Were you injured in a collision involving a drunk driver in Jackson or the surrounding areas? Did someone else’s careless decision to drive while intoxicated cause you severe harm, damage your vehicle, and upend your life? If so, you have the right to demand fair compensation from the drunk driver, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer could help you seek it.
According to information from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, about 18 percent of all traffic deaths statewide in one recent year were due to drunk driving. Even in cases where drunk driving accidents aren’t fatal, DUI victims frequently suffer lifelong injuries and deal with daunting medical bills.
If you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving accident in Jackson, Mississippi, the Law Offices of Derek L. Hall can help you seek compensation and justice. Our Mississippi car accident attorneys have more than 25 years of experience fighting for traffic crash victims like you. Don’t let someone else’s negligence force you to struggle physically and financially. Our attorneys are ready to discuss your case, so call us today for a free initial consultation.
How Can a DUI Victim Lawyer Help You?
If you haven’t had a lot of experience with the legal system, you may not know what a drunk driving accident attorney does and how they could help you. Here are a few ways the Law Offices of Derek L. Hall can help you after a drunk driving accident:
- Gathering evidence — You’ll need to provide proof of your physical injuries, financial losses, and other harm you’ve suffered in a drunk driving accident if you want to recover compensation. A lawyer could help you gather and preserve the evidence you’ll need.
- Recording your injuries — Mississippi law allows drunk driving accident victims to recover compensation for many different kinds of losses. These include your medical bills and other economic losses and less tangible things like your pain and suffering. To receive compensation, a lawyer could help make sure all losses you’ve incurred are accounted for and calculated.
- Dealing with insurance companies — Most drunk driving accident claims are resolved through an out-of-court settlement with the liable party’s insurance company. But negotiating with insurance companies can be a complicated, delicate process. A lawyer can handle these negotiations on your behalf while you concentrate on your recovery.
- Bringing your case to court — If you cannot reach a fair insurance settlement, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit and take your case to court to recover fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
What is a DUI/DWI Accident?
Accidents involving an impaired driver don’t necessarily have to include alcohol. While drunk driving accidents are among the most common types of impaired-driving crashes, drivers who abuse illegal drugs or aren’t careful with prescription medications can also find their driving performance impaired. Alcohol and drugs cause an array of harmful effects that can cause an accident, such as:
- Dulled reflexes
- Poor judgment
- Increased likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors
- Greater chance of falling asleep behind the wheel
Who is Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?
While the drunk driver is the main person who can be held liable for an accident, they’re not the only potentially responsible party. Other parties who can potentially be held liable for a drunk driving accident include:
- Bars, restaurants, and liquor stores — In certain circumstances, Mississippi businesses that serve alcohol can be held liable for injuries caused by a drunk driver who drank at their establishment. However, these establishments can only be held responsible if the person who was served was visibly intoxicated or if they were under the legal drinking age.
- “Social hosts” — In limited circumstances, the host of a party can be held liable for damages caused by a drunk driver. However, the circumstances under which a social host can be held accountable are even more limited than they are for bars or liquor stores, as hosts can generally only be liable if they served alcohol to someone underage.
- The manufacturer of a vehicle/parts manufacturers — Though impaired drivers are mainly responsible for their own actions, the manufacturer of their vehicle or parts manufacturers can be held liable if a mechanical defect contributed to an accident.
Statute of Limitations to File a Claim
The statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Mississippi is generally three years from the date of your injury. This generally means you have three years from the date of a drunk driving accident to file a claim. If you wait any longer to file a lawsuit, you’ll most likely lose your chance to recover any compensation.
Damages and Compensation for Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
With help from the right lawyer, drunk driving accident victims can recover significant compensation for their injuries. This potentially includes payment for:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Damaged personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Can a DUI Victim Attorney Help Me Seek Punitive Damages?
In some instances, a drunk driving accident victim can recover punitive damages. The idea behind allowing punitive damages is to punish offenders for their actions. Punitive damages are usually only awarded in cases where a defendant demonstrated an intentional disregard for the safety of others by acting with malice or gross negligence.
What Should I Do If A Drunk Driver Has Hurt Me?
Here’s what you need to do if a drunk driver in Mississippi has injured you:
- Call 911 to bring police and emergency medical personnel to the scene.
- Document the scene as best you can by taking pictures of your injuries, the damage to any vehicles, and the accident scene itself.
- Get the name and insurance information of the other driver, as well as the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
- See a doctor as soon as you can.
- Don’t talk to any insurance companies before speaking to a lawyer.
- Hire a drunk driving accident attorney.
Contact an Experienced DWI/DUI Attorney
The Law Offices of Derek L. Hall are committed to helping drunk driving accident victims find justice after they’ve been injured. Get your free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.