Drunk driving accidents often result in serious injuries. Drunk drivers pose a major hazard to others on the road, and driving under the influence is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents every year. If you were injured in an accident where the at-fault party was drinking and driving, you may be able to recover compensation, including punitive damages.
At the Morelli Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping the victims of drunk driving accidents get the compensation they need to put their lives back together after a crash. Our team of drunk driving accident lawyers in Passaic are available for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
What Does a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Do?
After an accident where you were seriously injured, the last thing you need is to worry about attempting to recover the compensation that you need from the at-fault party. Fortunately, when you hire a DUI accident lawyer, they will take over every aspect of your legal case so you can focus on getting healthy. Your lawyer will likely start by investigating your accident.
The purpose of their investigation will be to determine liability and gather evidence to support your compensation claim. Once that is done, your lawyer will evaluate your damages and calculate how much your claim is worth. They will then discuss your options with you before proceeding to file a claim with the liable party’s insurer or file a lawsuit with the court.
If you are filing a lawsuit, your attorney will go through the steps of the pretrial process in preparation to represent you in court. At each step of the process, your attorney will be in touch with opposing counsel to try and negotiate a settlement deal. An out-of-court settlement is often preferable because it can help you get paid quickly and avoid a courtroom battle.
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Get Paid Based on Results
Most lawyers charge their clients based on the amount of time they spend working on their cases. However, personal injury lawyers operate a bit differently. These attorneys collect their fees as a preset percentage of the compensation that they obtain for their clients. This is known as a contingency fee-based payment structure.
With this system, if your drunk driving acident lawyer in Passaic does not succeed in getting you compensation, they will not get paid. On the flip side, the more money they win for you, the higher their payday will be. This helps to ensure that your attorney’s interests are aligned with your own and that they will do everything they can to get you as much money as possible.
This system has the added benefit of making experienced legal representation an option for everyone, regardless of their financial means.
Passaic Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Make Sure You File Your Lawsuit on Time
When filing a personal injury lawsuit in Passaic, it is critical that you are aware of the New Jersey statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. Drunk driving accident victims generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Missing that window could mean you lose your chance to recover compensation entirely.
Additionally, special circumstances may apply to your case, which could further limit the time you have to file. Hiring a Passaic DUI accident attorney soon after your injury is the best way to ensure that all deadlines are met and that you retain your right to recover compensation.
Your lawyer will also be in a better position to gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf the sooner they can get started.
Compensation You Can Claim After a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were harmed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, there are likely several damages you can claim. The specific damages that apply to your case will depend on the details of your accident and the injuries you suffered. Compensatory damages are divided into economic and non-economic damages.
These are the monetary losses that you suffered as a result of your accident. Economic damages can include both money that you are forced to spend and income that you miss out on because of your accident. These damages also include both present and future losses. Common economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Missed income
- Diminished earning capacity
All other losses are considered non-economic damages. Many non-economic damages are profound losses. Unfortunately, the legal system has no way of appropriately compensating an accident victim for non-economic damages. There is no option that will allow the court to heal a permanent disability.
However, since money is the best that the courts can offer, non-economic damages often result in significant compensation. Common non-economic damages include:
- Lowered quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Drunk Driving Is a Crime
Drunk drivers often face both criminal charges and civil lawsuits after an accident. As mentioned, ensuring that you file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out is essential. However, your Passaic drunk driving accident attorney may recommend holding off a little while so that you can await the verdict of the criminal trial.
If the driver is found guilty, you can use the verdict as evidence in court. Alternatively, a not guilty verdict will not harm your case because the burden of proof is higher in a criminal case than in a civil lawsuit.
In many drunk driving accident cases, the victims are eligible to recover punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are not about replacing losses suffered by the accident victim. Instead, the focus is on punishing the driver for criminal negligence or deliberate intent to cause harm.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case Today
After an injury caused by a drunk driver, the Morelli Law Firm is here to help get you the compensation you need. Our team of experienced Passaic drunk driving accident lawyers has a proven track record of securing favorable settlements or court-ordered payouts for our clients. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today for a free case evaluation.