Intoxicated drivers can induce serious harm for Texas drivers, causing crashes and leaving victims with serious injuries. If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to hold the driver liable and collect compensation for your losses. A drunk driving (DWI) accident and injury lawyer in Sugar Land can often file an insurance claim to recover money to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, our personal injury lawyers are ready to take on your case. We offer free case consultations and evaluations, so you can understand your options for compensation as we guide you through the process. For help with your claim, call us today at 713-850-8600.
How Can a Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer Win Compensation for Me?
In most cases, we can file a third-party liability insurance claim to recover money for our clients after a drunk driver causes a crash. Texas auto insurance laws require all motorists to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage that pays out to the victims of any accident they cause. This allows us to cover your losses, at least up to these limits:
- $30,000 liability coverage per person;
- $60,000 liability coverage per accident; and
- $25,000 property damage coverage.
In most cases, we can file a claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company, present documentation of your damages, and negotiate a fair settlement. On the rare occasion their insurer refuses to offer a settlement that covers your full medical costs, ongoing care, lost wages, and other damages, we may need to file a personal injury lawsuit and take your case to court.
How Can a DWI Injury Attorney Prove My Case?
We fully investigate every accident, even when the cause seems evident. This allows us to identify any and all contributing factors and build a strong case against the at-fault driver. Winning compensation in any car accident case hinges on showing the driver acted in an unreasonable or careless manner, known as negligence. In a DWI crash, there are four things we need to prove to collect the payout you deserve:
- The driver had an obligation to avoid taking unreasonable risks, such as driving drunk or breaking traffic laws;
- The driver failed to uphold this obligation by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and by violating state DWI laws;
- Their intoxication or reckless behavior caused the crash; and
- You suffered physical injuries and financial damages in the accident.
Drunk driving injury accidents often have extensive evidence available, because of the criminal case that may also be pending against the driver. The police likely collected evidence for their case, including field sobriety test results, as well as breath, blood, or urine screenings. While the claim we file is completely separate from any criminal trial, we have access to much of the same evidence to prove our case.
This may include:
- Police reports from the scene of the accident;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Statements from police and first responders;
- Blood alcohol testing results;
- Drug testing results;
- Dash or body cam video from the scene;
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts;
- Videos and pictures from the scene; and
- The driver’s previous social media posts, such as check-ins at bars.
By collecting as much evidence against the drunk driver as possible, it puts us in a better position to fight for the full value of your damages. In addition, if the case goes to court, we may be able to recover additional damages because of the especially reckless behavior of the intoxicated driver.
What Happens If the Drunk Driver Did Not Have Auto Insurance?
Unfortunately, many drunk drivers are habitual offenders. They continue to drive and rack up DWI offenses, but they do not have a license and carry no auto liability insurance. This puts accident victims in a particularly bad situation. Luckily, Texas requires drivers to opt out of uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in writing. If you have not done so, you likely carry this UM/UIM coverage. You may not even be aware of it.
This coverage pays out to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses, up to the limits of the policy. In most cases, the limits of this policy mirror the limits of your own liability coverage. We can help you file this type of claim, handle all communication with your insurance company, and ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
If we need to, we can file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. However, this is not usually effective unless there is reason to believe they have enough money to cover your losses. Filing a claim based on your own insurance policy is a much more effective way to get a payout.
How Much Is My Drunk Driving Accident and Injury Case Worth?
It is impossible to know exactly how much your claim might be worth until we complete our investigation and know the value of your damages. This requires us to collect bills and receipts, learn more about your future care needs, meet with experts to determine your prognosis, consider any out-of-pocket costs, and calculate your pain and suffering based on your economic losses. Only then can we understand what a fair settlement will look like in your case. If you suffered permanent or particularly severe injuries, like spinal cord trauma, scarring, or a traumatic brain injury, we will request more compensation to pay for your long-term care needs.
Once we have a good idea of how much you deserve, we use this value and our documentation of your losses to approach the insurance company and demand compensation. This usually begins the negotiation process, where we aggressively fight for a fair settlement based on our calculations.
How Can I Talk to a Lawyer in Sugar Land?
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, we understand that you want to hold the drunk driver who caused your injuries liable for their reckless actions. We can offer support and guidance, handling your claim and pursuing the money you need and deserve. Call us today at 713-850-8600 for your free case review with one of our attorneys in Sugar Land.