An accident involving a drunk driver that leaves your car totaled is devastating. Not only are your health and wellness affected by the accident, but your livelihood as well. We depend on our vehicles to get to important places like school and our job. Because of this, being faced with the cost and time of replacing your vehicle can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, you have legal options on your side to deal with your car being totaled if you were hit by a drunk driver. It’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney before beginning the process, to ensure you receive the damages that you are entitled to.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hit By a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been in a car accident and you suspect the other driver is drunk, call 911 immediately. You’ll want to call emergency services anyway if you have or think you have been injured. However, the police will also arrive, and be able to assess and administer tests to prove whether the other driver was intoxicated.
It is important to get police on the scene, as their report will be valuable documentation for your claim. A police report of the suspected level of intoxication and subsequent arrest will help you pursue the damages you deserve.
Collect All the Details
Finally, be sure to obtain the insurance information of the other driver. If you’re unable to at the scene, the police documentation will contain this information.
Get Legal Help
If you were injured in the accident, get a personal injury lawyer. Do not sign anything from the insurance company or take any settlements before talking it over with a personal injury attorney.
Make Contact with Insurance
If the other drivers’ insurance company is difficult for you to reach, it’s possible for your insurance company to step in. In many cases, they will pay out the cost of replacing your vehicle, and sue the other insurance company to get their money back.
Keep meticulous records of anything relating to the accident that you could be awarded damages for. This includes hospital bills, specialist visits, the value of your vehicle, and the cost of rentals where applicable. If your vehicle was paid for under a lien, make sure to get documentation of the original loan amount and the amount still owed on the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are not personally invested in your injuries or inconvenience. They want to pay the least amount that they can get away with on the claim. This is why it is important to have all documentation and offers looked over by a personal injury attorney.
If the Drunk Driver is Not Insured
If the drunk driver you were struck by is not insured or is underinsured, you most likely will need to establish an Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist Claim to get the damages you need for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, etc. Review your auto insurance coverage as soon as possible to determine your Uninsured Motorist Coverage or Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This determines whether your insurance company will shoulder some or all of the cost of your expenses and if you’ll need to go to court to collect further damages.