Drunk driving is responsible for a staggering number of accidents resulting in serious injuries and deaths. If you suffered damages in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation. An accident can leave you with significant financial expenses, and collecting money from the liable party can be critical for covering those costs.
At the law offices of Vaughan and Vaughan, our Indianapolis car accident lawyers know how difficult it can be to pick yourself up after an accident. Our team of drunk driving accident attorneys in Indianapolis has succeeded in recovering significant compensation for our clients. Contact us today to get started on the path to financial recovery with a free consultation from a member of our team.
Be Sure to File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit on Time
When pursuing compensation after a drunk driving accident, you need to make sure that you file your lawsuit on time. In Indiana, the personal injury statute of limitations allows accident victims to submit the paperwork for their lawsuit within two years of the date the accident occurs. Missing this deadline could mean the loss of your right to claim compensation.
While the statute of limitations may seem unyielding, in certain circumstances, the deadline can be altered. The specific details of your case will determine whether or not you are eligible to file a lawsuit once the typical two-year cutoff has passed.
Of course, the standard timeframe for filing a claim can retract just as easily as it can expand. You could find that rather than having two years to take legal action, you are limited to a matter of months. Hiring an experienced drunk driving accident attorney shortly after your wreck is the best way to avoid losing your chance to recover damages because of an unforeseen deadline.
Actions an Indianapolis Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Will Take on Your Case
When you hire an Indianapolis drunk driving accident attorney, they will take a variety of actions to help you recover the compensation you need from the liable party. The first step will be for your attorney to investigate your accident so they can collect evidence to support your claim and establish liability.
Your lawyer will then take a look at the losses you sustained, determine all the damages you can pursue, and evaluate the full worth of your claim. It will then be time for your attorney to draw up all the necessary paperwork and either file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s provider or submit a lawsuit against them with the court.
When filing a lawsuit, your attorney will complete all the required steps to get you the money you need, including representing you in court if your case gets that far. However, it is likely that your case will wrap up well before a trial, as your attorney will be in ongoing negotiations with the opposition attempting to reach a satisfactory settlement agreement.
Should I Settle My Case or Go to Trial?
The decision of whether to settle your case or go to trial is an important one. While there are some potential advantages to taking your case to court, in most situations, a settlement is going to be in your best interest. The main reason to go to trial is that there is the potential for a bigger payday. However, this possibility is rarely worth taking the chance of ending up with nothing.
A settlement allows you to recover compensation quickly. It also means that you won’t be subject to the unpredictable nature of a jury trial. For the defense, a settlement provides additional benefits such as paying less money in legal fees and not having to worry about negative press coverage around a trial.
However, in some instances going to trial is your only option. If you and the at-fault party can not come to terms on a settlement deal, you will have to settle things in the courtroom.
Damages You Can Claim After an Accident With a Drunk Driver
If a drunk driver caused you harm in an accident, there are various damages you will likely be eligible to pursue. Identifying the exact damages that apply to your case can be challenging. However, it is necessary in order to recover the full value of your claim. Fortunately, an experienced attorney will be able to help you determine the exact damages that apply.
Economic damages are the losses you suffer that directly cost you money. Because these damages are meant to replace the money you spent, and the income you failed to earn, calculating their value tends to be straightforward. Among the economic damages you may be able to claim after a drunk driving accident are:
- Lost income
- Decreased earning ability
- Property damage
- Money spent on daily tasks that your injuries prevent you from completing
- Medical expense
- Future medical bills
Any losses not covered under economic damages are categorized as non-economic damages. These losses tend to be much more personal in nature, and as a result, are far more difficult to quantify. Among the non-economic damages you may be able to claim after a drunk driving accident are:
- Permanent disability
- Emotional distress
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Unlike the compensatory damages reviewed above, punitive damages are not awarded to replace losses suffered by the accident victim. Instead, a judge will award punitive damages in order to punish the liable party for causing the accident.
Punitive damages are uncommon in most car accident cases but are frequently awarded in accidents caused by drunk drivers. That’s because these damages are reserved for situations where the liable party was grossly negligent or took action to intentionally cause harm.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered damages because of a drunk driver, recovering compensation can be an essential part of rebuilding your life. To give yourself the best chance of getting the money you need, you must hire an experienced attorney. At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have been achieving favorable case results for our clients for over 100 years.
Reach out to us today by giving us a call or completing our online contact form to schedule your free case consultation.