Your Rights After a Drunk Driving Accident: How Lonati Law Firm Can Help
Hit by a Drunk Driver? Discover What You May Be Entitled To
Drunk driving accidents are tragically common, with the state of Georgia witnessing its share of these catastrophic events. These crashes not only cause severe injuries but also bring profound emotional and financial distress.
If you're reeling from the aftermath of such an accident, you likely have pressing questions about compensation and your rights. At Lonati Law Firm, we're committed to guiding you through these turbulent times with expert legal assistance.
To contact Lonati Law Firm for a free consultation, call us at 678-363-3500 or fill out the form on our website.
Can I Receive Compensation?
Yes, victims of drunk driving in Georgia can potentially receive financial compensation. This compensation typically covers:
- Medical costs and ambulance fees.
- Lost earnings due to inability to work.
- Physical and emotional trauma.
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle.
Every case is unique, and while a settlement isn't guaranteed, the expertise of a skilled attorney can significantly influence the outcome. Let us at Lonati Law Firm evaluate your case and steer it toward the most favorable resolution.
Establishing Fault in Georgia
Georgia, being an at-fault state, requires a determination of liability in car accidents. The person responsible must cover damages stemming from their actions. Establishing fault involves reviewing police reports, witness statements, and scene investigations.
Drunk driving isn't just irresponsible—it's a significant risk to all road users. But who's to blame?
Driving under the influence is negligent. The onus lies primarily with the driver.
Establishments serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons can also be held responsible.
Both the establishment and the driver could be at fault, and you could potentially file a claim against both.
The Value of Suing a Drunk Driver
Facing physical pain, emotional upheaval, and even the tragic loss of life, those impacted by a drunk driving incident often find justice and financial relief through legal action. Pursuing a lawsuit can mitigate financial burdens and provide a semblance of peace in challenging times. Our role at Lonati Law Firm is to shoulder your legal struggles, allowing you to focus on recovery and healing.
Navigating Insurance and Coverage Options
Dealing with the Drunk Driver's Insurance
When a drunk driver hits you, figuring out how to pay for things like doctor bills, lost income, and fixing your car can be stressful. Here's a simple guide to understand what might happen if the other driver has insurance and what your options are if they don't.
Usually, if the driver who hit you was drunk and they have insurance, their insurance should help pay for your costs. This means they might cover things like:
- Medical Bills: If you're hurt and need to see a doctor or stay in the hospital.
- Lost Wages: Money you couldn't earn because you were too hurt to work.
- Car Repair or Replacement: Fixing your car if it's damaged or helping you get a new one if it's too broken to fix.
But What If Their Insurance Isn't Enough or They Don't Have Any?
Sometimes, the drunk driver's insurance might not cover all your costs, or they might not have any insurance at all. In these cases, you may have other options:
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This is part of your own car insurance. If the person who hit you doesn't have enough insurance (or none at all), this coverage can help pay for things like medical bills or car repairs.
MedPay Injury Coverage
Think of MedPay as a special kind of health insurance that's just for when you're in a car accident. It can help pay for your medical treatment after the crash.
This part of your insurance helps fix or replace your car if it's damaged in an accident. It doesn't matter who caused the crash; this coverage is there to help you.
Don't forget about your regular health insurance. It can also help cover the cost of treating your injuries from the car accident.
Every insurance policy is different, so it's important to check what your policy covers. And if you're not sure what to do or what you have, it might be a good idea to talk to a DUI accident lawyer in Georgia. They can help you understand your options and make sure you get the help you need.
Types of Damages in a Drunk Driving Case
When someone is hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, the law lets them ask for money to cover their losses and suffering. This money is called "damages," and there are two main kinds: Actual Damages and Punitive Damages.
Actual damages are money given to the person hurt in the crash to help them return to how things were before the accident. Think of it like trying to fix what the accident broke. Here's what actual damages can cover:
This includes all the costs for medical care needed because of the accident. It covers hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, and any medicines needed.
If the person hurt in the accident can't work because of their injuries, they lose money they would have earned. Actual damages can help make up for this lost money.
This is money to repair or replace any personal belongings harmed in the crash, like a damaged car.
Accidents are scary and can leave someone feeling really upset, scared, or even depressed. Money for emotional distress is meant to acknowledge this invisible, yet very real, harm.
Impacts on Family Relationships
Sometimes, the injuries from an accident can change a person's relationship with their family. For example, they might not be able to take part in family activities like they used to. Actual damages can help address this kind of harm, too.
Punitive damages are a bit different. While actual damages are about fixing what was hurt, punitive damages are about teaching a lesson. These are extra money that the drunk driver must pay, over and above the actual damages. Here's why they are important:
Punitive damages are meant to punish the drunk driver for their really bad decision to drive while drunk. It's a way of saying that what they did was wrong and unacceptable.
Warning to Others
By making the drunk driver pay more, it warns others not to make the same mistake. It's like putting up a big sign that says, "Don't drive drunk, or this could happen to you."
Figuring out how much money you might get from a settlement in Georgia can be tricky. There's no simple average amount since each case is different. But, the money you receive usually helps cover several key things. This includes:
If you've been hurt, you'll likely have medical expenses. These can be from hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, and any other treatment you need because of the incident. The settlement aims to pay back these costs so you're not left with huge medical bills.
If your injury forced you to miss work, you might have lost out on your regular income. This part of the settlement is designed to make up for the money you would have earned if you hadn't been injured. It helps ensure that despite missing work, you can still manage your daily expenses and maintain your lifestyle.
Pain and Suffering
This is a bit harder to put a number on. It's about the physical pain and emotional distress you faced because of the injury. While it's tough to measure these things in dollars, the settlement tries to offer some compensation for the discomfort, anxiety, or any other suffering you experienced.
A couple of factors can change how much money you might get. One is called contributory negligence. This means if you were partly at fault for what happened, it could reduce the settlement amount. Another important factor is how strong your case is. The stronger your case — meaning the clearer it is that someone else was responsible for your injury and the more evidence you have — the better the chances of getting a fair settlement. It's always a good idea to talk with a lawyer who can guide you through this process and help fight for your rights.
Assessing Pain and Suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering in Georgia depends on factors like injury severity and life impact. We use established methods like the Multiplier and Per Diem methods to ascertain a fair value for these intangible losses.
The Impact of Fatalities
A death in a drunk driving case profoundly affects the claim, potentially leading to a wrongful death lawsuit. Such cases require compassionate yet aggressive legal representation, which Lonati Law Firm is prepared to provide.
Get in Touch With a DUI Accident Lawyer Today
The path to justice after a drunk driving accident can be complex and daunting. Lonati Law Firm, with its dedicated team of attorneys, stands ready to navigate this journey with you. We're committed to securing the compensation and closure you deserve.
Contact us today at 678-363-3500 for a free consultation and take the first step toward recovery and justice.