When a driver gets behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs, their likelihood of causing an injury accident increases exponentially. If you were hurt by a drunk driver in Lee County, Alabama, you may be able to hold that driver legally responsible for your injuries and damages, recovering compensation. An Auburn drunk driving (DUI) accident attorney from the Morris Bart law firm may be able to help.
Our lawyers provide complimentary consultations and case assessments for victims of traffic accidents throughout our service area, including Auburn. You can learn more about your case and how we may be able to help you pursue money damages based on what happened to you.
Recoverable Damages in an Auburn DUI Collision
When a drunk driver causes an injury accident, they can be held responsible for their reckless actions. This is possible through a claim based on their auto insurance or a civil lawsuit, in addition to the criminal case against them. While the criminal case is meant to penalize and prevent further similar behaviors, the civil case is how victims recover money to pay for their related expenses and losses.
The compensation available in these cases depends specifically on the incurred damages. The victim will need to document their injuries, costs, and financial losses and negotiate with the insurer or present strong evidence to back their demand in court.
In a successful civil claim or lawsuit, the victim may be able to recover money for a range of damages, including:
- Medical treatment and related expenses
- Ongoing or future medical needs related to their accident injuries
- Missed wages and lost income, including diminished earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs and other property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other intangible losses
Our lawyers value these cases for every client. Each case is different, so the payout is different, too. We recently recovered $650,000 in a drunk driving accident case for a client who suffered fractures—including their right arm, right leg, back, hip, pelvis, and several ribs—as well as internal injuries.
Alabama’s Wrongful Death Law Pays Only Punitive Damages
Under Ala. Code § 6-5-410, your family may be able to recover punitive damages if your loved one died because of a drunk driver. This statute does not allow your loved one’s estate to recover the money you lost or had to spend. Instead, you can recover money based on the heinousness of the act committed. Since drunk driving accidents are usually entirely preventable, a financial recovery is possible in this type of legal action.
For a free legal consultation with a Drunk Driving Accident lawyer serving Auburn, call 800-537-8185
Morris Bart & Associates, LLC Fights to Protect Clients’ Rights
At the Morris Bart law firm, our attorneys have spent more than 40 years representing those hurt in traffic accidents. In 2019 alone, we recovered compensation for more than 6,500 clients across our four-state service area. We handle every case based on a contingency fee, never asking any client to pay any fees up front and only charging attorney’s fees if we win the case.
445 Dexter Ave.
Suite 4050 / PMB#52
Montgomery, AL 36104
We can generally meet with clients on the phone, via video conference, or in a location convenient for them. Many of our clients in and near Lee County never travel to our office. Instead, we go to them.
Building a Case for Compensation Against the Drunk Driver
Like other car accident claims, a drunk driving case is built based on negligence. When we hold a driver legally liable for a DUI crash, we have to prove:
- They had a duty to act in a certain way.
- They failed to do so.
- This caused the collision.
- Our client suffered injuries and losses as a result.
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, their abilities are impaired in several ways. This includes their ability to make quick, smart decisions, their reaction time, and their physical ability to see, judge, and act. They may not be able to maintain a proper lane, navigate turns, or stop in time to prevent a crash.
While proving the driver is drunk will help our client’s case and support their financial recovery, we are often able to recover compensation even if we cannot prove they were intoxicated. This is because drunk drivers exhibit many signs of impairment. They violate traffic laws, make mistakes, and drive recklessly.
For example, we may be able to show that the driver ran a traffic light and caused your crash. This would require evidence to show:
- Duty: Traffic laws require drivers to stop when a light is red.
- Breach of duty: The driver failed to stop at the red light.
- Causation: This led to them colliding with you in the intersection.
- Harm: You suffered a broken leg in the crash.
Alabama Has a Deadline for Suing a Drunk Driver in a DUI Crash
While you may believe you have a lot of time to decide if you are going to take action against the drunk driver who hit you, there is a deadline. In general, you have only 24 months from the date of the accident to sue per Ala. Code § 6-2-38. The clock begins ticking the day of death in wrongful death cases.
Two years is not very long when you consider all the tasks that need to be done before filing paperwork to sue the at-fault driver. This includes investigating what happened, gathering and organizing evidence, trying to reach a settlement with their insurer, and more. Some people try to wait until the criminal case against the driver is over, but this is not necessary and could jeopardize your civil case if it takes too long.
Connect with an Attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC
An attorney from the Morris Bart law firm will go over your drunk driving accident legal options with you for free today. We may be able to help you build an insurance claim or civil suit against the at-fault driver. Contact our Montgomery office and speak with a lawyer for free today.
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