Many drunk driving accident victims in Middletown, OH, struggle to cope with the realities of their new lives. This is because these kinds of accidents often cause serious physical, mental, and emotional injuries. Then there’s also the financial aspect – one such accident could drain your savings. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you must understand your rights.
At Kruger & Hodges, our car accident attorneys can help fight for your rights. Here’s how:
Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim Process in Middletown, OH
Middletown and the rest of Ohio follow the ‘at-fault’ legal principle. This means that when you get injured by a drunk driver, you’ll need to prove that the driver was at-fault for the accident. Although this might seem pretty straightforward, proving liability is not always easy. That is where the importance of working with an experienced car accident attorney comes in.
When you hire a seasoned attorney, they will first review your case to determine if you have any legal grounds to file a claim against the other party. Most of the time, these kinds of cases are complex. For example, what if the accident victim also contributed to the accident by breaking traffic laws?
Think of a situation where the accident victim was texting while driving prior to the accident. The defense could bring up this point during the negotiations, given that Ohio follows the comparative negligence rule. This rule dictates how each party contributed to an injury. When one party is more than 50 percent responsible for the injury, they are not entitled to compensation.
Even though it may be extremely difficult to overturn a drunk driving accident case in the defendant’s favor, the comparative negligence rule could determine the amount of compensation the plaintiff may be entitled to.
To put things into perspective, the plaintiff is usually entitled to almost 100 percent compensation for all damages caused by the drunk driver. But if the plaintiff was partly at fault for the accident, they may only recover a certain percentage of damages.
An experienced car accident attorney serving Middletown, Ohio, can help identify the party at fault for the accident. In some cases, more than one party may be responsible for the drunk driving accident. For instance, the bar that served the drunk driver more alcohol despite being too drunk could be held responsible for negligence.
The attorney will also conduct further investigations and collect crucial evidence to build a strong case for the client. After investigating the incident, the lawyer will access the damages caused by the drunk driver and calculate their worth. This includes medical expenses, damaged property, pain and suffering, etc.
Then, they will file a claim with the drunk driver’s insurance provider. The insurer will either accept to settle, propose to negotiate or reject the claim. If the insurer refuses to negotiate a reasonable settlement, the attorney files a lawsuit on behalf of the client. In that case, a judge will preside over the case and make a ruling.
What Are Common Injuries Caused By Drunk Driving Accidents?
Drunk driving accidents often cause serious injuries to accident victims. Some of the most common injuries include:
Damaged body organs
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
What Should I Do If My Loved Ones Are Drunk Driving Accident Victims in Middletown, OH?
No one goes for a walk or drive in Middletown, hoping to get hit by a drunk driver. But accidents do happen all the time. For this reason, knowing what to do in such a situation is important.
Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
Ensure that you and everyone else involved are safe after the accident.
Call 911 or request someone else to do it if you’re unable to.
Do not attempt to move if you’re seriously injured.
Request medical assistance if you’ve suffered serious injuries.
Request a police officer at the accident scene.
Take pictures of the accident scene, including damages, important road signs, or any other significant information about the accident.
Obtain the name and contact information of the drunk driver and any witnesses at the accident scene.
Get checked by a professional doctor even if you feel fine after the accident.
It’s important that you see a doctor no later than 14 days after the accident.
Do not accept any offers or sign any documents from the other driver’s insurer.
Do not discuss the accident with anyone else other than your attorney.
If you suffered significant injuries or lost a loved one, contact a car accident attorney with a proven history of fighting for the rights of drunk driving accident victims in Middletown, OH.
How to Choose the Best Car Accident Lawyer
Now that you know the importance of working with an attorney, it is equally important to understand how to choose the best. Here are some questions to ask:
Do they have any reviews you may want to check out?
What do they think of your case?
Do they sound knowledgeable?
Will they handle your case directly or hire a separate attorney or law firm to handle it?
How soon can they begin working on your case?
How do they charge for such cases (the payment structure, e.g., contingency fees, hourly rates, and so on)
How Kruger & Hodges Can Help
Understandably, it may be difficult to do everything right after a car accident. Most drunk driving accident victims are often confused because their bodies are still in shock after an accident. Sadly, some insurance companies take advantage of the victim’s vulnerability, and that’s why we’re here to help.
At Kruger & Hodges, our team of attorneys has a solid history of fighting for the rights of drunk driving accident victims in Middletown, OH, and the surrounding cities. We know the different tactics insurance companies use to avoid liability, and that’s because our attorneys have first-hand experience working for both sides for more than a decade.