Written on Oct 30, 2017 3:46:23 PM
How to Pursue an Auto Accident Claim Against an Uninsured Drunk Driver
Drunk driving is a major problem on the roadways in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people in the United States are killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes every day. In Florida alone, there were 5,522 crashes caused by drunk drivers in 2015. Florida also has one of the highest uninsured motorist rates in the country.
Sustaining injuries or suffering the death of a loved one due to a car accident can have grave physical, emotional and financial consequences. While your Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your own auto insurance policy may cover some of your expenses, severe injuries can involve years of costly medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing an auto accident claim against an uninsured drunk driver may seem daunting, but an experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the process and help to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
What To Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Drunk Driver
After any auto accident, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. It also is vital take certain steps to protect your rights and make sure you are properly compensated for your losses and damages.
Call The Police
Always contact the police immediately following an accident. It is imperative to make sure that you receive proper medical treatment for your injuries and to document the incident so you can provide important information for insurance purposes when you file an auto accident claim. If you suspect that the other driver may be under the influence of alcohol or another substance, be sure to inform authorities as soon as they arrive at the scene.
Barring any severe traffic impediments or safety issues, leave the accident scene as-is so the police can properly assess the situation and fill out a written report. A police report is an integral element of a car accident claim and provides your attorney with much of the essential information he or she will need to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Take Notes and Get Contact Information
Even if you feel shaken and overwhelmed, it is best to document the incident while it is fresh in your mind. If you are able, write down everything you can about the accident. Take special care to note the behavior of the other driver if you believe he or she is under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Take photographs of all sides of your vehicle, the road, the other person’s car and license plate. Be sure to also record the road and weather conditions as well.
Collect as much information as possible about all of the parties involved in the accident, including names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information. It also is important to get contact information for anyone who was a witness to the accident. All of this vital evidence can assist your attorney in pursing a successful auto accident claim.
Verify Insurance Coverage
Getting proper insurance information for all drivers involved in a car accident is a must. Auto insurance companies must provide a certified copy of insurance if it is requested, and definitive evidence that no policy exists or is attached to the vehicle or the other driver is vital to your auto accident claim. If you receive false insurance information or are unable to obtain accurate information at the scene, an experienced DUI accident attorney will work to trace the driver to an insurance company or verify that no policy exists. Learn more about what you should do if you've been hit by an uninsured driver.
Contact a DUI Accident Attorney
Contact an attorney who is well-versed in dealing with auto accident claims. He or she will help guide you through the process of filing a claim, will gather evidence (such as the police report, eyewitness statements and medical reports), and determine the best course of action on how to proceed with your claim. In addition to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and property damage, a drunk driver also may have to pay punitive damages if he or she is found to have been negligent while operating a vehicle.
For additional information, check out our list of 5 important things you should do after an auto accident.
The weeks and months following any accident can be highly traumatic and stressful. At Lowman Law Firm, our compassionate and seasoned legal team has handled thousands of auto accident claims in Florida and will be there to guide you every step of the way. We are committed to fighting for your rights to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Lowman Law Firm at 352-796-0016 or toll-free at 866-9-LOWMAN to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.