Car Accident Lawyer
After an accident with a drunk driver, it’s normal to ask whether the claims process would be different if you were in an accident with a sober driver. Some of the basic steps are the same, no matter the reason for the accident. It can be a more complicated process, though.
When to File the Claim
In most cases, it is advisable to file the claim right away. In a drunk driving case, however, it is more common to wait to see if criminal charges are pending. If the other driver has criminal DUI charges pending, you can wait until after the conviction. The reason you want to wait until after the conviction is that their conviction is going to be proof of your case and it will be easier for you to win your settlement.
How to Handle Insurance Companies
Often, insurance companies will pay up to the policy amount if their policyholder drove while drunk. Once the claim is over, the company will typically cancel the policy or raise the premiums. While damages to the drunk driver’s vehicle do not usually get paid by their insurance if they were driving while intoxicated, their liability policy may pay for you, your car’s damages, and medical bills.
While an insurance company will rarely reject you if their driver was intoxicated, you still do not want to accept the first offer. The insurance company wants to settle as quickly as possible and will often offer you less than the policy amount. Do not accept any settlement right away. If you’re unsure about whether you should accept an offer, then you need to discuss the terms with your lawyer. He or she can gauge whether it is a fair settlement or if you need to continue negotiations.
Why Hire an Attorney
Whenever you choose to file a drunk driving claim, you may want to hire an attorney. Drunk driving cases can be complicated when you deserve more compensation than the insurance policy provides. You may even want to use specialty laws for a DUI. For instance, in some cases, you can file a claim against a bar who served the drunk driver.
If you were hit by a drunk driver, you have every right to file a claim against the other driver. It is important to remember that most car accident claims can become complicated and you may need assistance receiving the settlement that you deserve. Consult with a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, for questions about your claim.