Royal Palm Beach Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

There is always a lot to do in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. Although your priority should be your health, it’s easy to get caught up in other obligations following a crash.

For example, you might have to:

  • Bring your vehicle to the mechanic and arrange for alternative transportation;

  • Follow up with police regarding any pending criminal proceedings;

  • Track down eyewitnesses so you can obtain their statements for the insurance claim;

  • Check in with your employer;

  • Arrange for a coworker to cover for you if you are unable to perform your job duties; and

  • Start compiling photographs, dash cam recordings, and surveillance footage.

Regardless of how important all these tasks seem, though, nothing should stop you from seeking medical care. Even if you feel relatively fine, some impact injuries can have latent symptoms but still cause serious complications if left untreated.

Only after you have received adequate medical attention should you consider tackling any of the above; however, you do not have to do so alone. In fact, it’s best to leave many of the essential tasks following a collision up to a seasoned professional. If your first call after a drunk driving wreck is to your primary care provider, your second should be to a personal injury attorney.

The Royal Palm Beach drunk driving accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston will protect your best interests during every stage of the claims process. We have assisted hundreds of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 561-299-3999 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.

Why Should I Hire a Royal Palm Beach Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Right Away?

There are several reasons why victims of drunk driving accidents should seek legal counsel as soon as possible:

  1. The damages will likely add up fast. The sooner you call a lawyer and begin building your claim, the sooner you may recover a settlement.

  2. Some of the evidence may be time sensitive or prone to being altered or destroyed. By taking action immediately, you can gather all critical evidence while it is still available.

  3. An attorney will help you avoid making mistakes from the start. For example, the liable party’s insurance adjuster will likely contact you relatively soon after the incident and ask for a recorded statement. If you provide one before knowing the full extent of your injuries, it could prevent you from securing compensation for all the damages you ultimately incur.

  4. There is a limited amount of time in which to file a formal lawsuit. In the state of Florida, accident victims typically have four years to sue an impaired motorist. This may seem like a lot of time, but the claims process can use up virtually all of it if there are disputes along the way.

How Much is My Drunk Driving Accident Claim Worth?

No amount of money can undo the pain and trauma suffered by DUI accident victims. It can be especially difficult to cope with the physical, emotional, and financial hardship when you know the crash only happened because someone else was blatantly reckless.

Although filing a personal injury claim won’t turn back time, it may yield the compensation needed to cover your healthcare bills, lost income, and property damage. In the state of Florida, serious injury victims can also seek compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. And since drunk driving usually constitutes gross negligence, your Royal Palm Beach DUI accident lawyer may also advise you to seek punitive damages.

Your lawyer will need to perform a thorough investigation before calculating your damages and entering settlement negotiations. Below are just a few factors that may influence the potential value of your claim:

  • The Severity of Your Injuries: Florida is a no-fault insurance state. That means you may only be able to file a claim against your own Personal Injury Protection policy unless you meet the “serious injury” threshold, meaning that you suffered permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of a bodily function. If your injury meets this threshold, it could have a major impact on the potential value of your claim. While PIP may cover medical bills and lost income, it won’t pay for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. But if you’re able to file a claim against the at-fault driver, you can pursue non-economic damages as well as punitive damages. And of course, the severity of your injuries will influence the total cost of your medical bills and lost income, which will add to the potential value of your claim.

  • Your Pre-Injury Income: If your injuries prevented you from returning to work, you can pursue compensation for lost income. Your pre-injury income will affect this calculation.

  • Whether You are able to Return to Work: It’s not uncommon for DUI accident victims to be unable to return to work at all. Fortunately, you can seek compensation for loss of earning capacity and lost benefits. A drunk driving accident attorney from Donaldson & Weston can help you determine a fair amount to pursue for lost earning capacity. If necessary, we can bring in financial experts to review data regarding the expected income of someone in your career trajectory and to provide testimony.

  • The Extent of Your Property Damage: All drivers in Florida are required to carry property damage liability insurance. That means even if your injury doesn’t meet the serious injury threshold, you may still be able to recover compensation for vehicle repairs or replacement by filing a claim against the liable driver’s PDL policy.

No matter how confident you are in the strength of your claim, you might still face legal hurdles when it comes time to negotiate for a settlement. You should expect the insurer to use all the resources at its disposal to reduce the value of your claim. The DUI accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can level the playing field and aggressively fight for the full compensation you deserve.