Drunk Driving Accidents
The severe, debilitating and permanent injuries that arise from alcohol related auto and truck accidents result in significant financial losses to the individuals involved and their families. However, the law provides an injured person with the right to recover his or her damages from the responsible party. Generally, punitive damages can also be recovered from a drunk driver.
Damages related to a person's injuries include, but may not be limited to, medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and other economic losses. Individuals are also entitled to recover for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries and treatment. The spouse of the injured person is entitled to recover for the loss of consortium or services of his or her spouse. Although a monetary recovery can never repair the damage that is done to the individual, it can at least ease the financial burdens created by the car accident.
The company for the auto or truck and their insurance company will start an investigation immediately. The insurance company will try to limit the recovery of the injured person to the lowest possible amount. Accordingly, these companies have established very specific and elaborate procedures on handling auto accident claims involving drunk drivers, especially in the early stages of the claim. If you wish to discuss your claim with an Atlanta lawyer handling accidents involving drunk drivers without any charge or obligation, click here.
During this time the insurance company will take recorded statements from the persons involved in the car accident, have the auto or truck examined, have photographs taken, obtain the police report and try to establish the extent of the injuries suffered in the auto accident. The insurance company is usually able to accomplish all of these items within the first week after the auto or truck accident and many of them within the first 24 hours after the accident.
The approach or tactics of insurance companies vary; however, many insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with an injured person. Their purpose is to avoid responsibility for future medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop. This is a trap that an injured person needs to avoid. When a person is injured in an auto accident, it very often takes months to completely assess the person's injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery or other extensive treatment.
The injuries may leave the person permanently disabled even after corrective surgery. The true value of a claim can only be assessed after a physician has established a firm prognosis. The State of Georgia provides in most, but not all cases, a two-year period of time in which to file a lawsuit on a personal injury claim involving a drunk driver. Therefore, there is no need to rush to a settlement with the insurance company for the auto or truck. You will only regret the settlement later when your injuries have become progressively worse. If you wish to discuss your claim with an Atlanta lawyer handling accidents involving drunk drivers without any charge or obligation, click here.
There are other significant issues that develop for persons injured in a car or truck accident. For instance, if your health insurance company pays for your medical bills they will very often seek reimbursement from your settlement with the insurance company. There are significant limitations on their right to obtain such reimbursement from a personal injury settlement. An experienced attorney is very often able to defeat a health insurance company's claim for reimbursement in auto accidents involving drunk drivers.
Likewise, if you were on the job when injured, the worker's compensation insurance company will try to obtain reimbursement of their payments for medical expenses and lost wages. Again, there are significant limitations on their right to receive reimbursement. These are important issues that you need to understand prior to agreeing to any settlement with the insurance company for the auto or truck. Once again, an experienced attorney is very often able to defeat a worker's compensation insurance company's claim for reimbursement.
In the State of Georgia, companies operating automobiles are required to carry liability insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Although trucking companies generally carry a significant amount of insurance coverage, the State of Georgia only requires such companies to carry insurance coverage of $100,000.00 per person and $300,000.00 or $500,000.00 per accident. Since these insurance limits may be insufficient, very often the injured person must explore what other insurance is available and the extent of the assets of the person or company.
In addition, other unknown persons or entities may also have liability for the auto accident. For instance, if the road or a light was defective, a government agency may share responsibility for the auto accident. Further, your own insurance policy may provide you with additional coverage for your injuries from an auto or truck accident. If you wish to discuss your claim with an Atlanta lawyer handling accidents involving drunk drivers without any charge or obligation, click here.
Determining the appropriate value of a claim for personal injury from an auto accident involving a drunk driver is complicated. It involves evaluating the nature and extent of the injury, the economic losses that are recoverable, the liability issues related to the accident and the driver's history of driving drunk. The location where a trial would take place and any prior injuries suffered by the claimant are issues that are also factored into any evaluation of a personal injury claim.
Insurance companies for drunk drivers have vast experience in evaluating personal injury claims from auto accidents and will seek to obtain the lowest settlement possible. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney or lawyer with considerable experience dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. Generally, it is best to retain an Atlanta auto accident lawyer or attorney who regularly handles personal injury claims involving drunk drivers of automobiles and trucks. Your attorney or lawyer must be prepared to institute litigation on your behalf if the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim for a fair value.
If you wish to discuss your claim with an Atlanta lawyer handling accidents involving drunk drivers without any charge or obligation, click here.