What To Do If Hit by a Drunk Driver in North Carolina
Injuries from a drunk driving accident can be devastating and change your life forever. To help you cope with the physical and emotional effects, you need compensation for pain, suffering and ongoing medical treatment.
Contact an experienced Durham personal injury lawyer immediately to evaluate the facts and to file a claim. An attorney will help build your case and determine the type of compensation you may be entitled to because of injuries and damages from the accident. Following, you’ll find some of the most important steps to take immediately after a drunk driving accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Always notify your insurance company that an accident has occurred. These are general questions they typically ask:
- When did the accident occur?
- Were other vehicles involved?
- What type of vehicle damage is there?
- Were there injuries?
- Was a police report filed?
Stick to the facts when reporting the accident. Give the claims representative answers to questions, but don’t speculate about the information you don’t know.
Have an Attorney Notify the Driver’s Insurance Company
Retain an attorney and have that attorney contact the driver’s insurance company about the accident. It is better to have an attorney speak on your behalf.
Give Careful Consideration Before Settling a Claim
Insurance companies want to settle as fast as possible and keep reimbursements low. A settlement releases the insurance company from any other claims due to the accident. Retain an attorney to advise you about settlement.
Don’t be too quick to settle a claim. Many times, people have injuries that require further medical care and realize the extent of the damages they suffered months later. Retain a lawyer as soon as possible for support, as your claim moves along.
Be Prepared for a Criminal Process
Drunk driving accidents have serious legal repercussions. Drivers may try to reach plea deals that could affect your case. While many judges won’t allow pleas if injury or death is involved, you need to understand your rights in court.
If you have an attorney, they handle pleas and motions. Judges and prosecutors respond to pressure when a plaintiff exercises their rights.
Gather Facts About Your Case
Collect all the facts available about your case. Get information regarding events leading up to the crash and identify any witnesses to the driver’s behavior and actions before and at the time of the accident.
You May Be Entitled to Punitive Damages
You may be entitled to punitive damages if injured by an impaired person. Generally punitive damages are limited to three times the compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater. However, that limit does not apply to claims against a drunk driver.
Seek Legal Representation
If a drunk driver hits you, hire an experienced attorney to assist with your claim. It is essential to get legal representation as soon as possible to defend your rights and get the best possible compensation for your injuries.
Contact Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney, P.A. online to submit a personal injury case inquiry or call our team directly at (919) 683-2135 today!