Compensation from a Drunk Driving Accident
According to the most recent stats compiled by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, at least 800 fatalities stemming from drunk driving accidents occur in Florida annually – with thousands more resulting in arrests or injuries. Like most states in the country, Florida imposes harsh penalties on drunk drivers. Still, a criminal conviction for DUI doesn’t automatically fix all the issues that victims of drunk drivers face following an accident. If you were injured due to a drunk and negligent driver in Florida and are suffering financial hardship, you may be entitled to compensation.
I Just Got Hit by a Drunk Driver!
Accidents are rarely straightforward, but accidents involving drunk drivers can be especially complex and challenging to navigate.
Anytime you are involved in an auto accident, you should first ensure you and your passengers are safe and then contact relevant authorities and emergency services. You can voice your concerns about the other driver to the police if you suspect them to be drunk.
You should always accept medical care following an accident. The adrenaline rush resulting from the accident can temporarily mask pain, leaving you unaware of possible injuries. If you have any new symptoms or injuries in the days and weeks after an accident, immediately go to a doctor – and document everything as evidence.
How Do I Receive Financial Compensation?
Once the situation has settled down, you have some decisions to make. Florida is a no-fault state, which means you will have to make a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim with your own insurance provider for medical bills and lost income to start. However, even at this early stage, you should reach out to a local personal injury attorney who can guide you through the insurance claim process because there may be more insurance compensation available than PIP.
Also, many people mistakenly assume that because they pay an insurance premium, the insurance provider will willingly and happily hand them a substantial payout. Unfortunately, it is often necessary to negotiate the amount offered. The payout that an insurance company provides might not be enough to cover the extensive medical bills and weeks of lost wages that many victims face when victimized by a drunk driver. Florida residents injured in these types of accidents may have the option to pursue the drunk driver and their insurance company to receive more compensation.
Personal injury attorneys can help you with the following:
- Analyzing your current insurance policy to ensure you receive all the benefits you deserve
- Gathering evidence that supports your claim and shows the insurance company the financial hardship you are enduring
- Filing claims or lawsuits promptly and without mistakes, giving insurance companies fewer options to deny your claim
Florida has a ‘serious injury’ threshold, and you cannot sue another driver for pain and suffering if one of the following has not occurred:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side is even more vital when injuries rise to this threshold. While insurance companies are sometimes hesitant to fight a third-party claim involving drunk drivers, you could never know the actual value of your injury unless an experienced attorney is representing you.
If a drunk driver injures you and you are suffering physically, emotionally, or financially, call Hale Law today. We are happy to discuss the merits of your case, and the consultation is free of charge. In fact, you will never be charged a fee unless we recover compensation for you.