When you’ve been involved in a serious car accident, the emotional and physical toll can be almost incalculable, and this stress can be compounded to a large degree when your accident involves a drunk driver. Accidents caused by an intoxicated driver often result in serious injuries and large medical bills, meaning you need to find some way to recover from your injuries and move on with your life.
Fortunately, with the right legal representation, you should be able to get the compensation you deserve. Learn about your legal options after you’ve been hit by a drunk driver and find out when you should consult a car accident attorney in New Jersey.
Bring a Suit Against the Driver
The most common course of action after being hit by a drunk driver is to bring a civil claim against the responsible driver. If you can definitively prove that the driver in your case was legally intoxicated, then you may be able to win the substantial claim that you need to move on with your life.
It’s very important to file your civil claim as soon as possible, which speaks to the seriousness of your case. Also, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the criminal trial resulting from your accident will provide you with damages. If you want compensation for your wreck, you will need to file a lawsuit in civil court.
File a Claim Against the Bar or Restaurant
A surprisingly high number of drunk driving accidents involve a driver that does not have insurance coverage, and if this is the case for your wreck, then your best legal option may be to bring a suit against the restaurant that over-served the driver.
New Jersey is one of the many states in the country that has “dram” laws, legal ordinances that hold bars and restaurants responsible for over serving patrons who are then involved in a drunk driving wreck. If you’re planning on filing a suit against a restaurant or bar in New Jersey, you should be aware of two of the most important dram rules.
First, the major requirement for the serving establishment to be held responsible is that the driver had to be noticeable intoxicated and continued to be served. Secondly, if the driver was clearly under the age of 21 and the establishment served them anyway, they will be responsible for your accident.
Wait for the Right Settlement After You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver
In accidents involving a drunk driver, fault is almost always cut and dried. Because of this, any insurance companies in the case will offer you a quick settlement. Although this may seem beneficial, it’s actually an attempt to lower their possible payout. Be sure to never accept the first settlement offer after your accident. Hold out until you get the compensation that you deserve.
Additionally, when you receive a settlement, you should make sure to have it examined by a car accident attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to tell you if a settlement is worth accepting or if you should wait for a better offer.
Retain a Car Accident Attorney
Being hit by a drunk driver will be one of the most trying times of your life, often affecting your ability to work and leaving you with expensive medical bills. When you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, you need a compassionate car accident attorney from Peter N. Davis & Associates, LLC on your side.