If the other driver was drunk in a car accident that injured you or damaged your vehicle, you might file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the driver or the driver’s auto insurance company to recover compensation for your injuries or financial losses. Along with filing a claim, you must also prove the other driver’s impairment at the time of the crash.
Proving the Driver Who Caused the Accident Was Drunk
If you want to recover damages, Tennessee’s negligence law requires your personal injury attorney to prove that the other driver caused the wreck and injured you through negligence.
Tennessee is a “fault state” when it comes to car accidents, meaning, that the party found legally responsible for causing the crash pays for damages to the injured party. So, if you want the other party to reimburse you, it is best to hire a car accident attorney team to prove who was at fault for the accident.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you collect evidence to prove that the drunk driver caused the accident. We know what kind of evidence to present to an insurance company when bringing a drunk driving claim against one of its policyholders.
Types of Evidence Used in a Drunk Driving Claim
A police report is a crucial piece of evidence to include in a personal injury case. The traffic accident report will more than likely include the police officer’s suspicion of the other driver’s impairment.
When police suspect someone of driving while impaired, an officer asks the driver to perform a series of roadside sobriety tests, and take a Breathalyzer test. The Breathalyzer test determines a driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
Driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is illegal in Tennessee. In fact, drunk driving is illegal in Tennessee, and anyone convicted of that offense faces imprisonment and substantial penalties.
We can help you obtain a police report and other relevant evidence to build a strong personal injury claim.
Drunk Driving Convictions Help Accident Injury Claims
A conviction usually makes an auto insurer more willing to negotiate a settlement. However, the insurance company may want you to settle quickly before you know the total extent of the damages from your accident.
For instance, some physical injuries from car accidents take some time to manifest. Once you accept a settlement check, you cannot go back to the insurer to ask for more money to cover treatment for your recently developed injuries. Specifically, whiplash does not always show up right away. Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC to find out.
Besides your medical needs, the settlement also may not take into account the work income you lost—or will lose—if you suffered permanent and debilitating injuries.
If an insurer offered you a settlement, then speak to one of our car crash accident lawyers before accepting the check. Our firm will ensure the solution covers your present and future needs.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim vs. a Lawsuit in a Drunk Driving Accident
The legal options you have to pursue compensation depend on several factors, primarily the severity of your injuries and the type of damages you sustained.
We recommend filing an insurance claim to avoid the expense of going to court. Call our car accident attorneys to handle all the aspects of your insurance claim, including negotiating the claim with the auto insurer on your behalf. We take on the insurance companies so that you can continue recovering from your injuries. Most notably, we protect your rights during the process.
When an insurance company refuses to offer a full and fair settlement and denies a claim, we will speak to you about filing a lawsuit as a last resort to resolve the claim.
How Much a Car Accident Claim is Worth
We can determine the value of your claim after calculating the expenses you paid because of the accident, and costs you expect to pay in the future.
Depending on the losses you suffered in the accident, you can pursue damages for:
- Medical bills
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy
- Lost earnings
- Funeral and burial expenses, if your loved one died because of the accident
- Vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
You may also pursue punitive damages that are designed to punish when the other driver was drunk in a car accident. Punitive damages are meant to deter future reckless conduct. Tennessee caps punitive damages at not more than two times the total amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, or whichever is greatest.
Contact Us For a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one was seriously or fatally injured by a drunk driver, let the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC help you hold the individual legally liable for
your car accident, and recover compensation for your losses.
Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our law firm’s car accident lawyers.