Yes. Your case will be complicated because it involves both aspects of the American justice system: criminal and civil. Worse, it’ll also involve an insurance company with no desire to do right by you.
- The criminal case is brought by the State to convict and punish the DUI driver. If convicted, the defendant faces fines or even prison if someone got seriously hurt. But this aspect of the law won’t require the defendant to compensate you for all your losses and harm.
- The civil case fills that gap by giving you the right to compensation for your injuries, like property damage to your car, medical bills, lost wages, damage to your marriage, human loss, and potentially the biggest factor in your case, punitive damages. Unlike most South Carolina cases, your case won't face legal limits on punitive damages.
Why DUI Wreck Victims Should Hire An Experienced Lawyer
In the criminal case, the State has a lawyer called a solicitor or prosecutor, to help convict the driver. While that lawyer is on your side, she isn’t your personal lawyer. She can’t bring a civil case to compensate you.
There’s a lot of reasons you need an attorney of your own, but here are six major ones:
- The key reason is the DUI driver has a major advantage over you: he’s backed by a multi-billion dollar monster—his auto insurance company. It’s got one goal in your case: stonewall you and beat you down into a cheap settlement. Their claims representatives prey on folks who don’t know their rights or are just too hurt to fight. (Read about the tricks up their sleeves.) To avoid cheating yourself out of the money you and your family deserve and likely need, hire a professional of your own to level the playing field and go on the offensive. If the adjuster finds out, he'll fight to prevent it- find out why, and how to handle these tactics.
- You’ll especially benefit from a drunk driving accident attorney who can find and develop the evidence supporting punitive damages to increase your settlement, even if you’re not hurt in the crash- you can discover how we've done that in a real case. An experienced car crash lawyer can get evidence from the criminal case to potentially enhance your settlement. You need an attorney who knows what to look for and how to use it. The key is knowing how to present it to the insurance company in a convincing way to compel a good settlement.
- An experienced DUI car accident attorney can give you the most vital guidance on a solid settlement value. Valuing a case is an art and a science. To gain the peace of mind it’s done right, you need a professional.
- A skilled car accident attorney can help find all aspects of auto insurance coverage available to pay your settlement. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance, hopefully you’ve got coverage on your own policy called underinsurance. While the available underinsurance may bring initial relief, I’ll spare you the shock on how this turns out—your own insurance company turns against you to contest your claim as if they were the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
- To add insult to injury, some DUI victims are shocked to learn the at-fault driver didn’t even have insurance. In that situation, you can use your own policy, with a coverage called uninsurance. Again, just because it’s your own insurance company, they are not your friend anymore.
- You also need an investigation into where the defendant drank alcohol. If he got drunk at a bar that let him drive away, you might have a case against the bar. An experienced attorney can help you find this needle in the haystack.
There’s a Lot More to Your Case
I’ve written a book answering many questions car crash victims ask—and need to ask, but don’t know to. Download the book I’ve written as service to folks like you.
The truth is, without professional help, you’re just not much of a threat to an insurance company. Why play around? Call me toll-free at 888-230-1841 to schedule a free strategy session to start building your case or fill out a Get Help Now form to get your questions answered.
If you’re wondering what it is like to work with me, check out these reviews from folks I’ve worked with on a website I don’t own.