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5 Steps to Take When Injured by a Drunk Driver

5 Steps to Take When Injured by a Drunk Driver

Being injured by a drunk driver can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. The physical and emotional pain can be overwhelming, and the difficulties created by the accident can be difficult to navigate. However, the law provides several ways to seek justice and compensation for your injuries. Aside from the usual steps to take after an accident in California, knowing how to take the right steps after being injured in a drunk driving accident is essential if you want to secure the best possible outcome. One such step is contacting one of the knowledgeable attorneys at Hicks Law Firm at (949) 541-9944 to discuss your legal options. 

Seek Medical Attention Regardless of How You Feel

You may have injuries that are immediately visible and need treatment. However, many car accident injuries are not immediately obvious. Therefore, it is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if you feel fine. 

From soft tissue injuries like whiplash that may not be felt until the next day to internal bleeding that you may not feel until it’s too late, there are many injuries that can be completely invisible. A thorough exam by a medical professional will ensure that you are diagnosed and treated for any injuries you may have. This can also help ensure that the other driver’s insurance or attorney cannot argue that your injuries were not a result of the accident. 

Go to All Rehabilitative Medical Appointments

Once you have been diagnosed and a treatment plan created, it is crucial that you go to all of your rehabilitative medical appointments. You may be tempted to skip appointments because you are feeling better, need to return to work, or even because you are expected to pay for them yourself until you settle with the other driver’s insurance. 

Reimbursement for these medical appointments are part of any settlement or lawsuit judgment you may receive. Even if you are feeling better, attend all appointments until you are released by your medical provider. 

Obtain and Keep Copies of All Medical and Repair Costs

When you are injured by a drunk driver, that driver is responsible for making you “whole.” This means that they are responsible for paying the medical bills related to the accident, as well as paying for all property damage repairs and lost wages. To get this money, you must have proof of these expenses. 

Whether you keep bills and receipts in a file folder or pass them to your attorney for safekeeping, you need to keep bills, receipts, or invoices for each medical appointment or repair made to your vehicle. You can prove lost wages with pay stubs or W-2s from the weeks or months prior to the accident. A letter from your employer stating your rate of pay, hours typically worked, and other information about your wages can also be used. 

Seek Guidance from Your Attorney Before Accepting Insurance Offers

The insurance company’s job is to settle a claim for as little as possible. Even if they know their insured driver is at fault, they will attempt to get you to settle for less than you are entitled to. Moreover, when you take a settlement offer from the insurance company, you will typically also be expected to sign a release stating that you cannot sue the insurance company or the other driver for this accident in the future. This means whatever you settled for is all you will get – and it is probably not nearly as much as you deserve. 

Take any offers you get to your personal injury attorney. Allow them to offer you guidance about whether to accept any offer and to help negotiate offers on your behalf. The insurance company’s concern is their own bottom line, but your attorney will have your best interests at heart. 

Attend the Driver’s Criminal Trial

It might seem strange but attending the driver’s criminal trial can be very beneficial to your own claim against them. Evidence or testimony that you or others provide in their criminal trial can help convict them. Both the evidence and the conviction can bolster your civil claim and make it easier to recover compensation. Attend the trial and take notes. These notes can help your attorney later as they go through the trial transcript looking for specific information. 

Have You Been Injured by a Drunk Driver? 

Being injured in a drunk driving accident can have a serious impact on your life. You may have to miss significant amounts of work, move out of your home, or temporarily live with others. The other driver may be responsible for paying for these costs, but it is important to not take just any offer you receive from the insurance company. 

Contact a car accident lawyer to seek compensation for your medical bills, pain, and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. If you are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should contact Hicks Law Firm immediately to discuss your case. We will assess your case and determine the next course of action to help you recover the compensation you deserve. 

About the Author:

Hicks Law Firm

Aaron Hicks is a personal injury attorney and founder of Hicks Law Firm based in Costa Mesa, with offices in San Diego and Nashville, Tennessee. His current practice includes representing clients in personal injury matters that result in traumatic brain injuries, catastrophic injuries, complex regional pain syndrome or accidental death. Hicks Law Firm handles a wide variety of personal injury matters involving auto accidents, dog bites, slip & fall (premises liability), dangerous products, pedestrian injuries, trucking accidents, Uber & Lyft accidents (including pedestrians injured by a Uber or Lyft driver), motorcycle accidents, and accidental wrongful death.About Hicks Law FirmWhen... View full business profile here: Hicks Law Firm

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