When you suffer an injury resulting from an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you can file a personal injury claim in an attempt to get your accident-related expenses covered by the liable party’s insurance company. But what if you were hit by a drunk driver? Since the intoxicated individual was breaking the law in such a serious manner when they caused your accident—and may have no memory of doing so—a personal injury claim involving a DUI can be more complicated than usual. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t effectively settle a case involving a DUI. Our Louisville drunk driving accident attorneys explain.
You would think that the drunk driver is obviously solely at fault in DUI accident cases, but it can be more complicated than that. Even in cases in which the evidence against the intoxicated individual is highly incriminating, other parties may also be held accountable.
For example, if the drunk driver was sold alcohol while visibly intoxicated, the owner or an employee of the bar or restaurant where they were served might be held partially responsible for the accident.
It’s even possible that you (or another driver, in the event that three or more vehicles were involved in the crash) might be held somewhat liable, but only if you too contributed to the wreck through carelessness or wrongdoing.
For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver while speeding through a red light, you might be found partially at fault. This doesn’t mean that you can’t win a settlement to cover your damages, it just means that the amount you receive might be somewhat reduced.
An element of certain personal injury cases, often including those involving DUIs, is punitive damages. Punitive damages serve the purpose of punishing the liable party for a criminal action. They are rarely awarded in car accident injury claims but do apply occasionally—and are more likely to factor into drunk driving accident claims than in most.
On occasion, a drunk driver’s insurance company may deny their policyholders coverage from personal injury or property damage claims. They may even cancel their policies altogether to avoid liability for the drunk driver’s actions. When an insurance company attempts to commit such an act, it can severely limit your ability to receive fair and just compensation for your injuries.
To better navigate the many complexities of personal injury car accident claims involving drunk drivers, it is best to have a lawyer at your side. A skilled car accident attorney can comprehensively put all the pieces together to build a claim that covers all bases and sets you up to receive the maximum compensation amount.