hit by a drunk driver

What Are My Rights if I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver?

Every day, around 800 people are injured in accidents involving a drunk driver or a driver under the influence of drugs. When someone is hit and injured in a drunk driving accident, they have the right to request compensation for any expenses resulting from the accident. This is a civil case, separate from the criminal charges the drunk driver may face. When the victim requests compensation, there are a few different types of awards they might ask for in a settlement. 

Medical Bills

The most common type of compensation a victim may request after being hit by a drunk driver is for medical bills. Depending on the severity of the injuries, medical bills can be extremely high. The cost of an emergency room visit is already high, and the amount increases the longer the victim receives emergency care. Even if emergency care is not needed, victims may suffer severe injuries and have a significant number of bills from medical facilities for their treatment.  

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Vehicle Repairs

After a car accident, the vehicle will need to be repaired. Just bodywork can be expensive, but the costs can quickly increase if there was more serious damage to the vehicle. Depending on how the accident occurred and the speeds involved, the vehicle may be totaled. This means it would be more expensive to repair it than to replace it. If this is the case, the victim will need compensation to purchase a replacement vehicle. 

Lost Wages

When someone is involved in an accident, they are likely to miss work for at least a day or two. If the victim suffers serious injuries, they may need to take weeks or months off of work for their recovery. The lost wages can be included in any request for compensation, as the victim would have worked if they were not injured. The amount received for lost wages depends on the victim’s salary and the amount of time they cannot work. 

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Future Expenses

The initial cost for emergency care and lost wages is already high. Someone who suffers severe or permanent injuries, however, may also have future medical costs and lost wages to consider. A permanent injury could require medical treatment in the future, medical devices that will need to be replaced, and other future expenses. If the injuries prevent the victim from working again, they may have future lost wages to consider. The amount depends on the victim’s salary and the number of years they expected to continue working. 

Other Compensation

There are other types of compensation that can be included in a settlement. Compensation for pain and suffering is often included when a victim sustains severe or life-altering injuries. There could also be compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life after permanent injuries or punitive damages that are intended to punish the at-fault driver. Punitive damages are more likely if the driver has caused similar accidents in the past. 

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Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be costly. When someone is injured in a drunk driving accident that was not their fault, they may be able to obtain compensation to cover all of the expenses relating to the accident as well as future expenses. To do this, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. 

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