. However, you can also file a civil lawsuit against the driver. This lawsuit will not end in jail time or other punishments. Instead, it will focus on recovering monetary compensation for any expenses related to the accident. It is a way of making sure that you are not stuck with a financial burden because of the accident.
In this lawsuit, you can claim compensation for different types of expenses. Some types of compensation are base on hard numbers of what you spent on different products and services related to your accident. Other types of compensation, such as pain and suffering and punitive damages, do not have a firm basis and are calculated using the payments for other types of compensation as a basis.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Oakland, call 800-598-7557
Determining liability for an accident that involves drunk driving is usually easy. If the driver that was drunk caused the accident, that driver is liable. However, even if you contributed to the accident, you can still recover compensation in California. For example, if you were speeding, and 20% at fault for the accident, you would only be able to recover 80% of your losses.
Liability rests with who caused the accident. The police and your lawyer will try to determine who caused the accident. Once this has been done, your lawyer will be able to file a lawsuit against the correct person. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC to see how an Oakland drunk driving accident lawyer can help you.
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Lost Wages and Other Expenses
The damage to your vehicle, as well as significant injuries, can keep you out of work for an extended period of time. If you are injured in an accident with a truck driver and have to miss work, this will impact your ability to earn a living. Fortunately, civil law gives you the right to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver for compensation that can cover your lost wages.
The right to seek compensation extends to other expenses as well. You will probably have medical expenses, and your car might need to be fixed or replaced. If you have any other property that was damaged in the accident, you can seek compensation to have that repaired or replaced as well. Any expenses that you have that are related to your accident can be claimed in the lawsuit.
Long-Term Impacts of Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents can have long-term impacts on victims’ lives. In most cases, the victim is the one that suffers the most severe injuries. This can result in long recovery times with long-term medical and rehabilitative care. Serious injuries can also lead to brain damage and disabilities.
If your car is totaled in an accident, you might have to repair or replace it, and find a rental car or use public transport in the meantime. Coupled with the cost of a new vehicle, it may be some time before you are able to acquire a new car. This can create a significant financial strain that could take years to resolve.
Medical costs are also a common long-term problem after a drunk driving accident. Emergency medical care is expensive, and even with insurance, ongoing medical care can be costly. Most people cannot easily afford new medical bills, making your new expenses a serious financial burden.
This is why many accident victims file lawsuits against drunk drivers. The compensation that you can recover in a lawsuit can help with the cost of your recovery. You can protect yourself from continuing to be the victim of a drunk driving accident with compensation from your claim.
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Possibly Recoverable Compensation
When you are the victim in a drunk driving accident, you can claim any expenses related to your recovery in your lawsuit. This includes medical costs, property damage, mental health care expenses, and lost wages, among other types of compensation. As long as your lawyer can prove that each expense is caused by the car accident, you can seek compensation for it. Doing so can help you overcome the financial burden of your recovery and get your life back on track.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the judge may also word several unique types of compensation. Pain and suffering damages are reserved for cases where the fallout from the accident has had a major impact on your life and mental health. It is awarded by the judge and is usually several times what your other expenses are. You may also be awarded punitive damages, which are designed to punish the responsible driver so that they will be less likely to drink and drive again in the future.
Consult with a Lawyer About Your Case
Being hit by a drunk driver can change your life, but you do not have to let it continue to cause problems for you. The financial costs of your recovery should be covered by the drunk driver. You can hold that driver responsible for your expenses by filing a lawsuit and claiming compensation. An Oakland drunk driving accident lawyer can help you build and file your case. If you need legal representation, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-959-1444 to discuss your case with our team.