Legal Options After Getting Hit by a Drunk Driver By Hardin Ramey on April 24, 2024

man holding his neck in pain after a car accidentCar accidents can cause serious injuries that can have a lifelong impact. When an accident is caused by a drunk driver, they should be held liable for their negligence.  

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, it’s important to know your legal options for recovering compensation for injuries and other damages. At the Ramey Law Firm, attorney Hardin R. Ramey explains legal options to victims of car accidents in Dallas, TX, and can help you if you’ve been injured in an accident.

Legal Options for Victims of Drunk Drivers

Driving under the influence of alcohol is negligent and against the law in Dallas. Those who have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver are entitled to compensation for their injuries and other damages. 

Victims may seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the intoxicated driver or filing an insurance claim. The best option will depend on the circumstances of each case. With this in mind, let’s take a look at both options. 

Filing a Lawsuit

People who drive drunk and subsequently injure others in an accident will face a criminal lawsuit brought by the state or local authorities. If found guilty, the drunk driver may be sentenced to jail time. A criminal lawsuit is intended to punish the drunk driver but doesn’t necessarily benefit the victims. However, injured parties can seek damages through a civil lawsuit regardless of the outcome of a criminal case.

There are different types of civil lawsuits that may be filed when seeking damages from a drunk driver. The two most common include:

  • Personal injury: A personal injury lawsuit may be filed when someone has suffered injuries as a result of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Wrongful death: A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by surviving family members in the event of a loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of someone driving under the influence. 

Types of Damages

Through a civil lawsuit, an injured party (plaintiff) can seek compensation for damages caused by a drunk driver (defendant). Working with an attorney is important to gathering evidence to support your claim and maximize your settlement. Damages may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

Filing an Insurance Claim

In some situations seeking compensation through an insurance claim may be the preferred option. An attorney can help negotiate an insurance settlement to make sure you get fairly compensated. 

Often injured parties will start with filing an insurance claim before seeking legal action as it can save time and avoid court costs. If the insurance company won’t pay an acceptable settlement, filing a lawsuit may be the best legal option for recovering damages. 

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and would like to learn more about your legal options for recovering financial compensation for damages, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at our Dallas law firm. 

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