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How to Hold a Drunk Driver Liable for Your Injuries

How to Hold a Drunk Driver Liable for Your Injuries

Drunk driving incidents are alarmingly common and can have devastating consequences for victims. When you or a loved one suffers injuries due to a drunk driver’s reckless behavior, it’s crucial to know how to hold them accountable and seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

At Bernard Law Group, our Seattle car accident lawyer has extensive experience helping victims injured by drunk drivers get justice. With knowledge of our state’s drunk driving laws and your legal rights, you will be better equipped to get justice.

Understanding Washington State DUI Laws

Washington State takes drunk driving very seriously. Under RCW 46.61.502, driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both.

A driver is considered legally drunk if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. These laws not only facilitate criminal charges against the perpetrator but also support civil claims for damages by victims.

Immediate Steps Following the Accident

Once you’ve confirmed your safety and sought medical care, the initial action should be to compile as much evidence as you can at the location of the incident. If possible, capture photos of the involved vehicles, the area around the accident, and any injuries that are visible. Collect contact details from any witnesses and note down the number of the police report. This early collection of information will prove to be extremely valuable when your Seattle car accident attorney starts to construct your case.

Seeking Medical Attention

Your health is paramount. Even if you don’t feel injured, undergoing a medical examination immediately following the crash is crucial. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal trauma, may not present symptoms right away. A thorough medical record starting from the accident date is essential to prove that the crash directly caused your injuries.

Reporting the Incident

Ensure the accident is reported to the police. A formal police report will typically include the officer’s observations, statements from those involved and witnesses, and any citations issued for drunk driving. This report is a critical piece of evidence when filing your claim.

Navigating Insurance Claims

Initially, your own insurance or the at-fault party’s insurance may cover medical expenses and property damage. However, dealing with insurance companies can be complicated, especially when attempting to secure fair compensation.

Insurers often aim to minimize payouts. Having a skilled Seattle car accident lawyer advocate on your behalf can make a significant difference in the negotiation process.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

In many cases, insurance coverage is insufficient to fully compensate for the damages suffered. If this is true for your situation, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver may be necessary. Compensation in such lawsuits can include not only medical expenses and lost wages but also damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

Proving Liability

To hold the drunk driver accountable, you must prove that their intoxication directly caused the accident and your resultant injuries. Evidence can include breathalyzer or blood test results, eyewitness testimony, video footage, and the police report. An experienced car accident attorney in Seattle will know how to gather and present this evidence compellingly.

The Role of a Seattle Car Accident Lawyer

Moving forward after an accident with a drunk driver involves complex legal proceedings. An experienced attorney can:

  • Guide you through the legal process and ensure you understand your rights.
  • Gather and analyze evidence to build a strong case.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to secure the best possible settlement.
  • Represent you in court, if necessary, to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Comparative Fault

Washington State operates under a comparative fault system. This means that if you were partially at fault for the accident, your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, being partially at fault does not bar you from recovery. A knowledgeable car accident attorney in Seattle can help minimize how much fault is attributed to you and maximize your compensation.

Statute of Limitations

It is important to act quickly. In Washington State, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally three years from the date of the accident. Waiting too long could result in a forfeiture of your right to compensation.

Seeking Justice and Closure

Ultimately, pursuing a claim against a drunk driver is not only about securing financial compensation. It’s also about holding the responsible party accountable for their actions and finding some measure of justice and closure for yourself and your family.

Call Our Seattle Car Accident Lawyer Today

At Bernard Law Group, our commitment to our clients goes beyond legal representation. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that accidents can take on victims and their families. Our team of dedicated Seattle car accident lawyers has the experience, resources, and compassion to guide you through this challenging time and fight tirelessly for the compensation you rightly deserve.

Victims of drunk driving accidents should not have to bear the burden of their injuries alone. By taking immediate action and working with a car accident attorney in Seattle, you can ensure your rights are protected and that you are positioned to receive the full compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact Bernard Law Group today for a consultation and take the first step toward securing the justice and recovery you deserve.

You Pay No Fee Unless We Win.

Fill out our contact form for a free injury case consultation. We will call you back right away.

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