Hit By a Drunk Driver? What Are Your Legal Options?
As a personal injury lawyer in Kentucky, I can tell you from the many drunk driving cases I have seen that being a victim of a drunk driving accident can be a terrifying, life-altering event. Alongside physical pain and trauma, you may be faced with financial hardships due to medical expenses and loss of income. The purpose of this article is to provide insight into the legal avenues you can take if you find yourself in such a situation.
The good news? In Kentucky, the chances of recovering compensation for your injuries from a drunk driving accident are very good. However, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights and options, and to know the typical procedure of a lawsuit filed against a drunk driver.
What is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident in Kentucky?
The amount of compensation awarded to victims of drunk driving accidents varies greatly and depends on several factors. These factors can include the severity of the injuries, the cost of medical treatment, any resulting disability, lost wages, and emotional distress. While it is difficult to predict an exact average, settlements for these types of cases can often reach into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How a Lawsuit Against a Drunk Driver Will Typically Proceed in Kentucky
Filing a lawsuit against a drunk driver is a multi-step process that requires meticulous attention to detail. The process typically begins with the gathering of evidence, which may include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and any other relevant documents.
Next, a demand letter is prepared and sent to the defendant or their insurance company. This letter outlines the facts of the case, the damages you have suffered, and the compensation you are seeking.
In response to the demand letter, the defendant may choose to negotiate a settlement. This process can take several rounds of negotiation, and it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side to ensure you get the maximum compensation.
What Happens If A Fair Settlement Can’t Be Reached?
If a fair settlement cannot be reached during negotiation, your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. This action officially begins the litigation process. The defendant will be served with the complaint, they will have an opportunity to respond, and the case may proceed to discovery, where both parties gather more information.
If the case is not resolved during discovery or pre-trial motions, it may go to trial. Trials can be unpredictable, and outcomes can hinge on many factors, including the strength of your evidence, the skill of your attorney, and the biases of the jury.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Drunk Driver with the Help of an Experienced Kentucky Attorney
Enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial when navigating the complexities of a lawsuit against a drunk driver. An attorney will understand the laws and procedures specific to Kentucky, can guide you through each step of the process, and will fight tirelessly to maximize your compensation.
From handling communication with the defendant and their insurance company to ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings, your attorney will be your greatest advocate.
In conclusion, being hit by a drunk driver is an ordeal no one should have to endure. But know that you’re not alone and there are legal avenues available to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Being informed about your legal rights and options is the first step towards recovery and justice.