You Were Hit By A Drunk Driver, Now What?
At least once a week I receive a call from someone who was seriously injured by the negligence of another. And it usually goes, “I was hit by a drunk driver, can I sue?”
The answer isn’t always clear cut. Sure you’re hurt and your car has damage and the police officer clearly stated the other person was at fault. And yes, the person who crashed into your car was definitely drunk, and yes, you sustained injuries.
But, do you have a case?
Like I stated, the answer isn’t always clear…and somethings it can get a little murky.
Let me tell you why…
In some cases, your claim (consisting of your injuries and damages) is under a certain dollar amount threshold and that amount determines if a personal injury lawyer or law firm will take you on as a client.
You might be thinking what does that dollar amount threshold have to do with me suing the person who hit me and caused my injuries?
For starters, when you’re injured the first thing you must do is get seen by a physician who will document your injuries and make an evaluation that will be submitted to the insurance.
And since most personal injury law firms operate on the “we don’t get paid until you do” premise…there needs to be a sufficient claim amount to pay both the victim and the law firm.
Now the insurance companies understand that dollar limit threshold too and will try to limit your claim to just under that mark. Or they try to settle the claim for a much lower amount than you think is deserved.
So now what?
If your injuries are preventing you from enjoying the lifestyle you were accustomed to prior to the accident and it seems you are not getting the right answers from the insurance, then it’s time to speak to a personal injury attorney.
And frankly, most insurance companies when they know an attorney is representing you are more likely to offer you fair value for your injuries. I know, again, doesn’t seem right.
You’re hurt, your car is damaged and your injuries are preventing you from working and the insurance company is trying to save a buck or two here and there.
And if the drunk driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance, then what?
In cases where there is no insurance, or inadequate insurance, the next step is to investigate who served the alcohol.
· Was the drunk at a wedding, party, bar or tavern?
· Was the person served while observed to be intoxicated?
Cases against bars and taverns are called dram shop cases. And dram shop cases, as well as any other case where proof of serving of alcohol is important, must be investigated quickly, before memories fade and proof disappears.
If you were hit by a drunk driver and it happened in Indiana and you have questions, what I suggest you do is pick up the phone and call us at (219)736-9700. Our experienced staff will answer your questions and even meet with you to help you take the steps needed to preserve evidence in your case.