Statistics indicate that about three out of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related vehicle crash at some point throughout their lives. Therefore, you should have at least some knowledge about your rights in the event that you suffer injuries in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Any drunk driver who is involved in an accident undoubtedly will face criminal charges and penalties that law enforcement officials and the criminal justice system will handle. However, a drunk driver also may have civil liability under Wisconsin law if he or she caused a crash that caused you injuries. Pursuing compensation from the drunk driver for your injuries, however, is a multi-step process.
The first step is for you to file a formal claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company. If the drunk driver had no insurance or insufficient insurance, your own auto insurance company also may become involved. If you are unable to resolve your claim with the driver’s insurance company, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver under certain circumstances.
Potential damages that you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit include the following:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgical, and rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Loss of future income or earning capacity
- Emotional distress and pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship to a child, parent, or spouse
- In the case of a death, funeral and burial expenses
Drunk driving accidents, and any type of motor vehicle accidents, often result in serious bodily injuries to drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians. When an individual’s negligence leads to such an accident, he or she may be financial responsible or liable for the resulting injuries. Personal injury claims are not always a straightforward or easy process, particularly if you and your family are struggling to recover from the incident. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation and learn what options may be available to you.