There’s a difference between drinking to enjoy one’s self and drinking to the point of endangering others. Despite the seemingly-constant reminders about the dangers of drinking, there are Carmel residents and visitors who will ignore the duty they owe to others to get behind the wheel of a car drunk.
These drivers can cause deadly accidents and inflict long-term financial suffering on you and your family. You, however, can fight back. You can work with Vaughan & Vaughan car accident lawyers in Carmel to bring your losses to a judge’s attention. Together we can insist upon your right to financial support from the party responsible for your losses.
Drunk Driving Accidents Leave You to Foot the Bill
When you come away from a drunk driving accident, what are you left with? Bills from the first responders who helped you and your loved ones contend with your immediate injuries. More bills from the doctors you have to visit for follow-ups. Even more bills from the repair shops that have to help you restore or replace your ruined car.
That’s not to mention the losses you can sustain by taking time off of work to recover. All this financial strain falls on your shoulders, even if you have insurance to help you ward off the worst expenses. The lack of justice is enough to send anyone into a spiral of despair.
You don’t have to lose yourself to inaction, though. If you get into an accident with a drunk driver, Indiana civil courts allow you to sue that driver for damages. With help from an experienced drunk driving accident attorney in Carmel, you can demand that a liable party help you pay for the full extent of your recovery.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Can Help You Overcome Financial Losses
Victims of drunk driving accidents like you specifically have the right to request economic and non-economic damages based on the severity of their losses. You can include the total value of your accident in a personal injury claim, which you can then submit to a Carmel civil court for judicial consideration.
To estimate the total value of your drunk driving accident case, bring forward the bills generated by your recovery. These qualify as economic losses, as they generate a quantifiable expense that you have to deal with. Examples of economic losses relevant to your case can include:
- Medical bills
- Upcoming treatments
- Property repair and restoration
- Wages lost while taking time off from work
Your drunk driving accident’s non-economic losses are a different beast. These losses don’t generate a paper trail. Instead, our team has to turn to modifiers approved by the state to determine these losses’ economic value. The non-economic damages you can most often request in the wake of a drunk driving accident include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If your drunk driving accident proves fatal for one or more of your passengers, you may also be entitled to wrongful death damages. These damages can cover the expense of a loved one’s funeral as well as the loss of companionship, consortium, and income. You can discuss the process of filing a drunk driving wrongful death claim with Vaughan & Vaughan attorneys.
Drunk Driving as a Criminal and Civil Offense
You have the right to request damages for your losses in a civil drunk driving case. However, drunk driving constitutes a violation of Indiana’s traffic laws. In other words, it’s an offense that can appear in criminal court. While you cannot initiate a criminal case against a drunk driver, the state and its prosecutors can.
What’s more, the possibility of a criminal drunk driving case is relevant to your civil lawsuit. You have an obligation, after all, to prove that a drunk driver’s negligence contributed to your losses. Doing so gives you the right to demand damages. One of the easiest ways to prove a driver’s fault is to present evidence of that driver’s criminal conviction.
In other words, if the driver who hit you gets convicted of drunk driving in criminal court, you need to let a civil judge know. A criminal conviction constitutes proof of negligence in a civil court. If you submit a conviction alongside other evidence of driver recklessness from the scene of your accident, you can more easily secure the post-accident funds you deserve.
What to Expect When You Take Your Drunk Driving Case to Court
Once you’ve compiled all of the information relevant to your drunk driving accident, it’s time to submit your claim to a civil court. You must bring your claim forward by the second anniversary of your accident, as stated in Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4. This deadline represents Indiana’s personal injury statute of limitations.
You cannot file a drunk driving accident claim after this statute of limitations expires. Unfortunately, the combination of this deadline and the alleged threat of legal fees can keep many deserving survivors from the financial support they need.
That, however, is where Vaughan & Vaughan comes in. We have the experience to file your claim well before the statute of limitations expires. Moreover, our law firm operates on contingency. We only get paid if we win your case.
You can learn more about our contingency fee agreements and our filing schedule during an initial consultation with our Carmel, IN, drunk driving accident lawyers.
Let a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Investigate Your Case
Drunk drivers knowingly put you and those you love in danger when they get behind the wheel. If you get into an accident with a drunk driver, you have the right to hold that person accountable for the cost of your recovery. Carmel drunk driving accident lawyers can help you bring forward evidence of a drunk driver’s negligence to better argue for your right to support.
Vaughan & Vaughan has offered its legal services to Carmel residents for decades. If you’re ready to take legal action against a drunk driver, you can count on our team to help you build your case. Let’s set a date to discuss your right to compensation. Contact us online or by calling our office to schedule your no-obligation case consultation.