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You make every effort to drive safely and avoid accidents, but what if a drunk driver comes along and crashes into your vehicle? Even defensive driving techniques can’t prevent every collision, and an impaired driver can be hard to avoid.
Often, drunk drivers swerve erratically, and their next move could be hard to predict. At the same time, they’re more likely to be speeding, which can make a crash more serious.
Unfortunately, people who are hit by drunk drivers frequently suffer serious, sometimes permanent injuries. These may include broken bones, traumatic brain injury or TBI, internal bleeding or bruising, lacerations, soft tissue injuries, back or spinal cord injuries, and more.
Many injured people may be out of work for weeks or months while medical expenses and typical bills still keep coming.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you probably expect the drunk driver’s insurance company to pay for your damages—and they should. Unfortunately, the insurance company adjuster will work to avoid paying your claim or to pay you less than your claim is worth.
Here are just a few of the potential problems an experienced drunk driving lawyer can help you with:
If you think the insurance company can’t blame you because their client was driving drunk, think again. Even if the police report states the other driver was intoxicated, and they were subsequently arrested, the insurance company could still say you were also at fault.
This is due to a legal concept called modified comparative negligence, which is used in personal injury cases in Georgia.
Modified comparative negligence allows for two parties to share fault in an accident or injury. This is not necessarily bad because there are many car accidents where both parties have some fault.
Under comparative negligence, an injured person is not barred from recovering damages simply because they made a small mistake that contributed to the accident (as would be the case in a state with contributory negligence statutes). In Georgia, the injured party can collect damages as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault.
Any percentage of fault assigned to the less responsible party is then deducted from their final settlement. For example, if you were 10 percent at fault, you would lose 10 percent of your final damages.
When fault is apportioned correctly, this is generally an equitable system where the injured party is only responsible for the percentage of damage they caused. The problem is that insurance companies tend to take advantage of this system in several ways:
But who ultimately decides how fault is distributed? In most cases, the insurance companies for the two drivers will negotiate until they reach a deal, but this agreement may or may not reflect who was really at fault.
For instance, your insurance company might be willing to concede that you were 30 percent at fault when you were only 10 percent responsible; after all, they still don’t have to pay anything because you were less than 50 percent at fault. However, you will lose a significant amount of your recovery.
The sad reality is that neither the drunk driver’s insurance company nor your own is going to fight for you to recover all your losses. However, an experienced drunk driving lawyer will work to show you had little or no fault in the accident so you can recover all the damages you deserve.
Aside from comparative negligence, there’s another issue that may affect cases involving drunk drivers. When an intoxicated motorist causes an accident, this usually results in criminal charges in addition to a civil suit for damages.
The drunk driver will retain a criminal defense attorney, who will often attack the evidence against their client. They might, for example, argue that the responding officer didn’t administer the breathalyzer test correctly, so the results shouldn’t be considered accurate.
Alternatively, they could argue that blood samples weren’t handled appropriately, there was an issue with the chain of custody, etc. In some cases, the charges against the driver may be dismissed if the evidence against them doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
The insurance company could use that as an excuse to argue their client wasn’t at fault for the accident, either.
While it can be frustrating to learn that the driver who caused your accident won’t be punished in the criminal court system, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will win in a civil case for several reasons:
Does that mean you have to go to court? Probably not.
Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. Once we explain how much evidence we have of the other driver’s culpability and your lack of responsibility, it’s likely the insurance company representatives will be willing to come to a fair agreement.
However, in rare cases, they may refuse to be reasonable, and we will pursue your claim in court.
How much is your claim actually worth? This is an essential question to answer before beginning your claim or making an agreement with the insurance company.
Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question to answer on your own. We meet many people who have overlooked entire categories of damages or forgotten about certain expenses.
As a result, they may have significantly underestimated what their claim is worth. For this reason, we always ask our clients questions so we can accurately value their claims before we begin negotiations.
Potential damages include:
If the insurance adjuster finds there is no evidence you were at fault, they might make you an offer. That seems like a good thing, but we’d advise you to be very careful—the insurance company’s first offer is frequently lower than your claim’s actual value.
The insurance adjuster hopes you will accept and sign an agreement freeing them from any further responsibility in this matter. Then, when you realize you have more expenses, they won’t have to pay any more.
If you’ve received an offer from an insurance company for your accident, we strongly advise you to seek legal advice before making a decision. An experienced drunk driving lawyer will review the offer and help you determine if it’s a fair one.
If not, we can negotiate with the insurance company to help you achieve the settlement you deserve.
Please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation about your accident. Our experienced team will review your case, answer questions, and show you the options for pursuing compensation.
There is no obligation, and if we take your case, there are no fees until we win or settle it.
Attorney Ali Awad is the founder of the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. He quickly transformed it into one of the fastest-growing personal injury law firms in the country and remains dedicated to helping injured people and their families.
As a result, he has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. When he’s not working on a case in the boardroom or the courtroom, you can find him on social media, making informative yet interesting posts about legal topics for more than a million followers.
Contact The CEO Lawyer today at 833-254-2923.
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After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.