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What you need to know after being hit by a drunk driver

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2016 | Car Accidents, Fort Walton BeachLegal Blog |

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just one of the biggest days of the year for sports; it’s also one of the biggest days of the year for drunk driving accidents.

Even though crash data for this year’s Super Bowl has not been reported yet, if past years are any indication, then far too many Florida residents were injured or killed in drunk driving accidents on Sunday.

If you or a family member were hit by a drunk driver, then you need to know what your options are as well as what actions you should be taking and avoiding.

First, you should know that if the driver who hit you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you are likely entitled to compensation for the damages that you or a loved one have suffered.

However, you will not get the compensation that you deserve automatically. You will need to take certain steps and avoid common mistakes in order to be fairly compensated.

The first step to take is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that your rights are protected. Insurance companies have their own best interests in mind, and they have teams of lawyers and claims adjusters whose top priority is to reduce your settlement. You need an advocate in your corner as well.

One big mistake to avoid is agreeing to an insurance company’s settlement offer without your lawyer’s help.

The other driver’s insurance company — and potentially your own insurance company — will probably try to get you to accept a settlement right away. Although it may be enticing to accept the cash and move on, the offer will almost certainly be for less than you are entitle to. Only your lawyer will give you an honest assessment of what you deserve.

Finally, you should keep in mind that a third party may also be on the hook for damages.

While the drunk driver is the obvious party to look to for liability, there may be other parties that are liable for the accident as well, including a bar, restaurant or party host that over-served the driver. Your lawyer can investigate to determine if there are third-parties that share responsibility for the accident and may owe you damages.

You can read more about holding the right people accountable after a drunk driving accident here.