Drunk driving accidents are all too common across our country, and Marietta is no exception. These accidents can be even more difficult than other types of accidents because you know that you’re the victim of someone else’s recklessness—and that the accident could have been prevented. Both injuries and medical bills can be extremely trying, but you do not have to face them alone. Our Marietta drunk driving accident lawyers are here to help.
Our lawyers have over twenty years of getting results for victims of drunk drivers. We work exclusively for victims, never representing the insurance companies or the at-fault driver. And we won’t charge you a cent unless you do get a financial recovery. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 for your free consultation today.
What information should I collect after a drunk driving accident?
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you may feel helpless. However, there are steps you can take from the start to help protect your own best interests. If you don’t need to go directly to the hospital after the accident, information you should gather includes:
- The driver’s name and contact information (always ask to see ID!)
- Insurance information from the other driver
- Instructions from the police on how to get a copy of your police report
- The responding officers’ names and badge numbers
- Pictures or video of the accident scene, both vehicles, and your injuries
- If possible, take video of the driver showing any inebriated behavior such as slurred speech or aggression
if the driver fled the scene (hit-and-run), you also have options:
- Get their license plate number if possible
- Any details on the make, model or color of the driver’s vehicle, or simply the type of car it is (pickup, SUV, sports car) is helpful
- Description of damage to the drunk driver’s vehicle
- The direction the drunk driver drove off
- Photos of damage to your car
- Location, time and cause of the accident
You can also speak to witnesses at the scene who may have gotten more details than you did. Always call and wait for the police, even (especially!) in a hit-and-run situation.
What if the drunk driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?
Being in a drunk driving accident can be a harrowing experience. The situation can become even more stressful if you find out that the other drive doesn’t have insurance. While this is certainly a complication, it is by no means a dead end. You still have options if the at fault driver has no insurance—or not enough insurance to cover the costs. Below are a few steps to take if an uninsured driver hits you:
- Call the police: Always have the police file a police report and ask for a copy when it is done, even if the other driver has no insurance. A police report will serve as an official document of what happened at the case, and will be useful both in court and when dealing with your own insurer.
- Work with your lawyer to prove fault: It’s still important to determine who is at fault when an uninsured driver hits you. Your lawyer can help prove that the other driver was negligent, as he or she will know what evidence to gather and what questions to ask. Georgia is an at fault state, meaning whoever is at fault pays for all costs and damages—whether they have insurance or not.
- Review your auto insurance for a UM/UIM policy: You should review the details of your auto insurance policy after any accident, but especially if you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver. You may have “uninsured motorist” or “underinsured motorist” (UM/UIM) vehicle coverage as part of your plan. If you do, this would cover any costs that would’ve been covered by the other driver’s insurance, up to your own maximum.
- Consult with your lawyer on the best way to recover the money you need: Even with an uninsured motorist, you have options—and the courts can award you damages that the other driver has to pay to you over time, even if they cannot pay all at once. The court system also has ways of enforcing these agreements so that the driver really does pay. In addition, if the person was driving under the influence, they may have to pay “punitive” damages which increases the amount of money you can recover. But these cases are delicate, often involving both criminal charges against the drunk driver and a personal injury lawsuit that you file against them. It’s crucial to have an attorney advise you on how to proceed to get the money you deserve.
How much money can I recover if I was hit by a drunk driver in Marietta?
If you’re the victim of a drunk driving accident, you are entitled to financial compensation. This may include:
- Compensation for your monetary losses such as medical bills, prescription drug costs, and lost wages.
- Compensation for the personal impact of the accident. This may include mental anguish, pain and suffering, or severe effects like a permanent scar, injury or disability. It’s much harder to put a price on these types of losses, and money can never truly make up for them, but they often make up the largest part of a drunk driving accident settlement.
- Punitive damages are additional money the drunk driver must pay to you, as a form of punishment and restorative justice. In the state of Georgia, the cap for punitive damages is $250,000.
If necessary, the family of a lost loved one can also file a wrongful death claim and recover money in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident.
Altogether, many DUI accident claims pay out $100,000 or more, and claims of over $1 million are not uncommon.
Talk to a Marietta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Drunk driving accidents can be devastating. Please don’t go through it without experienced legal help. Our lawyers will work tirelessly to get you the financial settlement you deserve. Fill out the form to the right or call us at (404) 341-6555 for your FREE consultation today.