If you are hit by a drunk driver, you will want to pursue the largest settlement possible. After a drunk driving accident, you will often be entitled to punitive damages and you may also feel like you want to hold the drunk driver accountable. Drunk driving is a terrible and senseless crime that costs many lives. The damages you receive from a drunk driving accident can be much higher.
Legal Battles with a Drunk Driver
You might think that the drunk driver will be clearly found to be at fault for the accident. However, the drunk driver's insurance provider will likely do everything they can to limit liability by accusing you of being responsible for the accident. As a result, after the accident, you'll want to immediately tell the police officer, who you should immediately call after an accident, that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol.
The police officer will conduct an investigation and may even arrest the driver and charge them with a DUI. This can then be used as evidence that the driver was negligent and caused the accident.
Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident
After a drunk driving accident, you will be entitled to compensation for any expenses related to your time in the hospital and any medical treatments you need. If you have suffered any lost wages and if you are unable to work in the future, such as if you were forced to quit your job, you will be entitled to compensation. If you have any other out-of-pocket expenses, such as if you need to rent a car, you will be entitled to compensation.
Pain and suffering is another area where you may be entitled to compensation. This can include any scarring or disfigurement that you have experienced, disability, and any mental or emotional anguish. However, these damages can pale in comparison to the punitive damages you might receive.
Punitive damages exist so that the courts can punish drivers who are grossly negligent to prevent these behaviors in the future. Depending on the state in which you reside, there may be a cap for how much you may receive in punitive damages.
However, some states will not have a cap for punitive damages involving intoxication. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident in which the other driver was intoxicated, there might be no limit to the damages that the courts may award you. Speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer to learn more.