Drunk driving can cause harm to the well-being of other drivers, motorists, passengers, and pedestrians on the road. It’s a prevalent issue across the US; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every day, almost 30 people lose their lives in drunk driving crashes in the country on average. Alcohol is a substance that impedes a person’s ability to think clearly and reduces brain function. Reasoning and muscle coordination, along with comprehension, are pivotal to drive safely.
Since alcohol negatively affects cognition, a drunk driver on the road is a significant threat to everyone. If you’ve been impacted by a drunk driving accident in Little Rock, Arkansas, here’s all you need to know about pursuing your due compensation:
Drunk driving insurance claims in Little Rock
Like every other state in the US, Arkansas also takes drunk driving cases very seriously. There are massive repercussions for the reckless driver whose negligence caused the damage. Arkansas is an ‘at-fault’ insurance state, which means that the person responsible for the incident is also liable to pay for the damages they’ve caused. In general, car accident claims cover the following expenses.
Car crashes can cause severe injuries that can impact you for days and even months at times. The most common personal injuries that people experience during drunk driving include whiplash, scrapes and cuts, head injuries, broken ribs, internal bleeding, herniated disc, knee trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Treatment and recovery from these medical conditions can cost you thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money.
However, according to Arkansas’s compensation laws, your hospital bills, medication charges, and physical therapy costs are to be reimbursed under medical expenses. If you require any future medical care for your personal injuries, you can request compensation accordingly.
The time that you spend recovering from your physical and psychological injuries can result in lost wages. Compensation under lost incomes includes payment for the job that you’re unable to continue. For example, if you’re an architect who has suffered accident-related nerve damage in your hands and legs, you can sue the drunk driver for the loss of your future income.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering is an umbrella term used to describe the physical, emotional, and psychological trauma one goes through after being hit in a drunk driving accident. A drunk driving accident takes less than a minute to change your life; one moment, you could be planning your vacation and be on the hospital bed with severe injuries the next.
In addition to physical damages, such incidents can have substantial psychological impacts such as post-traumatic stress disorder that can hinder your everyday activities. Compensation provided under the pain and suffering category is intended to ease this agony.
When a drunk driver is found guilty of negligence, they may have to pay punitive damages. These damages are a legal recompense that is paid on top of the compensatory amount. If you think that the reimbursement made for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are insufficient, your attorney can request the court of law for punitive damages. These are awarded to the perpetrator to deter them and others from committing similar mistakes in the future.
Why you shouldn’t rely on insurance companies for compensation
After a drunk driving accident, the insurance adjusters may ask you to provide a recorded statement. While you may think that they are willing to help you, it is not inyour favor to give a recorded statement. Often, people aren’t fully aware of the damages right after the accident. This is when insurance companies contact you to find loopholes in your story that can help them deny your claim.
One of the gravest mistakes that you can make after a drunk driving accident is to trust the insurance company to give you a fair settlement. The truth is that they belong to a profit-making organization that will try to appease you with the lowest compensation possible.
It would help if you didn’t rely on the insurer adjusters and instead take these steps to strengthen your case.
Make an accurate record
Depending on your injuries, you should try to make as accurate a record as possible. While the police will collect data and talk to eyewitnesses, the law enforcement officer will look at the scene from their perspective and may miss specific details. It’s then up to you to take pictures and videos, record automobile numbers, and exchange information with the police officer. Make sure that you tell the investigating officer everything you remember. If you can’t recall anything at that moment, you can always tell them the truth.
Visit a trusted doctor
Since injuries from automobile accidents can take hours to become visible, you should visit a trusted doctor to get a thorough examination done. If you had lost consciousness or were dazed after the crash, you may have suffered a concussion or some other injury. If left untreated for a long time, head injuries can cause cognitive and behavioral changes, hampering your day-to-day activities. Medical records by your doctor can make for substantial evidence, strengthening your claim in the court.
Keep a file
The process of filing a claim and getting your due compensation may take some time. Keep a file with all crucial documents such as the claim number, the insurance adjuster’s contact, medical bills, rental receipts, proof of lost wages, and other expenses incurred due to the incident. This physical evidence can help you tremendously in getting a fair settlement.
Seek legal assistance
Filing for compensation after a drunk driving accident can be painstaking. Fortunately, one of the most helpful things that you can do to make the process relatively straightforward is to reach out to a qualified automobile accident attorney such as Lisa Douglas. Someone who has experience dealing with drunk driving cases in Little Rock, Arkansas, can guide you in the right legal manner and ensure that you get your due compensation. Don’t settle for anything less, and don’t let insurance companies make a profit at your behest. Connect with a leading car accident attorney today.