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I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver in Atlanta, What Am I Entitled To?


I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver in Atlanta, What Am I Entitled To?

If a drunk driver has hit you, you may wonder, "What am I entitled to?" It's crucial to understand that you can seek compensation for your injuries and losses. This includes covering your medical bills, lost wages, damage to your property, and even the emotional and physical pain you've endured. The compensation you receive will depend on how the accident has impacted your life.

In such cases, you're not just entitled to actual damages (like medical bills and lost income) but also to punitive damages. These are special damages meant to punish the drunk driver for their harmful actions and to discourage such behavior in others. The drunk driver's insurance company typically pays these damages, and sometimes, other insurers may also contribute.

Understanding Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is illegal, and the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Georgia is 0.08 percent. For drivers under 21, the limits are even lower. Driving while impaired (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), and similar offenses are all serious legal matters.

Alcohol can impair judgment, reaction time, and motor skills, making driving unsafe. It can lead to the inability to multitask, difficulty concentrating, impaired vision, and issues with staying in a lane or controlling the vehicle.

Drunk driving accidents can be life-altering and, in some tragic cases, even life-ending. It's a growing issue, with statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing a disturbing increase in such accidents. If you've been a victim, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses and suffering.

What Can You Expect in a Settlement After a DUI Accident?

Every case is unique, and there's no standard "average" settlement. The settlement amount depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries and the impact on your life. Our experience shows that severe injuries and clear legal fault can significantly increase the settlement value. We've successfully handled claims reaching millions, like the $17 million settlement we secured for a nurse hit by a drunk driver in June 2022.

Actual Damages

These are direct losses due to the accident, including:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost income and future earnings
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Damage or loss of property
  • Other financial losses

Non-Economic Damages

These are more about the emotional and personal impacts, like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Disability or impairment
  • Emotional distress

Punitive Damages

These are meant to penalize the reckless behavior of the drunk driver. Factors like the severity of harm, the driver's conduct, and their ability to pay are considered.

Navigating Your Settlement

Initial Case Evaluation

When you reach out to us, our first step is to understand your situation. We'll talk about the accident, your injuries, and how they've affected your life. This conversation helps us get a clear picture of what you're facing and what you need.

Investigating the Accident

We don't just rely on your story; we dig deep. Our team will collect evidence, talk to witnesses, and sometimes work with accident reconstruction experts to understand exactly what happened. This thorough investigation is crucial for building a strong case.

Assessing Damages

Once we have all the facts, we start looking at the numbers. This includes your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. But it's not just about the money you've spent; it's also about your pain, suffering, and the ways your life has changed. We consider everything to make sure we're asking for the right amount of compensation.

Determining Fault

In cases involving drunk drivers, proving fault is key. We'll show that the driver's intoxication directly caused the accident and your injuries. This often involves gathering evidence like police reports, breathalyzer results, and witness statements.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

This part can be tricky. If the drunk driver is uninsured or underinsured, we might need to look at your insurance policy. We handle all the tough talks with insurance adjusters, fighting for a settlement that covers all your needs.

Exploring All Avenues for Compensation

Sometimes, there's more than one way to get what you deserve. Apart from the drunk driver, we might be able to hold a bar or a restaurant accountable if they served alcohol to the driver under dram shop laws. We explore every possible option.

Negotiating Settlements

Most cases settle out of court, and we're pretty good at negotiations. We use our experience and knowledge of similar cases to come up with a fair settlement amount, and then we talk it out with the other side.

Preparing for Trial

If we can't get a fair settlement, we're ready to take your case to court. We'll prepare a strong argument, gather compelling evidence, and present your case with the aim of getting you the best possible outcome.

Guiding You Through the Process

Throughout this journey, we keep you informed and involved. You'll always know what's happening with your case, and we'll be there to answer any questions you have.

Focusing on Your Recovery

While we handle the legal side of things, you can focus on getting better. We want to take the stress off your shoulders so you can concentrate on healing.

Contact a DUI Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Today

If you've been hit by a drunk driver in Atlanta, don't wait. Contact Broughton Accident & Injury Lawyers at (404) 842-7700 for expert legal support and guidance. We're here to help you navigate through this challenging time and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Drunk Driving Settlement FAQs

Who can be held responsible for a DUI accident?

In a drunk driving accident, the person driving under the influence is usually the one held responsible. However, there might be other parties who could be responsible, too. For example, if a bar or restaurant served too much alcohol to someone who then caused an accident, they might also be held accountable. This depends on the laws in your state.

Is the drunk driver always at fault?

Most of the time, yes, the drunk driver is at fault because driving after drinking alcohol is illegal and dangerous. However, each accident is different, and sometimes other factors might play a role. For instance, if another driver did something wrong that contributed to the accident, they might also be partly at fault.

How do insurance companies respond to these claims?

Insurance companies usually take claims involving a drunk driver very seriously. They will investigate the accident to find out what happened and who is at fault. The drunk driver's insurance company is generally the one to pay for your damages. But sometimes, they might try to pay less than you deserve or argue about who was at fault. That's why having a lawyer to deal with the insurance company can be helpful.

What's involved in suing a drunk driver?

Suing a drunk driver means taking legal action against them to get compensation for your injuries and losses. This involves gathering evidence like police reports, witness statements, and medical records to prove the drunk driver was at fault and caused your injuries. You will also need to show how the accident has affected your life financially and emotionally. A lawyer can handle this process and work to get you a fair settlement.

How long does settlement take?

The time it takes to settle a claim can vary a lot. It could be a few months, but sometimes it can take a year or more. It depends on how complicated the case is, how severe your injuries are, and how willing the other side is to settle. If both sides can agree on a settlement amount quickly, things can move faster. But if you have to go to court, it might take longer. Your lawyer will work to settle your case as quickly as possible while still getting you the compensation you need.

Can I sue for emotional distress after a DUI accident?

Yes, you can sue for emotional distress. If a drunk driving accident has left you with emotional pain, like fear, anxiety, or even post-traumatic stress, you have the right to seek compensation for these feelings. Proving emotional distress can be challenging, so having a lawyer's help is important. They can guide you through the process and help present your case effectively.

What if the drunk driver doesn't have insurance?

If the drunk driver doesn't have insurance, it can make things more complicated, but you still have options. You might be able to get compensation through your own insurance if you have uninsured motorist coverage. If not, you may need to sue the driver directly. This could be harder, especially if they don't have the money to pay. Your lawyer can explore all possible options to help you get compensation.

Can family members of a victim sue in case of a fatal DUI accident?

Yes, in tragic cases where a drunk driving accident leads to death, the victim's family members can sue. This is called a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members like spouses, children, or parents can seek compensation for their loss, which may include funeral expenses, lost income, and the pain of losing their loved one. It's a way to hold the responsible party accountable and get some financial support during such a difficult time.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is only as up-to-date as the article's published date. This information should not be considered legal advice for your specific situation, as each legal matter has varying circumstances. Legal advice can only be given during a consultation.

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