After being injured in a car accident that involved a drunk driver, you could be facing serious injuries and property damage. You may be able to seek compensation through the personal injury claims process. These funds could help you pay medical bills and provide for the financial and non-financial losses you have experienced due to the reckless actions of a drunk driver.
You do not have to pay the price of an accident caused by the dangerous actions of another. A Plano DWI lawyer at Loncar Lyon Jenkins may be able to help with the personal injury claims process. You can call now for a free case consultation with a team member.
Proving a Car Accident Claim in Plano
When you have been hurt in a car accident, you may be interested in pursuing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Proving a personal injury claim requires gathering as much evidence as possible to prove fault, prove the severity of your injuries, and prove the hardships your accident has caused in your life.
A Plano DWI lawyer with Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you prove your case. We start by investigating the accident to find out what caused it and who is liable. In the case of a DWI accident, the drunk driver is most likely liable.
There could be other liable parties, however, such as a government agency, vehicle manufacturer, or construction company. Liability will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Gathering evidence may be challenging for someone who has just been injured in an accident, but when you work with a lawyer, you can have someone to manage the entire process of your case.
Investigating the Accident
The first step is to investigate the accident or have someone else do this for you. You should be able to show what happened in the accident and have evidence to prove it. For instance, if you suspect a drunk driver caused your accident, you will want to have evidence that the driver was intoxicated.
A police report, witness statements, blood alcohol concentration test, or other evidence can help you prove the driver was drunk. You will also need to gather evidence of your injuries, such as medical records, and evidence of your other losses.
Calculating Your Claim’s Worth
When people talk about the value of an injury claim, they are talking about all the losses you suffered due to your accident. You can suffer financial losses like damage to your vehicle, lost income, and the cost of medical treatment. You can also have non-financial losses, such as mental trauma caused by the accident, scarring, mobility loss, and physical pain.
You will need to know how to add up all of these losses to come up with a monetary figure that you can then request an insurance company pay you for your losses. If your case goes to court, the jury or judge can also consider all the forms of losses you experienced.
Completing Claims Paperwork
Many legal endeavors involve paperwork, and a personal injury claim after a car accident is no exception. A lawyer at our firm can help you with this step, ensuring that all the details of your case are on track and that you meet any important deadlines that apply to your circumstances.
Handling Insurance Negotiations
When you are hurt in a DWI accident, the driver’s insurance company is the one that will most likely be paying you compensation for your accident. This is one reason that drivers carry insurance and why it is required in Texas; innocent victims need the financial resources insurance coverage provides in the event of an accident.
However, an insurance provider may not initially agree to a just settlement for your case. A lawyer can help you with any negotiation involved, handling all the communication with the insurance company so that you don’t have to do so.
Representing You at Trial
DWI car accident cases rarely need to go to trial, but it is a possibility. If the insurance company refuses to pay you fairly for your accident damages, or if you and your lawyer believe a better settlement is possible through a trial, your case can be taken through the litigation process. Your lawyer would prepare you for court should that method be necessary to seek fair compensation for an accident caused by a drunk driver.
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The Difference Between Criminal Charges and Injury Lawsuits
A drunk driving accident has the potential to result in a criminal arrest and conviction. These accidents can also serve as the basis for personal injury lawsuits filed by any individuals harmed in a collision or their surviving family members. It is not unusual for these accidents to result in both types of legal proceeding. For that reason, it is helpful to understand the difference between the two.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, any criminal charges are out of your hands. Only the state has the power to prosecute criminal offenses, and prosecutors do so independently of the victims of the crime. If the driver that struck you is convicted of DWI, they could face jail time, fines, license suspension, and other criminal penalties.
A personal injury lawsuit stemming from a drunk driving accident is a different type of legal proceeding entirely. It is filed as a civil suit instead of a charge within the criminal justice system, and a verdict in your favor means you will receive compensation from the liable party to cover your damages. Unlike a criminal prosecution, you have control over how the civil case proceeds and who you want to represent you.
Possible Compensation for a DWI Accident
A Plano DWI car accident could have left you with considerable losses. For example, you could have sustained a broken bone, which could take months to heal. Some broken bones do not heal properly or can lead to other health complications.
You could be compensated for many of your losses through the injury claims process. Some losses that car accident victims can be compensated for include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost ability to earn a living
- Permanent disability
- Medical bills
- Mental distress
- Cost of mental health treatment
- Cost of physical therapy
- Damage to your vehicle
- Lost enjoyment of life
These types of damages generally fall into one of two categories: economic and non-economic losses. Every case is different, so the types of damages available to you will vary depending on the details of your accident.
Economic Damages for DWI
Economic damages refer to measurable losses that occur due to an accident. This compensation is intended to help you pay any outstanding and future bills and reimburse you for related costs, ideally returning you to the same financial position you were in prior to the crash.
For example, economic damages could cover your medical expenses or pay for repairs to your vehicle. It is possible to prove the value of these damages using documentary evidence. For instance, you could use medical records and hospital bills to establish the exact value of your medical expenses.
Non-Economic Damages for DWI
Non-economic damages relate to the intangible harm you suffered in the accident. Instead of recouping your financial losses, these damages compensate you for the hard-to-measure harm you sustained. The most common example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. While it is impossible to measure these damages objectively, your attorney could show a jury what your claim is worth based on various factors.
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How the Texas Statute of Limitations Impacts Your Case
Keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003, you have up to two years to do so in most situations. This statute of limitations is a firm legal deadline, and the two-year period begins on the date your accident occurred.
Filing a lawsuit after the deadline expires could result in dismissal with prejudice. When your case is dismissed with prejudice, you not only lose your ability to pursue compensation in that case, but you are also barred from ever filing that claim again. A lawyer can help you understand this and any other laws that may affect your case.
Call in the Strong Arm Today
A Plano DWI lawyer at our firm can assist you with the personal injury claims process for a DWI car accident. At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we believe in doing everything we can to help injury victims with their cases. We understand personal injury law and know how to help car accident victims.
Your case is important, and you deserve legal counsel that will aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. A Plano DWI accident lawyer from our firm is ready to advise you on your legal options. Call today to reach our law firm and discuss your case with a team member during a free case assessment.