If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you have the right to file a claim to recover compensation for any of the following:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Physical disability
- Medical costs
- Loss of ability to work and earn money
- Loss of ability to have marital relations
- Loss of society, companionship, affection, services (e.g., doing household duties)
How Do I Recover the Compensation I Am Due?
You must file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance. You must establish the other driver was intoxicated and his intoxication caused the accident. You might need proof such as:
- Police and accident records
- Blood or breath test results
- Statements from witnesses
Why Do I Have to Do Anything If the Police Arrested the Driver?
If a drunk driver causes an accident, he will likely face criminal charges. While the prosecution might include you in this process, this will not help you get the compensation you need to cover your injuries. You might receive restitution but that will do little to cover your injuries, especially if they are serious.
To get the compensation you need, you must file a civil claim with the driver’s insurance company.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Unfortunately, to recover compensation, you must deal with the insurance company. And it will not make things easy for you. It will likely try to get you to give more information than is wise.
To do so, the insurance adjuster will ask lots of questions. Do not answer anything beyond these two questions:
- When/where did the accident happen?
- What type of accident occurred?
If the adjuster asks you if you are injured, explain that you are waiting to receive your report from the doctor. If the adjuster asks you for a recorded statement, politely decline and direct any further questions to your Managing Attorney. This will ensure you do not say anything that jeopardizes your right to compensation.
You will likely receive a settlement offer soon after the accident. And because insurance companies are in business to make money, it is likely that the first offer will be too low, covering only your immediate medical bills and lost wages.
Even if you need the money for medical care, it is a bad idea to take this first offer. What if your injuries turn out to be more serious or are permanent? What if you will be out of work for months or can never work again? What if you or a loved one need lifelong care? If you accept a settlement, you cannot ask for more money later.
Always run any settlement offer by us. We can examine your case and determine whether the offer you received is fair. If not, we will negotiate until we receive a fair settlement. If the insurer still refuses to give you what you deserve, we might consider taking your case to court.
What Is a Fair Settlement?
What is fair for you depends on your injuries and damages. This is where a lawyer can help you come up with a total. To determine this, your team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC will look at:
- Your medical bills
- Lost wages, if you missed work because of injuries
- Damages to your vehicle
- Loss of income if you will miss work for weeks or months or can never return
- Effect of your injuries on your future
- Miscellaneous expenses, such as the cost of gas to get to appointments, the cost of renovating your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability
- Pain and suffering
While we can determine the value of many of these damages by looking at your medical bills and paystubs, we can also discuss your case with experts to determine the value of other damages.
Can I Afford a Lawyer?
Many people avoid hiring a lawyer after a personal injury because they believe they cannot afford legal representation. However, if we take your case, you pay nothing unless we get you a settlement or win in court. We also offer free, no-obligation consultations, so you can find out more about your case and the process for free.
How Can D. Miller & Associates Help Me?
We will take over your case, gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if needed, prepare your case for trial. We know the tricks insurance adjusters try to pull — like asking for a recorded statement or a medical records release — and will defend against these tactics and protect your right to compensation. We can determine what your claim is worth and fight for the highest possible settlement.
If a drunk driver caused you to suffer injuries in an accident, call us as soon as possible. Let us know the details of your case. Do not wait. In Texas, you usually only have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury.
Call us at 713-850-8600 and talk to our lawyers for free. We can answer your questions and give you the guidance you need.