Must an attorney still prove negligence in a drunk driving claim?

One might assume that fault would be evident when a drunk driver caused a crash. However, that element must still be proven. In addition, a consultation with a personal injury attorney can still help you protect your rights.

For example, an attorney with experience in car accident lawsuits can help you evaluate any settlement offers from the offending driver’s insurance company. Although a claim may not have to go to trial, the persuasive effect of filing a civil complaint for negligence should not be underestimated. The mere act of filing might result in the insurance company providing a more reasonable settlement offer.                        

Indeed, a victim of a drunk driver may have medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other economic damages to consider. In our experience, victims may not be as aggressive as they should be when requesting damages. In the specific example of pain and suffering, a common multiplier is three times actual medical bills and lost wages.

For a crash victim who required immediate medical assistance, it is important to have an attorney go to work on his or her behalf. An attorney can provide a buffer between any communications from the drunk driver’s insurance company. An attorney can also review the accident report and investigate for evidence while the trail is hot. Even if the driver did not have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit, an attorney can investigate for tell-tale signs of motor vehicle negligence, possibly utilizing accident reconstruction experts.

Source: “Alcohol-Related Crashes,” copyright 2016, Pennsylvania DUI Assocaition