Nowadays, it is almost impossible to open the newspaper and not find out about a traffic accident where one of the drivers was drunk. And almost all of us know someone who had an accident under these same circumstances.
So it’s quite common to be prepared for any situation like that. Here is our idea of what happens if you get hit by a drunk driver.
Who Can Be Sued After A Drunk Driver Accident?
In fact, these accidents are so common that, on average, someone is injured in one every 90 seconds.
Under the law, victims can file a lawsuit against the responsible drunk driver. Even a relative of the victim can file a lawsuit to obtain financial compensation if the victim has died.
However, many people do not know that the bar or restaurant that served the drinks could also be legally liable.
What Does The Liquor Sales Responsibility Law Say?
Under the law, General Obligations Law, there are several situations in which the victim can sue a liquor supplier in many states. The situations can be-
- If the seller knowingly caused the intoxication by illegally selling alcohol to another person
- If the seller knowingly caused the intoxication by illegally selling alcohol to a person under 21 years of age
- Basically, if someone sells alcohol to a drunk or underage person, they can be held liable for any injuries sustained by that person’s actions.
For example, if a 19-year-old teenager goes to a bar, the bartender has to ask for age. If he does not ask for identification, serves him alcohol, and drunk, the teenager may crash into another car. Then anyone injured by the actions of the teenager can file an injury claim against the bar.
Should I File A Lawsuit For Drunk Driving?
Commonly, many do not know if they can take legal action of these types of accidents. They even have no idea how much the time the entire process will take, or will even be worth it. Many of the victims have faith that the insurance company will take action first. They think the company would be able to cover their medical expenses and damages. Shortly after that, they realized the truth.
In many states, auto insurance is mandatory and “no-fault. Meaning that no matter what caused the accident, the insurer will have to cover the victims for the damages suffered. For example, New York has this law.
The problem is, when you are injured in an accident, it is very easy to reach the policy limit. In New York, the minimum coverage is $ 25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $ 50,000 for all victims.
This amount of money may seem high. However, it is not enough to receive appropriate medical care.
What Happens If You Get Hit By a Drunk Driver: The Costs of Caring For Common Injuries?
How easy is it to reach the $ 25,000 limit on medical care? Let’s take a look at the typical costs for common road accident injuries.
While a fracture may seem like a simple thing, all of the following may be necessary: X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, anesthesia, surgery, pain relievers, a cast, and physical therapy.
A simple fractured ankle can end up costing around $ 10,000. A fractured kneecap could cost as much as $ 15,000. Obviously, if the victim suffers more fractures or has complications, the costs increase rapidly.
Every hit from a vehicle can end in a fire because of the gas tank. Since gasoline is an accelerator, flames and heat can spread very quickly.
Burn victims often suffer from complications, such as infections. They have to undergo skin grafts to heal. Even after months of treatments, there may be scars. For all this, the average cost to treat an adult burn victim is just over $ 73,000.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain remains a medical mystery. When injured, it can cause many things in the victim, such as personality changes, loss of speech, memory loss, or even paralysis. Besides, you must have permanent care.
The average cost of treating a traumatic brain injury victim over a lifetime can reach $ 3 million.
If the victim sustains damage to the nerves, spinal cord, or bones of the spine, they may suffer partial or complete paralysis. As with brain injuries, the treatments required for a spinal injury can run into millions of dollars.
These are just a few of the injuries that can have severe physical and financial consequences. In these cases, it is best to hire an lawyer for help.
What To Do In Case Of Getting Hit by a Drunk Driver?
- Check if you are hurt. If you are hurt, go to the emergency as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of greater injury
- If you are not hurt seriously, go to a safe place.
- Call the police. File a complaint with details. Tell them everything
- Gather, prove, and make sure they are well used
- Talk to the insurance company
- Talk to a lawyer
How Can A Lawyer Help You?
A car accident lawyer can help you file the claim. Not only that, but he will also deal with insurers, gather evidence and documents, identify other negligent parties, consult with specialists, negotiate settlements, and represent you in court.
The goal of filing a lawsuit is to obtain compensation for various damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
The amount varies from case to case. However, studies show that plaintiffs who hire an lawyer are more likely to be compensated and receive a higher figure.
Most civil lawsuits end in a settlement. This means that the defender made an offer of a certain amount of compensation to the victim. In return, the case does not go to court, and no further legal action can be taken. Clients do not have to accept the offer presented to them, and it takes several negotiating sessions to reach the best deal.
Now you know what happens if you get hit by a drunk driver, and you can handle any situations like this. Hopefully, this will help you further.