When an inebriated person causes a vehicle accident, a lawsuit filed against the drunk driver can help a victim attain compensation for their injuries. Following most vehicle accidents, the injured victim may seek damages from the other motorists if negligence appeared to be responsible for the crash, at least in part. If one of the motorists was intoxicated at the time of the accident, they will typically be considered negligent and vulnerable to a claim. A personal injury lawyer can still help speed a case through the legal process and get as much compensation as possible for the victim.
HOW WILL A LAWSUIT AGAINST A DRUNK DRIVER PROCEED THROUGH THE COURT?
The first thing a victim needs to do after a crash is seek medical attention. If there are severe injuries present, the victim will likely be taken to a hospital for intensive treatment. Authorities that arrive at the scene of the accident will file a report that will reveal if one of the motorists was under the influence of alcohol at the time. In general, if responding police find that one of the motorists was intoxicated, they will be responsible for any injuries caused during the wreck.
If this is the case, the victim should consider speaking to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations for filing a claim of this sort, and most claims will typically take a year or so before reaching the courtroom. For these reasons, finding a reputable personal injury attorney as quickly as possible is very important. After consulting with a legal professional, the attorney will review the victim’s medical information and examine the scope of their injuries.
If the victim’s injuries were clearly caused during the accident, the attorney will measure their “worth” and put together a demand package. This will be sent to the defendant and, in many cases, the claim will immediately go to the settlement phase. Most accidents caused by intoxicated motorists end up in settlement as it is extremely difficult for a defendant to win a judgment in court.
If the attorney is not satisfied with the terms of the settlement, they may bring the claim to trial. Prior to the trial, the case will enter into a lengthy discovery and deposition phase. During discovery and deposition, both sides will request information from each other and interrogate the relevant parties. This normally includes the victim, the responsible motorist, and any witnesses to the accident. During deposition, the defendant’s attorneys will attempt to discredit and undermine the victim’s claim, usually by claiming that their injuries were not caused by the wreck. Depositions will be presented to the court, so it is important to counter any attempts to cast doubt on the victim. A personal injury attorney can assist a victim through this process and also represent them in court, ensuring that the case is in good hands every step of the way.
A lawsuit filed against a drunk driver may seem like a simple process, but a victim will still need to be completely prepared to secure maximum compensation. With the help of an attorney, the victim can be comfortable knowing that their case will be handled professionally and will return the best judgment possible.