I’ve Been Injured In A Drunk Driving Accident? What Do I Do?
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 29 people die from drunk driving accidents every day. Drunk driving is a serious threat to public safety. When you or a loved one have been hit by a drunk driver, the result can be devastating. You can sustain long-term or permanent injuries that can negatively impact your life. When you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you do have legal options. Here is what you need to know to get compensation after your accident.
How Is Drunk Driving Determined In The State Of Florida?
In the state of Florida, anyone operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above is considered a drunk driver. Drivers under 21 are considered drunk drivers with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or higher are also considered drunk drivers. BAC is usually determined by a field sobriety test. However, there is no law requiring field sobriety tests but if a police officer suspects someone is driving under the influence, they will be arrested. So it is critical to always call a police officer after an accident with a drunk driver to ensure you are protected.
What Do You Do When You Are Hit By A Drunk Driver
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, there are a couple of steps you need to take. First, no matter what, seek medical treatment for your injuries. Everything else can wait, what is important is that you are safe and healthy. Secondly, call the police and if you can, wait for them to arrive at the scene of the accident. Next contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. Finally, you need to call an accident attorney. Getting a settlement after a drunk driving incident is a very complicated legal process and you will need protection.
Never Accept The First Settlement Offer
Insurance companies know that when a drunk driver causes an accident, that driver is at fault for the injuries. So they will try to close your claim as soon as possible to avoid paying a fair amount. The first offer they give will be very low and they are hoping you’ll take it so they can get out of paying. However, until you know just how severe your injuries are and the extent of your damages, do not take the first offer. Instead speak to attorney who will help you understand all the complexities of your case and get you a settlement that you deserve.
How Much Should I Ask For Compensation?
You will have much more leverage if you seek a settlement after the other driver has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI). Most insurance companies would rather not resolve the issue in front of a judge and jury, of a plaintiff who was injured by a convicted drunk driver. Keep in mind that there are limits to how much an insurance company will pay. If your damages exceed your state's limit, you will need to file a civil suit. In order to ensure that you and your family are taken care of, and that your case will be settled pre-trial it is important to have a competent, well versed attorney representing you.
At Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh we specialize in helping drunk driving accident victims get fair compensation. We will navigate the legal process and take your case all the way to court if needed. So if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, call us for a free case evaluation. We’ll fight for you!