Drunk Driving Lawyer

Drunk Driving Lawyer

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Drunk Driving Lawyer

If you or a loved one have suffered a car accident due to a drunk driver’s negligence behind the wheel, you may be entitled to compensation. Recovering compensation for your damages, however, can be a complicated process and may require the help of a drunk driving lawyer.

Data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that drunk driving is the country's leading cause of car accidents. These accidents usually lead to severe injuries or even death.

For perspective, the Centers for Disease Control reports that at least 32 people die in the United States daily due to car accidents caused by drunk drivers. That's about one death every 45 minutes.

Holding drunk drivers accountable for their negligence is one way to minimize these accidents. It's also your best chance at getting the compensation you deserve to cover expenses like vehicle repairs and medical bills.

If you’re searching for the right drunk driving lawyer to support your case, contact Morgan & Morgan, America’s largest personal injury law firm, for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. For over 35 years, we have helped clients to recover over $20 billion, and we may be able to help you, too.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Who Is a Drunk Driving Lawyer?

    In the context of personal injury cases, a drunk driving lawyer is an attorney who represents victims of car accidents caused by drunk drivers. Precisely, the attorney helps victims of car accidents pursue compensation for their injuries and damages.

  • How Can a Drunk Driving Lawyer Help?

    A drunk driving lawyer can play a significant role in your case. Here's an overview of how they can help.
    First, they will gather evidence to build a strong case on your behalf. Then, they will identify the parties responsible for the accident, even beyond the drunk driver. This step will help maximize your claim. We will discuss other parties that may be responsible shortly.

    The attorney can also file a claim with the insurance companies and negotiate to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your injuries and damages. However, if negotiations fail, the attorney can also file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.

  • Is a Drunk Driver Automatically Liable?

    In most cases, yes. However, that doesn't prevent their insurance companies from fighting your claim. Here are some examples of situations where insurance companies can dispute your claim, even if a drunk driver caused the accident.

    You contributed to the accident: If you were also drunk, driving recklessly, distracted, or not wearing a seatbelt, the insurance company may argue that you contributed to the accident and should share liability. Keep in mind that most states follow the comparative negligence system, meaning that parties involved in a car accident will be assigned a certain percentage of fault.

    In such states, you cannot recover damages if your percentage of fault exceeds a particular threshold, usually 50 or 51%.

    Your injuries are unrelated to the accident: Insurance companies may claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident with the drunk driver. Instead, they could claim you had a pre-existing condition or got injured elsewhere.

    The drunk driver was not the cause of the accident: In some cases, other factors may have contributed to the accident. If so, whether the driver was drunk will not be the only determining factor regarding your eligibility for a settlement. A good example is when poor road conditions or a malfunctioning vehicle causes an accident. Insurance companies may argue that the drunk driver was not the sole cause of the accident and, therefore, should not be held fully liable.

    The driver was not drunk: While this is a rare occurrence, insurance companies may try to argue that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. Such an argument does not mean that you won't recover damages. However, it could mean limiting your chances of maximizing your claim. For example, if the driver was not drunk and the accident occurred due to circumstances beyond your control, it is unlikely that you will recover punitive damages.

    Bear in mind that, in many cases, punitive damages are usually higher than compensatory damages.

    The driver was not covered by insurance: If the drunk driver was uninsured or underinsured, obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages may be difficult.

    Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. For this reason, they often try to minimize the amount they pay out in claims.

  • Besides the Drunk Driver, Who Else Can Be Liable for the Accident?

    In some cases, other parties may also be liable for the accident. One example is when a bar, restaurant, or other establishment served alcohol to the driver even though they were visibly intoxicated. This scenario is known as "overserving." In these cases, dram shop laws can help you recover more compensation, especially if the drunk driver's insurance is insufficient to settle the claim.

    Dram shop laws vary by state. Generally, they allow injured parties to hold the establishment that overserved the driver liable for damages. Some states also hold social hosts, such as individuals who serve alcohol at a party, liable for damages caused by drunk driving accidents.
     
    Examples of states that use dram shop laws include Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Ohio, and Washington.

  • I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver, What Am I Entitled To?

    In most cases, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries and other losses stemming from the accident. That said, the specific damages you can recover will depend on the facts of your case.

    Below is an overview of common recoverable damages in such a case.

    • Medical expenses, such as hospital bills, medication, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.
    • Lost wages or other income that you would have earned if the accident had not occurred.
    • Physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
    • Cost of repairs or replacement for your vehicle or other personal property damaged in the accident or if you needed to change your environment (e.g., building a wheelchair ramp or upgrading your bathroom) to accommodate your injuries after the accident.
    • Punitive damages if the drunk driver was extremely reckless.

