What Are My Rights After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver?

Last updated on: September 30, 2022

Accidents involving drunk drivers can be life-changing events with potentially fatal consequences. 

Victims of drunk driving accidents may be able to pursue compensation for injuries and other costs incurred as a result of the accident by filing a claim against the drunk driver or another at-fault party. 

A drunk driving accident lawyer can help you determine next steps after an accident so that you can preserve your claim and seek maximum compensation.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 659-9392 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced drunk driver accident injury lawyers.

I Was Injured By A Drunk Driver—What Are My Rights?

No two drunk driving accidents are the same, which means the best way to determine what your legal standing is after an accident is to speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer. However, accident victims have the right to seek compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. In other words, accident victims have the right to ask to be made whole again.

Who Is Responsible For Drunk Driving Accidents?

The obvious first choice for liability in a drunk driving accident is the drunk driver. Though there is some variation in the laws from state to state, driving while under the influence is dangerous and illegal no matter where you go. However, it is not only the driver who may be held liable for your injuries.

In certain cases, dram shop laws may also be applicable. Dram shop laws are laws that hold a bar or other establishment liable if they over-serve a clearly intoxicated patron who then goes on to hurt somebody. Again, the exact contours of the dram shop law will differ from state to state, which makes it very important to speak with an attorney who is well-versed in the laws of your state.

Drunk Driving Crash Statistics

How Can I Get Compensation After A Drunk Driving Crash?

One of the most pressing questions for accident victims is how they will be compensated for what happened to them. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be expensive, with medical bills alone sometimes totaling tens of thousands of dollars.

Coverage From Your Auto Policy

One potential source of compensation is your auto insurance policy. The best place to look to determine what a given policy covers is the policy itself, and this is an important step when determining what actions to take after an accident.

State Liquor Laws Can Help Your Claim

The criminal and civil systems in each state are handled separately, which means that the driver in your case may be facing criminal penalties in addition to a civil claim for the damages they caused. Though these two systems are separate, if who you’re seeking damages from is found guilty of a DUI it can be used to bolster your claim for damages.

Don’t Accept Allegations of Shared Fault

One of the most important determinations in any car accident case is who was at fault. This determination of fault will, in large part, determine how much a victim may be owed in a civil claim. This is why it is important not to accept an allegation of shared fault until you have been able to speak to an attorney.

What If The Driver Doesn’t Have Money?

Determining who is at fault in a given accident and determining how much in losses the victim incurred has nothing to do with the amount of money that the other driver does or does not have. However, it can impact your ability to collect on a judgment and may impact what the most strategic move in your case might be. Your attorney may be able to speak with you about what your options are if the other driver doesn’t have any money.

How Can You Prove Impaired Driving?

There are a number of different options when it comes to proving that a driver was impaired at the time of an accident. These include: the police report from the accident, evidence of a driver’s BAC through a breathalyzer or blood sample, and eyewitness testimony about how the driver was driving or how they acted after getting out of their car.

Is The Drunk Driver Always At Fault?

The short answer to this question is no—the drunk driver is not always at fault. Just because a driver was under the influence at the time of an accident does not mean that they were at fault for it, even if it is often good evidence that they were. In order to be at fault, it must be shown that a driver’s negligent driving was the thing that caused the victim’s injuries.

Why Is It Important To Get A Lawyer After A Drunk Driving Accident?

You have the right to have the person who caused your accident be held responsible and accountable for your suffering, injuries, and property damage. After you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer who knows the local laws and has access to the resources that could help you win your case may be the most important step you can take in the process of recovery.

An attorney who has practiced drunk driving accident cases before can help you understand what your legal standing is, what your case could potentially be worth, and how to go about pursuing it. Even if you do not have a compensable claim, you don’t have anything to lose by reaching out to Zinda Law attorneys—you don’t pay us anything until we win your claim for you, and the initial consultations are 100% confidential.

Is It Worth Suing A Drunk Driver?

It is not possible to give a blanket answer to the question of whether it’s worth it to sue a drunk driver. Each case is heavily fact dependent, which means that the answer could either be yes or no in your specific case. Speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer in your area to work through what the best way to move forward in your case is.

What’s The Average Settlement For Getting Hit By Drunk Drivers?

There is no average or typical settlement for getting hit by a drunk driver because each case is so heavily fact-dependent. The facts of your situation, namely the losses that you have incurred and the distribution of fault in your case, will ultimately be the main factors that determine what a settlement could be in your case.

Calculating A Drunk Driving Settlement

There are many different things that go into calculating a drunk driving settlement. Having an awareness of what these things are can give you an idea of what to expect, as well as an understanding of whether or not a settlement that is being offered is fair or not.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are a category of damages that may be available to victims in certain cases. Whereas economic and non-economic damages aim to make a victim whole again, punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party and serve as a warning to other drivers not to drive in reckless ways.

Pursuing Your Settlement After An Accident Caused By A Drunk Driver

The unfortunate truth after your accident is that you are the only person who has your best interests in mind. This means that it is critical that you take the steps needed to pursue a settlement after an accident caused by a drunk driver. Perhaps the most important step in this process is hiring the right drunk driving accident attorney.

Actual Damages

Actual damages are the damages that an accident victim has as a result of their accident. These can include things like medical bills, damage to personal property, and lost wages from being unable to work. They can also include compensation for the pain and suffering that an accident victim experiences as a result of their injuries.

Need Help? Contact Lawyers At Zinda Law Group Today

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident with a drunk driver can be an extremely stressful and traumatizing event; in addition, medical bills can pile up quickly. One of the most effective ways to relieve this burden from your shoulders is to partner with the right attorney, one who will advocate for your rights and help you seek fair compensation. 

The lawyers at Zinda Law Group combine the localized expertise of a boutique law firm with the resources of a nationwide shop; in addition, you won’t pay us anything until we win your case for you—that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 659-9392 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced drunk driver accident injury lawyers.