Hit By a Drunk Driver on the Fourth of July? Here’s What You Should Do
The Fourth of a July is a wonderful time to spend time with friends and family and celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence. However, some people take the cause for celebration to the extreme. We routinely notice an uptick in the number of DUI-related injuries around holiday weekends such as these. What should you do if a drunk driver hit you over the Fourth of July holiday? Here’s everything you need to know.
Should I File an Insurance Claim?
If you’re a recent victim of a drunk driving accident, you might be wondering what your legal options are. Dealing with the insurance company might not seem like an attractive option, but it’s still your best bet as far as gaining compensation is concerned. Each driver in the state of Texas has required minimum amounts of insurance coverage, and it’s unlikely that a driver’s personal assets exceed the limits of the policy. By filing a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance company, you have a better chance of securing the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
What If Their Insurance Doesn’t Cover My Injuries?
Another common problem people might run into is the fact that a driver’s insurance coverage will not compensate the full amount of damages you incur. For example, if you incurred $100,000 in bodily injury but the other driver’s insurance policy states that it will only pay for $50,000 per person, you might have to find other ways to gain compensation for the remaining $50,000. The two most common ways to achieve this include:
- Filing a claim with your own underinsured motorist policy. In instances in which a person’s insurance coverage does not compensate for all medical bills, you may be able to file a claim with your own policy to get the rest.
- Filing a civil claim against the claimant in an attempt to get compensation from their personal assets. The success of this technique will depend largely on how much the defendant has to give, especially after paying DUI-related court costs and fines.
A DUI Conviction Will Solidify Your Case
Often, an insurance company will try to pay as little as possible on a claim. However, an exception exists when a driver has a DUI conviction related to the accident. In this case, the insurance company will likely want to avoid a lawsuit, since a sympathetic jury is more likely to award you whatever you ask for. In other words, it’s in an insurance company’s best interest to settle and provide compensation for your injuries before the issue lands on the court docket.
You Need the Guidance of an Attorney
While insurance companies may be more willing to accept liability on the part of their policyholders in the event of a DUI, you will still benefit from an attorney’s assistance during the claims process. Insurance companies can and will take advantage of your lack of knowledge about injury claims and try to get you to settle for less than you deserve. An attorney, on the other hand, will serve as your advocate and demand fair and full compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
The Fourth of July can be a fun holiday to be with family and friends, but it’s also a dangerous one. People get behind the wheel with increasing frequency during this holiday, leading to an increased potential for accidents. If you suffered an injury from a drunk driver during the holiday weekend, you have legal options. Talk to a Houston personal injury attorney about filing a claim with the driver’s insurance policy and get the compensation you deserve for your tangible and intangible losses.