When a drunk driver causes a crash, the process for injury victims to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages may be somewhat more complicated than that for a typical car accident case. That’s because driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is illegal, and the at-fault party is likely to face criminal charges in addition to civil action.
If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a drunk driver in West Virginia, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider may contact you and offer you a settlement to resolve your claim for damages. Basically, the insurer hopes to settle as quickly as possible, perhaps before you truly understand what your claim is worth. Knowing this, you should never accept any settlement from an insurance company before consulting a personal injury attorney.
Determining liability and seeking damages
There are two types of damages you may seek after a drunk driving accident. Special damages cover out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred, such as medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, and any other financial losses. General damages provide compensation for mental, emotional and physical pain and suffering you have endured.
In addition to holding the driver responsible for your harm, it is possible to hold other negligent parties accountable if they played a role in the car accident. For example, if a bar or restaurant continued to serve the driver after he or she was clearly intoxicated, that establishment could be partially liable for the accident that followed. The same is true for parents who knowingly allowed minors to consume alcohol at their home, and then one of those minors got into a vehicle and caused an accident.
For further guidance on your options for seeking compensation after a drunk driving accident in West Virginia, meet with a dedicated personal injury attorney at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC.