There is no rule requiring you to hire a drunk driving accident lawyer to file a claim if an impaired driver caused your wreck. But having an attorney may be beneficial as you seek compensation for medical bills and other damages, which after an alcohol-related accident can be significant.
The drunk driver’s insurance company may try to settle your claim for as little as possible by getting you to settle quickly and cheaply. To protect your claim, talk with a lawyer as soon as possible, and before you give a recorded statement or sign anything from the insurance company.
If the other driver was cited for driving while intoxicated, why do I need to hire a lawyer for my drunk driving case?
Just because liability seems clear, do not expect the insurance company to simply hand you a check for a fair settlement amount. The civil case is different than the criminal case. Even a conviction of the drunk driver does not guarantee you will recover compensation. The insurance company’s job is to protect itself by paying you as little as possible. That is why it is important to P.R.O.T.E.C.T. yourself by having a lawyer help with your drunk driving accident case.
P = Power
You do not have equal bargaining power when you are dealing with a large insurance company. The insurance company may use high pressure tactics to get you to settle cheaply. A lawyer at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA can communicate with the insurance company for you and it accountable for the compensation it owes you.
R = Rules of Law
Unless you happen to be a lawyer, you may not be familiar with the rules of law that apply to your case. But the insurance company does know the rules of law, inside and out. And it will use any loophole it can to keep from paying you what you deserve. Your drunk driving accident lawyer will protect you from being blindsided by these tactics.
An example of a rule of law that the insurance company may try to use to deny your claim is the statute of limitations. Every type of claim has a limited amount of time during which you can file a formal action. If you miss this deadline, you will never be able to pursue your claim. If you are trying to handle your claim without a lawyer, the insurance company might string you along, pretending to negotiate with you about your case. Once the deadline has passed, however, it may walk away, and not have to pay you anything.
O = Organize your claim
Gathering and organizing all the necessary documents necessary to prove your claim can be overwhelming. Your lawyer can take that chore off of your hands. We will organize all documents and evidence to build a solid case we can use to negotiate with the insurance company.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you will have to deal with your recovery, property damage, and other effects of the accident. Your lawyer will help you with the legal issues so you can focus on other important issues.
T = Take care of yourself
Having a personal injury lawyer handle your drunk driving accident case will free you up so you can take care of yourself. After being in an accident, especially when you have been injured, you need to focus on recuperating and getting better.
Follow your doctor’s orders and the advice of your medical professionals. Work hard on getting better. If you do not, the insurance company may claim you are exaggerating your injuries, and that you are not making every effort to recuperate. It may use this argument to try to reduce the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries.
E = Evidence
Evidence will be critical to prove your case. Your lawyer will take care of this, even if it means having to use a subpoena to force people or companies to turn over evidence. The lawyers at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA know what evidence will be necessary in your case, and know how to get it.
Drunk driving accident cases involve multiple kinds of evidence. These can include:
- The police report
- The field sobriety test report
- Follow-up police reports, which can include test results
- Blood alcohol test results
- Your medical records and test results
- Property damage records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Video surveillance footage
C = Compensation
Do not lose out on compensation because you do not know the full value of your case. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Your medical bills
- Your lasting injuries or impairment
- Your lost wages, current and future
- Damage to your property
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages (in some circumstances)
Our lawyers will also help you prove the value of your damages, via expert witnesses, medical records, documentation of lost wages, and more. Protect your right to the compensation you deserve.
T = Talking to the insurance company
You should not talk to the insurance company without first speaking with a lawyer. The insurer may take anything you say to an adjuster out of context to devalue or deny your claim for damages. Your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
P.R.O.T.E.C.T. your claim. If you have been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, talk to a personal injury lawyer immediately. Do not sign anything unless your lawyer gives you the green light to do so. Do not talk to anyone at the scene other than law enforcement or medical personnel. Get the medical attention necessary, and follow your doctor’s orders. Let your drunk driving accident attorney take care of your claim so you can focus on getting better.
The lawyers at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA can evaluate your claim and answer your questions. Call us today at 419-843-6663 for your free consultation.