Driving under the influence (DUI) of an intoxicating substance increases the risk of auto accidents. Thus, you might assume that an auto accident claim against a DUI defendant would be straightforward. However, such a claim requires careful preparation and processing, just like other auto accident claims.
Below are some reasons a lawyer is necessary for a DUI accident claim.
A DUI Doesn't Constitute Automatic Liability
First, you should know that the defendant's DUI does not mean they are automatically liable for your damages. Sure, DUI increases the risk of an accident, and many intoxicated drivers are often liable for crashes between sober and intoxicated drivers. However, other things other than the DUI can cause an accident.
For example, the intoxicated driver might not be liable for your damages if:
- They could not stop in time because their car had a defective brake system
- Another car crashed into and pushed their car onto your path
- A passenger grabbed the wheel
Those cases might be rare, but they are not outside the realms of possibilities. Therefore, the onus is still on you to prove that the intoxication caused the accident. An experienced lawyer can help you with the proof.
The Defendant Might Beat the DUI Charges
Secondly, you should not rely on the DUI allegations, especially if the court has not convicted the defendant. After all, criminal suspects are innocent until proven guilty. Thus, the defendant might beat the DUI charges and weaken your injury claim if the DUI was your claim's sole basis.
Thus, you need to approach the case like any other accident case. That means you should collect and preserve evidence, consult a lawyer, and work with the lawyer to pursue your damages. Your lawyer will decide how to use the DUI angle to pursue your damages.
You Will Still Need to Negotiate
Lastly, you need a lawyer to help you negotiate your settlement. After all, the adjuster is unlikely to agree to your initial demands, even if you prove that the defendant's intoxication caused the accident.
Personal injury lawyers are good negotiators due to their training and practice. Moreover, accident lawyers understand:
- How to value cases
- Average settlements for similar cases
- Adjuster tactics to minimize settlement
The defendant's insurance company may respect you more and avoid lowball offers if you have legal representation.
Don't leave anything to chance, and don't assume anything if you have a DUI accident claim.
Contact a vehicle accident lawyer for more information.Share