Hit in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Lafayette Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Offer Guidance and Solutions
According to the United States Department of Transportation, three people are killed in alcohol-related car crashes every two hours in the United States, and drunk driving causes more than $37 billion in damages. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest.
Laws are simply not enough of a deterrent for some people, and as a result, motorists are in constant danger when a drunk driver pulls onto the road. Our Lafayette drunk driving accident attorneys have spent the better part of two decades helping victims of drunk drivers put their lives back together after a terrible accident, injury or death.
What Do I Do If I Am Involved In a Drunk Driving Accident?
The most important factor is to take care of your health and your family. Follow your doctor’s orders and keep careful records of your diagnosis and treatment. If possible, take photographs of your injury, damage to the vehicle and the scene of the accident.
Contact an attorney immediately before you speak with the other driver’s insurance company. These companies do not have your best interests at heart, and they will attempt to minimize and deny your rightful claim based on your own statements. If they call, you do not need to give a statement right then. Explore your rights with an attorney first.
There is no such thing as a drunk driving “accident” – when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, he or she is making a choice and must face the consequences, which can be catastrophic and life-changing for innocent victims.
Crashes caused by drunk drivers can have physical, emotional and financial effects on the survivors that last for years. Family members who lost loved ones have to adjust to a major upheaval of their lives, and the period following a sudden trauma is stressful and overwhelming.
What Happens If the Drunk Driver Is Already Facing Criminal Charges?
When a driver is arrested for DWI or DUI, the charges are imposed by the state and the driver may be prosecuted. It is extremely important for victims to understand that even if the drunk driver pleads to lesser charges or is found not guilty, this does not stop a victim from filing a civil lawsuit.
In a situation like this, the prosecutor of the criminal case does not represent the victim. The prosecutor is on the side of the victim and may need a victim’s help to convict the drunk driver; however, victims generally do not receive money for damages in a criminal case. There is a statute of limitations on drunk driving that limits civil lawsuits to one year in Louisiana. This means that, with few exceptions, victims only have one year to file a drunk driving lawsuit. If your drunk driver is facing criminal charges, do not wait until the case is over to contact your own personal injury attorney.