Those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol put everyone on the road at risk. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you will likely be able to recover compensation. However, getting the money you need for your damages can be challenging on your own.
Fortunately, a drunk driving accident attorney in Paterson can help. At the Morelli Law Firm, we have extensive experience getting fair compensation for those who have been injured by drunk drivers. We can help you recover damages and ensure that the drunk driver sees justice for their negligent actions.
Actions Your Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Will Take
Injuries caused by intoxicated drivers are often severe, and recovery can be a long and painful process. The last thing you need when faced with serious injuries is the stress of attempting to recover fair compensation. Fortunately, when you hire an intoxicated driving accident lawyer, they will handle all aspects of your legal case, leaving you free to focus on your health.
Your lawyer will investigate your case to establish liability and gather evidence to support your damages claim. They will also calculate your damages and inform you of your legal options and the pros and cons of each. Then, they will submit paperwork to the appropriate party. They will either deliver an insurance claim to the liable party’s insurer or file a lawsuit with the court.
If pursuing a lawsuit, your drunk driving accident attorney in Paterson will proceed through all the steps of the pretrial process as they prepare to represent you in court. Throughout the process, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement deal with opposing counsel so that you can get your money quickly and avoid an unpredictable courtroom battle.
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You Can Claim Compensatory Damages After an Accident
If you suffered any type of loss as the result of a drunk driver accident, you can make a claim for compensation against the liable party or their insurer. After an injury, there are likely several types of damages you will be eligible to claim. These compensatory damages can be divided into the broader categories of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are all the monetary losses that a person suffers as the result of an accident. Any expenses you accrue or income lost qualify as economic damages. These include losses you have already suffered and those you will face in the future. Common economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical costs
- Future medical bills
- Property damage
Any other losses that you suffer as a result of your accident fall into the category of non-economic damages. Because these losses can not be directly replaced with money, the compensation received for non-economic damages is often significant. In fact, non-economic damages often make up the largest part of a settlement or court-ordered payout.
Common non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
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Drunk Drivers Will Likely Face Both Criminal and Civil Lawsuits
In addition to the personal injury lawsuit you bring against the drunk driver responsible for your damages, they will likely face criminal charges as well. While it is critical to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out, your lawyer may advise waiting until there is a verdict in the criminal case.
The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case than in a civil lawsuit. Because of this, a guilty verdict can be used as evidence in your civil lawsuit, while a not-guilty verdict won’t hurt your case at all.
In addition to compensatory damages, there is a high likelihood that you will be able to recover punitive damages when the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Punitive damages are designed as a punishment for the liable party. They are only awarded in cases where the responsible party was criminally negligent or acted with willful disregard for the safety of others.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit on Time
You will not have forever to recover compensation after an injury caused by a drunk driver. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years. While this may seem like plenty of time, it can pass quickly. Additionally, special circumstances may apply to your case that further limit the amount of time you have to file.
The best way to ensure you meet all deadlines and retain your right to recover compensation is by hiring a DUI accident lawyer in Paterson as soon as possible after your accident. Getting started on your case immediately will also put your attorney in the best position to collect evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
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Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Charge Based on Results
Many lawyers charge their clients based on how many hours they spend working on their cases. However, personal injury lawyers do things differently. Instead of focusing on getting paid for every minute they work on your case, a personal injury lawyer is more concerned with the end result of your case.
Personal injury attorneys collect their fee as a percentage of the compensation you recover from the liable party. That means the more money you get for your damages, the more your lawyer gets paid. This fee structure helps to ensure that your lawyer’s interests are aligned with your own. Their focus will be on getting you as much compensation as possible.
Additionally, when personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, it makes it possible for any accident victim to get qualified legal representation, no matter what their financial means.
Contact a Paterson DUI Accident Attorney Today
At the Morelli Law Firm, our team of drunk driving accident lawyers in Paterson has a proven track record of recovering large payouts for our clients. We work hard to ensure that our clients get the money they need and that justice is served.
Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today for a free case evaluation.