Hurt by a Drunk Driver
If You’ve Been Hurt by a Drunk Driver Crash
Drunk driving costs thousands of lives every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3,699 individuals died in drunk driving accidents in Georgia between 2003 and 2012. Nationally, about one in three traffic deaths involve intoxicated drivers. A driver who gets behind the wheel drunk is breaking the law and risks endangering themselves as well as other road users. Drunk driving accidents can have horrific consequences for all involved, particularly if they happen at a high speed. Those hurt by a drunk driver in a crash can be physically as well as mentally incapacitated and may incur head and brain injuries, spinal cord damage, internal organ damage and bleeding, paralysis, loss of limbs, and other serious and permanent injuries.
How Does Alcohol AFFECT Driving Ability?
Drunk drivers typically experience a number of detrimental effects that make them unsafe to operate a vehicle, including but not limited to:
- Slower than normal reaction time
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty judging distances and speeds of other cars
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of concentration
- Impaired decision-making skills
If a drunk driver causes a car accident or is involved in a car accident, they are typically the negligent party. However, while the law may be on your side, getting the compensation you deserve as a result of a drunk driving accident is not necessarily easy. Accidents involving drivers operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs can become challenging to understand and litigate in multiple-vehicle pile-ups, and if several parties are potentially at-fault.
Having an experienced Gwinnett County car accident lawyer by your side can help you fight for a fair settlement that covers all your losses and damages. The experienced car accident lawyers at Blevins & Hong, LLC understand the frustrations of those who suffered extensive injuries in a car crash with a drunk driver.
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How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit if Hurt by a Drunk Driver?
According to Georgia Code Section 9-3-33, victims of drunk driving accidents generally have two years to bring a lawsuit in a court of law in the state of Georgia. The statute of limitations deadline starts on the day your accident and injury occurs. There are some unique exceptions in accidents involving a drunk driver. If the drunk driver is criminally prosecuted, for example, the two-year limitation period may not begin to run until the criminal prosecution has concluded.
Another consideration for the timing of your lawsuit will be the stage of your recovery. If you are still healing, perhaps facing major surgeries or other major medical treatments, your doctors may not be able to provide an accurate estimate regarding your future long-term medical costs. Therefore, it can be advantageous to wait until you have either healed from your injuries or reached maximum recovery. Underestimating your future medical costs and other potential losses such as future lost wages could mean ending up with a settlement that does not meet your future financial needs.
Knowing when to file your lawsuit against a drunk driver can prove legally challenging and complex. However, the experienced drunk driving accident attorneys at Blevins & Hong, LLC can help you determine the best time to file a lawsuit and protect your legal rights.
The Pitfalls of Suing a Drunk Driver on Your Own
While it is legally possible to file a lawsuit on your own, self-representation could put you at a distinct disadvantage, according to the American Bar Association (ABA). Trying to navigate a drunk driving accident claim can have a number of pitfalls and can leave you open to attempts by the negligent party’s insurance company to minimize your settlement amount. Accident victims can be tempted to agree to an extremely low settlement offer not knowing the full extent of the compensation they may have a right to receive under the law. An attorney can protect you by calculating your economic and non-economic losses accurately, and negotiating with the insurance company for a satisfactory settlement.
Attempting to sue a drunk driver on your own could also leave you open to the defendant’s legal counsel attempting to shift blame for the accident on you. Having professional legal representation signals to the insurance company as well as the defendant’s legal counsel that you are serious about fighting for your legal rights.
What Happens if the Drunk Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
Getting seriously hurt in an accident with a drunk driver and then finding out that they are uninsured can feel doubly devastating. While it is certainly more challenging to recover compensation for your injuries and losses from an uninsured driver, you could still have several options. One option can be filing a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. However, a driver who does not have adequate car insurance may not be in a position to compensate you adequately. Therefore, you may also wish to recover compensation from your own car insurance company, specifically if your insurance policy includes uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Recovering compensation from an uninsured driver or your own insurance company can be extremely difficult and typically requires a significant understanding of this specialized area of law. Your experienced and dedicated car accident attorney at Blevins & Hong, LLC, can help with recovering not only the compensation you are owed under the law but also the justice you deserve.
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