The Special Issues involved in Drunk Driving Car Accident Cases
Despite a general awareness throughout the country of the dangers of drunk driving, alcohol impairment continues to be the cause of lost lives, permanent injuries, devastating pain and suffering, and massive property damage. Drunk drivers claim the lives of over 10,000 people annually.
If you are pursuing a drunk driving accident claim, an experienced attorney can assist you in exploring the below approaches:
Acquiring Evidence to Support Punitive Damages
Although punitive damages may not necessarily be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit where an impaired driver causes the accident, drunk driving constitutes the type of conduct targeted by punitive damage awards. While other types of damages focus on compensation of the injured party, punitive damages serve the dual goals of punishing and discouraging particularly egregious conduct. While the applicability of punitive damages in a particular case turns on the specific facts and circumstances and the law at hand, the law in most states sets a high standard for the recovery of this potentially significant portion of a damage award. Skilled personal injury attorneys will investigate the specific evidence to determine the strongest claim that can be made for this form of penalty damages.
Risk of Drunk Drivers Being Uninsured
Insurance constitutes the source of compensation in most car accident cases. However, insurance challenges can arise in a drunk driving case in several ways. Motorists arrested for drunk driving tend to re-offend. According to studies cited by MADD, 58 percent of motorists convicted of drunk driving continue to operate their vehicle despite suspension of their license. Given that unlicensed drivers tend not to be insured, the risk that a drunk driver is uninsured tends to be relatively high. If the other driver involved in your traffic accident did not have valid insurance at the time of the crash, an experienced lawyer may explore the following options to assist in a future recovery:
(1) An auto accident attorney could conduct an asset search to determine if the at-fault driver has other property against which a settlement or judgment could be enforced.
(2) A personal injury attorney may explore other third parties who might be liable for the drunk driving victim’s injuries. The driver’s employer, the vehicle owner, or another party, such as an employee at a bar that may have over served a drunk driver, might be liable depending on the specific facts.
(3) An attorney may file a claim through your own uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) if applicable to cover the loss.
(4) There may be other insurance that can assist in your recovery, such as resident relative insurance, if you lived with a family member at the time of the wreck that also had valid insurance on a separate vehicle in your household. This is dependent on the laws in the jurisdiction where the crash occurred.
If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury caused by an intoxicated driver. In that case, an experienced drunk driving car accident lawyer can review your situation and advise you regarding your legal right to compensation.
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If you or a loved one have been injured an accident, contact Montlick & Associates, Injury Attorneys, for your free consultation today. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over 37 years, and our attorneys have recovered billions of dollars for our clients. We Know What It Takes To Win!™
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