Over a million U.S. drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2010. A high occurrence of drunk driving leads to serious accidents and debilitating injuries. A number of legal issues arise once a drunk driver strikes a pedestrian, both civil and criminal. The drunk driver can face penalties such as jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges. If the injured pedestrian dies, the driver may face the charge of manslaughter. The following are answers to three important questions about pedestrians and drunk driving accidents that everyone should know.
Can the pedestrian sue the drunk driver?
If the driver was negligent, the pedestrian can sue. A drunk driver is negligent the moment they get behind the wheel while under the influence. The pedestrian can receive compensation for all losses caused by the accident. If the pedestrian dies due to injuries caused by the accident, their family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How much can the injured pedestrian receive?
Every lawsuit is different and compensation depends on the extent of the person’s injuries. A lawsuit seeks to compensate the victim for all losses caused by the accident. Losses may include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of normal life circumstances, and more.
The cost of medical expenses and lost wages is usually easy to determine by looking at bills and adding up missed hours at work. The elements that vary from case to case are the costs of things like pain and suffering. How much is three months of severe nerve pain that resulted from injury worth? This amount often relies on what a jury thinks is reasonable.
When does insurance come into play?
Most drunk drivers don’t have thousands of extra dollars lying around, so how is a pedestrian compensated for their injuries? Many people often avoid filing a lawsuit against someone because they ask this same question. However, this problem is where insurance comes into play. Even if the pedestrian is technically suing the drunk driver, the battle really takes place between the pedestrian and the driver’s insurance company. If the pedestrian walks away with a large sum, that will likely come from the insurance company.
A driver’s insurance policy is a critical element in these types of personal injury lawsuits. In most lawsuits, the pedestrian will have a great case against the drunk driver. If that driver has little to no insurance, the options for compensation are quite limited. If the drunk driver does have coverage, the pedestrian can collect up to the limits of the policy. If the verdict is an amount past the policy limit, the drunk driver is responsible to pay the remainder.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to help with your claim
If you are looking to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact Attorney Dean Boyd today. You can call us at (806) 242-3333 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our services. You can also visit our office at 4423 SW 45th Ave in Amarillo, Texas or 10623 Quaker Ave #102 in Lubbock, Texas for more information about how we can help you.