In many drunk driving accidents, one or more of the parties involved in the auto wreck didn't make the mistake of drinking before getting behind the wheel. Whether the accident is a rear-end collision, a pedestrian hit-and-run or any other type of accident, victims are often blameless parties left to pick up the pieces of a mess created by the illegal and reckless behavior of others.
If you've been injured, suffered property damage, or even have signs of mental trauma and anguish resulting from your accident, you may be able to secure compensation by filing a legal claim against the offending party. Although the drunk driver is likely the one rushing out to retain a lawyer after the accident, victims should also connect with an attorney to make sure their interests are protected and prioritized as the fallout from this accident continues.
What Should I Do If I'm In an Accident Caused By a Drunk Driver?
Even if you only suspect you've been involved in a drunk driving accident) you should make every effort to gather and document information that could support your case later. Assuming your medical needs are being met, your first step should be to take photos of the scene of the accident, document damage to your vehicle, your body and other assets, and speak with police arriving on scene. You can also gather the names of witnesses in case police don't.
After these initial steps, contact your insurance company to let them know you've been in an accident. From there, you should get in touch with a local attorney to represent you throughout this legal matter.
I Wasn't Drinking. Why Do I Need a DUI Accident Lawyer?
A drunk driving accident may have other implications that matter to you as a victim of an accident. If you've been injured, you're also involved in a personal injury case, and are likely owed compensation for your losses and suffering. But this compensation is far from automatic. An attorney is your best option to make sure you receive the compensation you are owed, and that the legal process accounts for your losses when attempting to enforce justice.
An attorney can also protect you from possible claims that you were at fault for the accident, even though another party was determined to be driving under the influence. Even if you have problems with insurance companies being resistant to paying your medical bills or any settlement money owed, an attorney can address these issues and make sure you get your payments without incident.
I'm a Drunk Driver Accident Victim. What are My Chances of Winning a Settlement?
No outcome is guaranteed until your lawyer is able to build your case, negotiate a settlement and help you sign on the dotted line. In general, though, victims of a drunk driving car accident are in a very strong position to win any claim that goes to court against the drunk driver—even if you made mistakes of your own, such as entering a crosswalk at the wrong time, or speeding through an intersection.
Your odds of success in suing a drunk driver are even higher if and when that driver is convicted of a DUI. In fact, the position of victims is often so strong that many insurance companies are eager to cut their losses and agree to a large settlement as a means of bypassing the court. This is because those insurance companies expect judges to drop the hammer hard in a DUI case—and settlements often offer not only a simpler and faster solution to this legal issue, but a cheaper one as well.
Tips for Finding a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Tulsa
Convinced you need a drunk driving accident lawyer to guide you through the process of filing a claim and receiving compensation? Start by seeking out a local personal injury attorney that specializes in drunk driving cases and victim advocacy, and has a strong track record of delivering results for their clients.
Ask for testimonials as proof of this advocacy work, and consult with any prospective law office to make sure they understand the facts of your case and have confidence in your ability to secure a settlement. You can also use your consultation time with an attorney to ask about the process of filing a claim, including typical timelines for being awarded a settlement.
If you've been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, time is of the essence—for both you, the intoxicated driver, and local law enforcement conducting the investigation. You can improve your own response and the potential strength of your claim by connecting with a local attorney to guide you through this process.