If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, the at-fault party’s insurance will pay for your injuries and related damages. According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), damages may include medical costs, lost pay, pain and suffering, and property damage, among others. The insurance company may pay up to 100 percent of your losses.
How much the insurance company is liable for depends on the details of the accident, the parties involved, and the extent of your damages. You may want to consult a car accident attorney in Dallas, Texas. They can assess your case and negotiate fair compensation with the insurance company on your behalf.
What Will Car Insurance Cover in a DUI Accident?
As with any other car accident case, an insurance company will compensate you for damages if you are the victim. How much the insurance company pays depends on the facts of the case. Your attorney will explore all possible damages you could recover, including:
- Past and upcoming medical expenses
- Income losses
- Future loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage costs
- Mental distress
A court may consider awarding you punitive damages in the drunk driving case due to the at-fault party’s reckless behavior. Punitive damages are designed to punish the driver. Since the court decides these types of damages, they are not a part of your original personal injury claim.
If your loved one didn’t survive their crash-related injuries, you may also be entitled to claim wrongful death damages. This compensation may include funeral and burial expenses, loss of household income, and pre-death medical expenses.
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Is Drinking and Driving Considered Intentional Conduct?
The purpose of auto insurance is to cover damages after a car accident. Insurers do not traditionally provide coverage for intentional conduct, though.
Some insurance companies argue that driving under the influence is an example of harmful intentional conduct. Although it was not the at-fault driver’s intent to harm someone, they willfully engaged in behavior that resulted in injury. Therefore, the insurer may not accept liability for the car accident.
Whether the insurance company accepts liability has a lot to do with the policy’s coverage and the wording in the policy. Some policies explicitly deny coverage for DUI-related car accidents, while other policies may be unclear on the issue.
For this reason, you may want to hire a car accident attorney in Dallas, TX, to represent you when you file a personal injury claim.
Negotiating a Settlement With the Insurance Company
If an insurance company does not want to pay the claim due to intentional conduct, your attorney may have to explore a different route. What options do you have when processing a claim?
The Insurance Company Pays the Claim As-Is
The simplest option is for the insurance company to accept your claim and pay it as-is. Your attorney calculates your economic and non-economic damages and submits the claim. You receive a check for the requested amount so that you can move forward.
The Insurance Company Negotiates a Settlement
The insurance company may accept your claim, but with certain conditions. The insurance adjuster may accept part of your damages but not other damages. When this occurs, your attorney contacts the insurer to negotiate a settlement.
The Insurance Company Rejects Your Claim
There are a few reasons why the insurance company rejects your claim, such as:
- It may not cover a DUI-related accident
- The insurance company needs more information
- The insurance company may have conducted its own investigation and came to a different conclusion than your attorney
If the insurance company denies your personal injury claim or offers a low settlement, you might consider suing the insurance company. If so, your attorney can prepare your case and represent you in court.
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Consult Your Attorney Before You Talk to the Insurer About Your Accident
If you feel that your case is cut-and-dry and that you are entitled to recover damages, you may be tempted to talk freely about it. However, you could hurt your case by speaking with related parties about the car accident.
Therefore, you should avoid talking to anyone about your case until you consult a car accident attorney in Dallas, Texas. Once you hire one, they can speak with all parties on your behalf. Your lawyer can engage with the at-fault party, police officer, or insurance company so that you do not have to.
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Don’t let the insurance company deny your claim or tell you how much your case is worth. Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins today, and let our law firm help you get the compensation you deserve after getting hurt in a drunk driving accident. Reach out to us by phone or online to get a free case evaluation today.