Each day people are injured or killed by drunk or impaired drivers. Recent studies show that number is almost 30 people per day—or one death every 48 minutes.
Take a look at some of the alarming statistics that have been compiled over the years:
- In 2011 there were 9,878 fatalities due to drunk or impaired driving.
- Of the 9,878 deaths in 2011, 1,279 were under-21 alcohol-impaired fatalities.
Alcohol is not the only culprit—today more and more drivers are impaired by both legally prescribed and illegal drugs. The dangers of these individuals getting behind the wheel are just as bad as someone who’s had too much to drink.
When someone is hurt or killed, the tragedy lingers for years. It’s the innocent and unsuspecting who end up hurt because someone made a bad decision. Over the years, lawmakers have responded to this by enacting stricter laws. Taxi companies more often free rides to those who’ve had too much to drink. And still, every day there are those who think they’re “okay” go get behind the wheel—and they’re not.
If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed by a drunk or impaired driver, you know the toll that it can have on the life of the victim and the victim’s family. The effect can be devastating. Those who have been injured by these drivers often lose time from work. In addition, they tend to have enormous medical bills. And the effects can be lingering in a financial way if that person was a family’s primary breadwinner.
In these cases, consulting an attorney who specializes in drunk and impaired driving cases is especially important.
It’s highly likely the drunk or impaired drivers will immediately consult an attorney to protect their interests, and the victim and/or victim’s family should do the same.
An attorney will let you know the best course of action to be taken for your particular case. In many instances a case will be brought against the person driving the vehicle that hit you or your loved one as well as their insurance company. Depending on the severity of the injuries as well as vehicle damage, an exact settlement will be determined.
The thing to remember is that the insurance company is representing their member, that is, the person who hit you. So they are acting in the best interest of their member. Your attorney is acting in your best interest. That’s why it’s so critical to have an attorney by your side.
Some cases may be settled without having to go to court. In some cases, it might be settled via mediation. However, there is no guarantee the case won’t have to go to court, so having a lawyer who specializes in these areas—as well as one with a solid reputation—is crucial for your best interests.
As a victim, you may not fully understand the compensation to which you’re entitled. If you elect not to have an attorney, then chances are you may settle for less than you deserve. When this happens, the victim eventually in the end has far more expenses coming in than the amount settled on. An attorney looks far ahead to see what potential expenses you may have because of this accident.
Hiring an attorney is not about trying to become rich from an accident; it’s about having enough money to cover all of your expenses. Consult a trusted advisor today.