If you’re hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. It’s generally in your best interest to speak with a West Virginia personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement. State law gives you two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit against the defendant in your case.
Why it’s best to wait before settling your case
Symptoms of a concussion, internal bleeding or other serious injuries may not present themselves for hours, days or weeks after a motor vehicle accident occurs. Furthermore, it can be difficult to predict the impact that a broken bone or sore back might have on your life in the immediate aftermath of a car wreck.
Therefore, you might not know what an appropriate settlement looks like until a significant amount of time has passed. It’s also a good idea to wait for the outcome of the other driver’s criminal case before agreeing to settle your civil lawsuit. As a general rule, it’s easier to obtain a favorable settlement when a defendant has already been convicted of driving while impaired.
How do you know that the other driver was impaired?
To be eligible for compensation in an accident claim, you have to be able to prove that the other driver acted in a negligent manner. In almost all cases, driving while impaired violates a motorist’s duty of care toward others. You may be able to use a toxicology report, driver statement or a police report to establish that an individual was impaired at the time of a wreck. Photo or video evidence may also help to establish that an individual was under the influence of alcohol when a collision took place.
After a car accident, you should gather evidence at the crash scene, notify your insurance company and seek treatment for your injuries. An attorney may be able to assist with the process of submitting an insurance claim and take the necessary steps to help you obtain a favorable outcome.