Suffering an injury as the result of an auto accident involving an intoxicated driver can be a traumatic experience, especially for those victims who are left incapacitated in some way. An individual’s life can change in an instant based on the highway negligence of an intoxicated driver. Of course, driving under the influence can be the most egregious example of highway negligence when an accident occurs and an innocent victim is severely injured.
Coping with what has occurred can impact both the negligent driver and injured victim profoundly. Dealing with the situation is never enjoyable for either party, but the injured victim must learn to cope with physical inability as well as the emotional stress.
It is important for any injured auto accident victim to follow the treatment recommendations of the attending and primary physicians, including resulting physical therapy. This is especially important for individuals who have filed a legal claim against a negligent driver. Regardless of the severity of any injury, the responsible insurance company, or multiple companies in under-insured cases, will make every attempt to reduce the amount of total claim payouts. The defending insurance adjuster is only responsible to the company and their client. Additionally, “no fault” states allow for first-party insurance coverage and the injured victim’s personal insurance carrier may be required to pay a portion of the claims. Failure to comply with instructions from a medical professional can provide a legal argument for the respondent insurance companies in negotiating a reduced award. Make all doctor appointments, including requests from the respondents, and always follow medical instructions.
Although workman’s compensation claims may not be involved, it is possible that disability claims may be available. Short-term and long-term disability claims from the victim’s employer precede any claim through the Social Security Administration, which will usually take at least one year to finalize. Social Security Disability Income is permanent total disability. Some injured victims may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income immediately if personal assets are low enough. Lost income can be recovered through any civil action against a negligent driver and cases involving driving under the influence contain the possibility of punitive as well as compensatory damages when the assets are available from the negligent driver. However, it is incumbent on the victim to prove they lost wages because of the accident, so locate any pertinent pay stubs for material evidence.
Retaining an Attorney
It is a positive step to retain an attorney and let the legal professionals handle any claims process. Serious accidents involving alcohol can be complicated, especially when there are multiple avenues for financial compensation. This allows the attorney to locate as many respondents as possible, and allows the injured victim to concentrate on physical rehabilitation and adjusting to life with diminished mobility. Depending on the injury, recovering to a full measure of good health may be slow or impossible, but the victim does not have to deal with tactics of a bad faith insurance company. Always remember that attorneys are professional negotiators, just like insurance adjusters, and they understand how to maximize a claim and discount any defensive claim for a reduced benefit.
The emotional drain associated with an injury resulting from a DUI accident can be life-altering. Your chances of being in crash involving drunk driving are increasing all the time. According to miamicaraccidentlawyers.net, “in 2006, 29% of the car accidents that resulted in a fatality in the state of Florida were caused by drunk drivers.” Many times these accidents have a death toll, and coping must be done by the decedent victim’s families. This is especially true for those who have lost spouses, children, and parents. Always get a solid attorney who is experienced in representing serious injury and wrongful death cases. And then, leave the legalities to the attorney while learning to deal with the emotional impact of life on life’s terms.