Accidents happen every hour around the country. Those unlucky enough to come into contact with a drunk driver may have even more reason to be frustrated and concerned about what to do next.
One of the first things you should do is seek thorough medical attention. See a doctor you trust and explain your concerns or where you are experiencing pain. Some injuries don’t always show up immediately due to adrenaline from the accident’s aftermath or other reasons. It is imperative to get checked out and ensure you handle your treatment as directed.
Keep Records of Everything
It may seem straightforward to some, but it is worth noting to document everything. Each doctor’s appointment, medical recommendation, prescription, and any notes on your medical file (request these from medical records) are essential to have on hand.
If referrals are necessary, keep track of these and the findings from any additional tests that were done. It can be helpful to keep a journal of your pain levels and how the injuries are healing (with photos) as you progress on your healing journey. Recalling information after it has occurred can be difficult. Keeping a short daily journal of how you feel can help you to stay current and accurate in your details.
What Other Expenses Should I Keep Track of?
As you continue to see doctors or physical therapists for your injuries, you may need to miss work often to do so. Keep track of the time you have missed and calculate how much you have missed out on based on what you earn per hour.
Transportation costs back and forth or travels to specialists can also be recorded. Keep receipts for gas and other expenses while traveling to necessary appointments.
How Does an Accident with a Drunk Driver Differ From an Accident With a Driver Who is Not Under the Influence?
Establishing fault is the first and most crucial step to determining your chances of obtaining compensation for damages. In most cases, proving fault requires a review of the accident site, accident recreation, proving distracted driving, or other information. If the other driver were under the influence, this would prove their negligence.
Typical damages, such as costs for medical bills or repairs to your vehicle, are expected in almost any accident if you can prove the other driver’s fault. Punitive damages may also be awarded if it is established that the other driver was under the influence. Punitive damages are meant to punish the offender for their careless or negligent actions. They can result in a significant amount of damages awarded in addition to other damages that may be awarded.
Other Damages That May Be Awarded
In some cases, other damages can be sought following most accidents and can be especially prevalent in drunk driving accidents. These are damages for pain and suffering. PTSD or related anxiety or depression issues can result from an accident based on the trauma experienced. It can be challenging to place a dollar amount on these damages, but an experienced attorney can help you calculate a reasonable amount.
The loss of future wages is sometimes overlooked following an accident. If you can no longer perform at work the way you were before the accident due to the injuries sustained, you can typically factor in the difference in your future income as a result.
If a loved one lost their life due to the accident, there could be more damages that you could pursue, such as funeral expenses. The loss of future wages due to their untimely death may also be an option to pursue.
Who Else May Be Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?
In some cases, you or your loved ones can pursue damages through the establishment that overserved the drunk driver. Each accident can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with an experienced attorney.
Your lawyer may determine that it is best to pursue the drunk driver personally and their insurance company to cover the costs you require to regain financial stability.
What Else Can an Experienced Attorney Help Me With?
If you are attending to your medical care and injuries sustained, chances are you aren’t going to have extra time to handle some of the details associated with an accident. One of the most essential issues is correctly communicating with insurance companies and handling negotiations when necessary. It is not uncommon for most of us not to have experience in navigating conversations or negotiations with insurance companies. It is something that experienced attorneys will have a vast knowledge of and will make sure you aren’t settling for far less than you deserve.
Skilled and compassionate attorneys can also provide guidance on preferred medical care facilities, communicating with police, and more. Gathering evidence, as discussed above, can be less involved with a drunk driving case, as there is typically less to prove, but attorneys can assist in this faculty as well.
It is stressful to put the pieces back together regardless of the severity of injuries or death that may result from an accident with a drunk driver. Don’t let the situation allow you and your family to experience unnecessary financial distress. Contact our office at (855) 545-1777 to discuss your questions and work with one of our determined and compassionate attorneys to form a strategy that gets you the compensation you deserve.