When you are driving and suddenly struck by a drunk driver, your life could change. Your injuries and emotional trauma could impact virtually every aspect of your life for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, when another party’s reckless or negligent actions cause your damages, you can make them pay.
Access the compensation that is rightfully yours. Get help recovering your losses in full when you contact an experienced drunk driving accident attorney in Oklahoma. Schedule your free consultation today and learn more about how the claims process works and how much you could win if your claim is successful.
Liability in Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Your drunk driving accident attorney in Oklahoma at BDIW Law will be responsible for determining who is responsible for causing a drunk driving accident. However, you may be surprised to learn that multiple parties could share liability for the injuries you sustained and your resulting damages.
Drunk Driver Negligence
First, the drunk driver that hit you should be held accountable for their reckless driving. Fortunately, not only will you be able to take action by filing a claim with your insurance company, if they are insured, and pursuing a lawsuit against them in civil court, but drunk drivers are also likely to face criminal charges brought forward by the Oklahoma State police or other local police departments.
This means they could be facing criminal penalties, including jail time, fines, and suspension or revocation of their driving privileges. In addition, they may be ordered to compensate you for every loss you suffered due to their negligent actions.
Dram Shop Liability
Dram shop liability refers to local establishments, including restaurants and businesses that serve or sell alcohol. These businesses can be held accountable when they serve or sell alcohol to someone already under the influence.
For example, if a man enters a bar intoxicated, and the bartender serves them alcohol anyway, you might have a right to sue the bartender and the bar that over-served the drunk driver if the drunk driver went on to cause a severe collision.
Social Host Liability
According to social host liability laws, social hosts can be held accountable when they serve alcohol to a guest who ultimately goes on to cause a motor vehicle wreck. Generally, social hosts are held responsible when an adult allows minors to consume alcohol on their property.
These are just a few parties who could be held accountable for your drunk driving accident damages. You can find out more about which parties are responsible for your injuries when you discuss the specific circumstances of the case with your drunk driving accident lawyer.
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How to Recover Maximum Compensation
When you hope to recover maximum compensation for your injuries, you must review your legal options with your drunk driving accident lawyer in Oklahoma. Typically, you have two primary ways of recovering the compensation you deserve. This includes filing insurance claims or bringing your case to court.
File an Insurance Claim
After being hit by a drunk driver, one of the best ways to recover the compensation you deserve is by filing a claim with the insurance company. Oklahoma operates under a fault-based insurance system, which means liable parties are required to cover the injury victim’s damages. You will file a claim with a responsible party’s insurance company instead of filing a claim with your own in most cases.
However, whether you are dealing with your insurance company or that of the liable party, do not expect the negotiation process to be easy. Insurance companies are profit-driven and will do everything possible to settle your claim for less than it is worth. For this reason, you may need to rely on your drunk driving accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance company if you hope to avoid being taken advantage of during your greatest time of need.
Try Your Case in Court
Unfortunately, going to trial is often necessary to recover your damages in full. This is because insurance settlements are typically limited to the types and amounts of coverage the policyholder purchases.
If the policyholder only purchased the minimum amount of coverage, you may have additional damages the insurance company will not cover. When this happens, you must be ready to bring your case to trial to recover the excess losses.
How Much Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim Could Be Worth
One of your drunk driving accident lawyer’s most important responsibilities will be calculating the value of your damages. This way, you can be sure you are fighting for maximum compensation for your suffering.
First, we have compensable damages. The law says you have the right to recover when someone else is responsible for causing your injuries. Examples of compensable damages could include:
- Vehicle repair costs
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of employee benefits
- Skin scarring and disfigurement
You may also be awarded exemplary damages in a drunk driving accident. Exemplary damages are also commonly referred to as punitive damages. They are awarded when the Oklahoma civil court system determines the defendant’s conduct is malicious, intentional, or grossly negligent.
For example, if the drunk driver that hit you has multiple drunk driving convictions, the court system may deem it appropriate to award punitive damages. Although uncommon, punitive damages could dramatically increase the total value of your settlement.
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Essential Legal Deadlines
You must ensure your drunk driving accident claim is filed before the statute of limitation passes. Under the law, Oklahoma personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the collision. If your claim is not filed before this deadline, you will lose your right to present your case in court.
For this reason, your attorney must get your claim filed before the deadline. It is also important to note that many insurance companies require claims to be filed within 30 days of the accident. If your claim is not filed within 30 days, the insurance company might refuse to process your claim.
When you have a drunk driving accident lawyer advocating for you, we will deal with the insurance company and all legal details of your case so you do not have to worry about any adverse consequences associated with the statute of limitations.
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Get Help from an Oklahoma Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
The process of holding drunk drivers accountable for the injuries they cause can be complex. Get guidance navigating your insurance and civil claims. Fight for maximum compensation for your suffering.
Reach out to a dedicated Oklahoma drunk driving accident attorney at BDIW Law for a 100% free consultation today. You can reach us through our convenient contact form or by phone to schedule yours as soon as today and find out what is next for your claims.
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