When a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, it is their responsibility to be a safe and courteous driver who follows the laws of the road. When they are tired, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol which impacts their ability to drive, they put themselves and others at risk. It is negligent, and can even be criminal.
We’ve all made mistakes with driving – not seeing a vehicle in our blind spot, or stopping short, or not soon enough, because we misjudged distance. These are true accidents. But when someone chooses to drive impaired, and that action results in damage to property, and physical harm, the injured party has the right to be compensated for their loss.
Your Rights as an Injured Person
Many people who have experienced damages caused by an impaired driver assume that insurance will handle it, and in some cases, this is true. However, for others, the settlement the insurance company offers isn’t enough to cover the expenses, either now or in the future. When this happens, they will typically call a personal injury attorney to learn more about what they can ask the insurance company to pay for. Typically, injured parties are entitled to:
Property Damage. If you have damaged property, such as to the vehicle you were driving and significant items inside, or your landscaping or home (yes, impaired drivers have been known to damage homes), you can get compensation to repair or replace that property.
Medical Bills. Medical bills will begin to build up quickly, and can continue for a significant amount of time. The insurance company will offer a settlement that limits the amount of money they will pay out over the lifetime of the injury. Significant injuries can be life-changing, and future medical bills must be part of the equation.
Loss of Life/Loss of Quality of Life. When the accident results in death or dismemberment, the quality of life for the person and/or their family is severely impacted. This impact has several factors that need to be reviewed in order for compensation to be considered. While no amount of money will be a replacement for a life or lifetime disability, it will help the family transition into a “new normal”.
Lost Wages. Especially in a significant injury, it is likely there is a hospital stay, rehabilitation and follow up appointments, resulting in lost wages. Future lost wages can also be compensated when there is a permanent disability as a result of the accident.
Pain and Suffering. While more objective than tangible doctor bills, some cases allow an awarding of compensation for pain and suffering for both the injured party and their family members who become care takers or have suffered a loss from the accident as well.
Because there are several factors that go into what can be compensated, and at what levels, working with a personal injury attorney is critical to obtaining a result that is truly supportive of your needs, not just what the insurance company wants to offer to protect themselves.
With over 20 years of experience, Simon Law would like to earn your trust as a local personal injury lawyer here to support you in getting the money you need to take care of yourself (and/or loved ones) after an accident. Contact us to discuss your case at 480-745-2450. Get your free consultation, and remember, Experience Matters!