What to Do When You’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Driver?
Over the past few years, the state of Florida has become a hotbed for drunk drivers and drunk driver accidents. The moments that follow any car accident can be difficult to navigate for anyone, with the adrenaline pumping through your veins and the fear of what’s to come next, many find it impossible to think about what to do next. On the event you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you need to know exactly what your rights are and what the best way to proceed will be. Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will be the first measure to pay your medical bills – even if the drunk driver is the one at fault. However, with no-fault insurance there is a cap that allows you to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver, if the circumstances permit. With the help of a qualified attorney like Dade City personal injury lawyer, Anissa K. Morris, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if the injuries you suffered meet Florida’s definition of a “serious” injury, or if your medical bills reach a certain level, higher than what is covered by your personal injury protection (PIP) no-fault insurance. According to Dade City personal injury lawyer, Anissa K. Morris, the most important thing to do in an accident like this or any car accident, is to document as much as you can. If your injuries are too serious be sure to get as much information as possible and don’t be afraid to get help from any witnesses or individuals around you as well. It is always prudent to call the police to the scene immediately, especially if you suspect the other driver was drinking or is intoxicated in any way.
As per Dade City personal injury lawyer, Anissa K. Morris, you should follow the normal procedure following any type of car accident – including obtaining a police report, and if you suspect the other driver to be intoxicated, definitely tell the police right away of your suspicions. The next thing you should do is to contact a personal injury attorney, Dade City personal injury lawyer, Anissa K. Morris, will be able to help you follow the proper procedure needed to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In addition, a skilled attorney will be able to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company, in an effort to get a settlement and avoid a long and drawn out trial process. In the event the driver is convicted of a DUI, in this case or has a prior history of driving under the influence, it will be much easier for your attorney to negotiate a settlement. Insurance companies are aware that judges and juries are likely to award a very high settlement to those hit by a drunk driver and therefore they will be much more willing to settle the matter out of court with a very substantial dollar amount.
Regardless of what the opposition offers you, it is important to do what is best for you depending on the specific circumstances of your case and the injuries you might have suffered. Depending on how severe your injuries and the amount of property damage you incurred, you will likely be awarded a lot of damages and monetary compensation – it is vital that you consult with your attorney as well as your family on what the best decision for you is. Never accept a deal from the opposing insurance company before speaking to an attorney like Dade City personal injury lawyer, Anissa K. Morris. Often times these companies may be lowballing you and while it might seem like a lot of money, in some circumstances your case be may worth as much as 10 times the amount they offer. And while a settlement will mean you will likely get less money than you would with trial, you must consider that a trial will be a long, drawn-out process, with a lot more expenditures attached and taking a settlement allows you to avoid much of this. Plus, with the help of a strong personal injury attorney it is possible to get a much higher award or settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to collect any necessary police reports, medical notes and expenditures, and insurance information to formulate the proper assessment of what your case might be worth. This is especially the case if the other driver is charged with a crime during the accident. For more information on how to handle a drunk driver accident, personal injury protection (PIP) no-fault insurance, or any manner of personal injury lawsuit, contact Anissa Morris and her team at Spinner Law Firm today.