     Every case is different. To increase your chances of winning, you need a skilled and experienced drunk driving lawyer on your side.

  • Is It Difficult to Win a Drunk Driving Accident Case?

    Contrary to popular belief, pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses after such an accident can be challenging. Here's why.

    Insurance companies may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim in an attempt to minimize the amount they may need to pay out as compensation. To achieve this, they may ask for extensive medical records or send you to their own doctors for evaluation.  

    Secondly, even though the drunk driver is usually at fault in a drunk driving accident, insurance companies may try to shift the blame to you. If they succeed, it could ruin your chances of obtaining compensation.

    The value of your claim may reduce if you were partly at fault. Your lawyer can help you understand how comparative negligence laws apply in your state and work to minimize the impact on your compensation.

  • What if Someone Died in an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver?

    Losing a loved one in a car accident changes everything about the case. Specifically, it goes from a regular car accident to a wrongful death claim.

    In that case, you may be able to recover the costs associated with the funeral and burial of your loved one. Also, if your loved one provided financial support to you or other surviving family members, you may be able to recover the value of that support, including future earnings.

    Other damages you may be entitled to include the loss of your loved one's companionship and guidance, pain and suffering your loved one experienced before their death, and punitive damages.

  • How Are Drunk Driving Claims Different From Regular Car Accident Cases?

    Drunk driving claims are often more complex than regular car accident cases. These accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities due to impaired drivers' inability to react in time to avoid a collision. As a result, the damages in a drunk driving case can be much higher than in a typical car accident case.

    When faced with large claims of severe injuries or wrongful death, insurance companies often fight back harder to avoid paying the full amount. Remember, we mentioned earlier that insurance companies only care about their best interests, not yours.

  • What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver?

    While it's understandable that you may be concerned about the average settlement you could receive, especially if you've already incurred significant expenses from the accident, each case is unique. For this reason, there is no fixed amount for a settlement.

    That's also another reason to consult an experienced attorney. They will review the details of your case and help you determine its worth.

    However, when looking for an attorney to represent you, be cautious of those who promise to recover a specific amount of money without even reviewing your case. The truth is that no attorney can accurately predict the outcome of a case without knowing all the details. Any attorney who makes such promises is likely just trying to attract clients and may not have your best interests at heart.

  • A Drunk Driver Totaled My Car, What Should I Do?

    If a drunk driver totaled your car, you will likely obtain compensation for property damage. Follow the steps below to increase our chances of winning such a claim.

    Call 911: The first thing you should do after any car accident, including one caused by a drunk driver, is to call 911 and request the police and an ambulance at the scene. This is particularly important if anyone is injured or there is significant damage to any vehicle.  
     
    Exchange information: You should exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver involved in the accident. This includes their name, address, phone number, driver's license number, and insurance policy information.

    Document the scene: Take photos of the scene, including any damage to the vehicles involved and any other property. Also, document the date, time, and location of the accident. If possible, obtain the contact information of any witnesses.

    Talk to a car accident lawyer: Lastly, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free case evaluation.

  • I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver, No Injuries; Can I Still File a Claim?

    The simple answer to this question is yes, you can. Here are a few things to note.

    Do not assume you are not seriously injured just because you don't feel any pain or discomfort immediately after the accident. This is because some injuries may not manifest until days or weeks after the accident. That's why it's crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible, regardless of how you feel after the accident. Generally, you should get checked by a doctor no later than 72 hours after the accident.

    A car accident doctor can help review your injuries and determine their severity. They can also provide treatment, coordinate with your attorney, and document your injuries, an important piece of the claims process. Here's a detailed guide if you're unsure where to find a car accident doctor near you.

  • Injured by a Drunk Driver? We Can Help

    Morgan & Morgan is America's largest injury firm. For over 35 years, our firm has built a solid reputation for fighting for the rights of the injured from coast to coast. As a result, we have recovered over $20 billion as compensation for our clients and handled over 110,000 cases.

    In fact, our firm files more injury cases than any law firm in the country. And thanks to our powerful resources and an army of over 1,000 injury attorneys, we do not leave any stone unturned in the fight for justice.

    Insurance companies know who Morgan & Morgan attorneys are. Precisely, they know we do not settle for less unless it is your best option to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses.

    Car accident cases can be stressful and painful. It's worse when caused by negligence.

    Contact us today to discuss your options.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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