Hit By A Drunk Driver With No Insurance
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Getting into a car accident can be a truly terrifying experience. However, when the other driver is not only found to be uninsured or underinsured but also drunk, the situation truly becomes a nightmare. Although this is a situation no one ever wants to find themselves in, accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers can and do happen. When such accidents happen, you need to be aware of the options you have in seeking compensation. In fact, one of the smartest choices you can make is contacting an experienced car accident attorney to fight for you through seeking compensatory damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured drunk driver, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our Texas car accident attorneys.
What to Do If You've Been in an Accident with an Uninsured Drunk Driver
If you have been in an accident with an uninsured drunk driver there are several steps you should certainly consider taking in order to protect your legal interests.
1. Seek Medical Attention
No matter how minor your injuries may appear at the time, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is possible that your injuries may be masked at the time of the accident, but a medical professional could discover such injuries and treat them. Your health and safety should be your primary concern, and therefore seeking medical attention as soon as possible is in your best interest.
2. Report the Accident
In many cases involving drunk drivers, the drunk driver may try and flee the scene after the accident. Because of this, be sure to report the accident to the authorities as soon as possible. This may help ensure that the drunk driver is prevented from leaving and may lead to a finding that the driver was intoxicated by the police. If such a finding is made it may be put into a report that may prove essential when filing your claim for damages.
3. Gather Evidence
Once all parties have received necessary medical attention and authorities have been called, it is time for you to start gathering evidence. One of the strongest categories of evidence that can be gathered in a car accident claim is photographs. Take photographs of the scene of the accident, any damage caused by the accident, and any injuries sustained. You should also reach out to any witnesses of the accident and be sure to record what they have to say and request their contact information for any follow-up.
4. Keep a Record
You sure be sure to keep a detailed record of any expenses incurred because of the accident. This includes medical expenses for injuries caused by the accident and any repair receipts for damage caused by the accident. This information may certainly prove useful when it comes time to request damages in your claim. Be sure to keep this information accurate and readily available.
5. Consult a Car Accident Attorney
It is quite easy to find yourself overwhelmed or confused as to how to handle the situation after being in an accident with an uninsured drunk driver. For this reason, consulting an experienced car accident attorney is certainly in your best interest. An experienced car accident attorney may explain to you your options and help you better understand your situation. Be sure to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible so that they can get started working on your claim right away.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you are in an accident you may be expecting the other driver’s insurance to cover your expenses and to compensate you fairly. However, this may not be the case when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. If you find yourself in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is important to be aware of a few different types of insurance coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is used if you are injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver. It can cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other general damages. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is protection from an accident where the other driver is at fault but has coverage limits that are not sufficient to cover your expenses. If the other party is underinsured, then this insurance coverage covers you.
What Happens with a DUI Conviction?
One of the best ways to strengthen your claim is if there is a DUI conviction. Insurance companies know that DUI convictions may increase the possible settlement victims are able to seek. For this reason, insurance companies may try to avoid trial and settle as soon as possible.
Who Can I Sue?
When it comes time to consider who to sue after an accident with a drunk driver, you may be confused about where to turn. In such cases, the primary party in which most claims are brought is against the drunk driver. You can generally sue the drunk driver in an effort to seek compensation for any injuries or damage related to the accident.
In addition to suing the drunk driver, you may also be able to sue the bar, restaurant, or other business that sold alcohol to the drunk driver. This is called a dram shop liability lawsuit. A Texas business can be held liable for injuries caused by a drunk driver if it served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or served alcohol to a minor. This is a more complex area of law, so consider reaching out to an attorney to determine if a dram shop liability lawsuit is the right choice for you.
How to File a Claim
If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it is important to remember that you always have options. One such option is to file a claim seeking compensation. When filing a claim it may prove important to be aware of some important steps you should consider taking.
1. Gather Necessary Information
You should gather information at the scene of the accident as soon as possible. This includes contact information of all parties involved, photographs, and witness statements. Any information you gather at the scene may prove beneficial when filing your claim. You should also consider gathering information after the accident. This may include expenses related to medical treatment or repair costs for your vehicle.
2. Organize Your Information
When you’re ready to file your claim, make sure that all of the information you have gathered is organized and readily available. This can prove helpful when it comes to reaching out to the other parties involved or with an insurance company. By having your information organized, you may appear more professional and more knowledgeable earning you the respect you deserve.
3. Consult an Attorney
By far one of the most important steps you can take when filing a claim is consulting an attorney. An attorney can answer any questions you may have throughout the process and can help you better understand what steps need to be taken. Always be sure to work closely with your attorney in an effort to seek the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be in a state of financial insecurity. You may be stressed when thinking about how you may pay for the medical expenses related to your injuries or the repairs necessary for your vehicle. It is at this point you may be considering filing a claim to seek compensation for these expenses from the liable party. Common areas of compensation that may be sought in Texas car accident claims include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium
Texas also allows for punitive damages in certain circumstances. For punitive damages to be awarded the court must find that the at-fault party’s actions were especially negligent or displayed a total disregard for the safety and well-being of others. In Texas, however, the amount of punitive damages is capped at twice the amount of economic damages.
If you are confused as to what damages you may be able to seek or just want a more accurate estimate on a potential award, consider reaching out to an experienced car accident attorney.
Statute of Limitations
If you have been involved in a car accident and you want to seek damages for any injuries or damage you sustained, it is important to be aware of the legal time limits that apply to such cases. In Texas, the legal time limit in which people can bring car accident claims falls under the “statute of limitations.” The Texas statute of limitations states that plaintiffs must file their claims within two years of the accident. Although the general rule in Texas is that plaintiffs have two years to file a claim, there are some exceptions to this rule.
One such exception is when children are injured in the accident and are seeking compensation. In these instances, the time limit is tolled. This means that the personal injury claim is extended and the two-year limit does not commence until the child turns eighteen years old. Another exception is those cases that involve wrongful death claims. In wrongful death claims, the two-year time limit commences at the time of the deceased’s death.
It is easy for those who are unfamiliar with different states’ statutes of limitations to become easily confused. Therefore, you should consider consulting with an experienced attorney who can help simplify the process and better explain to you how the legal time limits apply to the specific facts of your case. An attorney can make sure that this important date is not missed.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured drunk driver in Texas, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Our lawyers are on hand to provide a FREE consultation and help you understand your position better. Call today at 512 246 2224 to speak with a car accident lawyer today.
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