With how the law works in America, any time you get yourself hurt, hassled, emotionally and mentally taxed, or all of the above, chances are there’s a suitable tort law for your personal injury claim, or medical malpractice lawsuit. If you suffered any injury or inconvenience through no fault of your own, you can take comfort in the fact that you can hire a skilled personal injury attorney and receive substantial compensation for any damages or loss the incident forced you to sustain.
In 2013, U.S. District Courts records show about 63,316 personal injury cases were filed, with this type of lawsuit consistently taking the lead against other types of civil cases. One of the main reasons personal injury cases have grown considerably more common, is because of the rise in drunk driving and texting-while-driving. Estimates show that everyday, across the country, there are over 300,000 drunk drivers, but only 4,000 are arrested. These numbers also show that at any given moment, there are approximately 660,000 drivers on their cellphones while on the road.
So, what are your legal options when you get in an accident because of a drunk driver or one that was under the influence of drugs, or one that was distracted by his/her cellphone? Read on to know more.
Take it with the driver’s insurance company first, before filing a lawsuit.
If this is your first time in a vehicular incident, pause before rushing to the courthouse to file a lawsuit and find out what amount of car insurance the offending driver carries with him. You’ll be surprised, sometimes the insurance company’s offer may be better than what you can win through a lawsuit. Have a personal injury attorney make an assessment too before making your final decision so you can compare.
If the driver is convicted of a DUI, expect a better, smoother settlement.
Insurance companies will first and foremost try to lessen whatever payments they have to make, even when one of their primary objectives is to avoid a lawsuit, but if their insured client gets a DUI, expect that they will be more than willing to bend over backwards just to keep the personal injury case off a sympathetic jury’s hands. A jury would have the power to dictate the monetary settlement, so see what high figure numbers your personal injury attorney can negotiate with the company before filing a lawsuit.
Know if your state practices “No Fault” rules.
There are a little over a dozen U.S. states that honor no-fault car insurance laws. If you discover you reside in one, you will unfortunately have no choice but to try to maximize your own personal injury protection coverage (PIP), despite the offending driver being under the influence. These rules have thresholds, however, so it is best to consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer and find out if your injuries are serious enough and your bills high enough to still pursue liability claims outside of the no-fault rules.