When you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, recovering compensation can be critical for getting your life back on track. Drunk driving is responsible for a significant percentage of serious car accidents. Those injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver are entitled to compensation, including punitive damages.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we are dedicated to helping drunk driving car accident victims recover the compensation they need after a collision. Our team of experienced Winchester drunk driving car accident attorneys has the necessary experience to help after a crash.
Determining Fault in a Drunk Driving Car Accident
Before you can pursue a lawsuit after a drunk driving car accident, you must first determine who is liable for your damages. While determining fault can be tricky in many car accident cases, it is usually much simpler in an accident involving a drunk driver.
However, while the drunk driver will certainly hold a level of liability for the crash, there are other parties that may share in the responsibility for an accident. A drunk driving car accident attorney can help you identify all potentially liable parties after a crash.
Steps in a Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawsuit
Once you hire a drunk driving car accident lawyer in Winchester, they will immediately get to work investigating your case to determine liability and gather evidence to support your compensation claim. Once they have completed their inquiry, your lawyer will assess your damages and calculate how much your claim is worth.
The next step will be to draw up all the necessary documents and file your drunk driving car accident lawsuit with the court. Once your lawsuit has been filed, and the target of the lawsuit has been notified, the pretrial process will begin. Steps in the pretrial process include:
The discovery process consists of both parties gathering together the evidence they have collected and exchanging it for the other side to be able to examine. Discovery is essential in ensuring a fair trial as it gives both parties a chance to review all the evidence that will potentially be presented at trial and build arguments in support and against that evidence.
At the end of discovery, depositions are given. Depositions are testimonies from witnesses and parties involved in the accident given outside the courtroom and recorded by a court stenographer. During a deposition, both parties will have the opportunity to ask questions of the deponent, and their testimony can be used at trial.
Mediation is the last step in the pretrial process. During mediation, the two parties will meet at a neutral location in the presence of an independent third party. This mediator will attempt to help the two sides come to terms on a settlement agreement that will enable them to avoid a courtroom battle.
From the very beginning of your case, your attorney will be in contact with opposing counsel, as they try to work out an out-of-court settlement deal. If they can come to terms on a deal that both parties accept, your case will end, and you’ll receive the compensation outlined in the agreement.
However, if a deal is not reached by the end of mediation, your case will proceed to trial, where your lawyer will represent your interests.
Submit Your Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit on Time
Nevada law gives drunk driving accident victims two years to file a lawsuit after a collision under NRS § 11.190. If you don’t file before the two years expires, you could lose your right to compensation.
However, you should be aware that many exceptions apply to this statute of limitations. You could find that the particulars of your situation allow you to apply, even after the two years have passed.
Alternatively, you could also find that the statute of limitations is greatly reduced, and you only have months rather than years to file a lawsuit. The best way to ensure that you meet your filing deadline is to hire a drunk driving accident attorney soon after your crash.
Damages You Can Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident
After suffering a serious injury in a drunk driving car accident, you will likely be able to claim a wide array of damages. These recoverable damages are divided into three categories.
Economic damages are any losses you suffer due to your accident that directly affect your financial situation. Common economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Lowered earning capacity
- Property damage
- Modifications to your home or vehicle necessary for accommodating a disability
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
The rest of the losses you suffer due to your accident fall into the much broader category of non-economic damage. Common non-economic damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and other disfigurements
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are only awarded in a small percentage of personal injury cases. However, you will almost always be eligible to recoup punitive damages in a drunk driving car accident case. That is because, unlike the compensatory damages listed above, punitive damages are not related to the losses suffered by an accident victim.
Instead, punitive damages are meant as a punishment for the liable party and are only awarded in cases where the person at-fault acted in a manner deemed to have been criminally negligent. In addition to a civil lawsuit, drunk drivers will also be facing a criminal case where they will potentially receive further fines and possible imprisonment.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
Many people neglect to hire a drunk driving car accident lawyer after a crash because they feel they will not be able to afford to pay their fees. While this can be a legitimate concern with many other types of attorneys, you should never have to worry about not being able to pay your drunk driving accident lawyer.
Unlike other attorneys who charge a high hourly rate, our Winchester drunk driving accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means that the only fee your attorney collects will be based on the outcome of your case. If you collect compensation from the liable party, your lawyer will receive a fixed percentage of the payout.
Alternatively, should they fail to secure compensation on your behalf, you will not have to pay your attorney for their services.
Talk to a Winchester Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney Today
At Pacific West Injury Law, we believe that all accident victims should have access to experienced legal counsel. Our team of drunk driving accident lawyers in Winchester has a long history of helping drunk driving victims recover significant compensation after an accident.
Submit our online contact form or give us a call to schedule a free case review today.