If you have been hit by a drunk driver, your first instinct may be to sue them. You may be hurt and your vehicle damaged. Before you do, however, consider the easier and sometimes more effective route of an insurance claim. Know your legal options at this difficult time.
Filing a Lawsuit
A lawsuit is one of those options but if you live in a no-fault state, it may be a difficult road to compensation. Personal lawsuits can be difficult to prove in a state that does not assign blame for the accident, so even if the other person was drunk-you will have to prove your case.
Meet with the Other Insurance Company
Another option for you is talking to the other person’s insurance company. If you let the company know that you are going to file a third-party lawsuit for all of your medical and repair bills, you will get their attention. You may be surprised at the generosity of their offer for settlement. Every driver is required to carry a standard of insurance for this very reason, so why not at least talk to their insurance company. The company’s first interest is limiting a payout but a settlement means they don’t have to go to court, which will save money for everyone.
DUI Convictions Means a Strong Case for You
DUI convictions are another thing for you to consider. If the other driver was charged with a DUI-his insurance company is going to do everything possible from keeping that case from going to court. An insurance company with a convicted drunk client does not want to face a jury. Juries are well known for placing high settlements against drunk drivers. If this is the case you are in, it will definitely be worth your while to meet with the insurance company before filing suit.
There are more than 10 states that operate under the “No-fault” premise. If your accident took place in one of these states-your options are more limited. You will need to file with your own Personal Injury Protection to assist you with your medical bills and repairs. However, even in these states, there is a cap on medical coverage and you can seek damages from the other person when you have reached this maximum.
Consider the Options
Any accident is difficult but being hit by a drunk driver is especially traumatic. Before you make any quick decisions, consider your legal options with a local accident attorney in Houston to help you find the best way to ease your losses. You don’t have to pay if a drunk driver caused your accident. The law does protect those who follow the law.