Being injured in an auto accident is always a negative experience, especially when it happens due to the negligence of a drunk driver. It is never a good decision to get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle when having consumed any alcohol, but those who are beyond the .08% blood alcohol concentration limit could be found guilty of being grossly negligent as well in some egregious cases. Gross negligence can be important in an auto accident case because it could be grounds for punitive damages along with special and general damages when all factors are considered in a trial. When this is the situation, it is always best to have a DUI attorney who has conducted punitive damage trials before and has a solid record of success for their injured clients in North Carolina.
Why You Need An Attorney to Represent Your Case
Auto accidents that involve drunk drivers are not standard mishaps. A typical accident does not always involve an impaired driver, and in the contemporary legal climate, it is not necessary for drivers to be impaired only by alcohol. Those under the influence of other substances could also be impaired at the time and maybe have not used any alcohol. Details matter significantly in accident injury cases, especially if there are significant extended damages that can be pursued. An experienced North Carolina DUI attorney understands how to craft a case for maximum damages that could include proving a driver was impaired even if they were not cited. Of course, any DUI citation can help significantly in this process, but winning a punitive damage award is still a difficult legal task.
Settlement versus a trial
Many auto accident cases in North Carolina will go to a full trial due to the state contributory negligence law. North Carolina car accident lawyers understand well the antiquated contributory negligence law that allows insurance companies and personal injury claim defendants to deny responsibility even if the plaintiff has 1% personal contribution in causing an accident that leads to the claimed injury. This is an extremely harsh law, and insurance companies use it regularly in denying claims. The law can also force any accident case to trial, including a case involving a drunk driver. And even though some insurance companies will offer a low settlement to avoid a trial, it is never what is actually owed to the injured claimant in full. And when it happens, car accident lawyers know that the insurance provider and defendant are banking on any amount of personal contribution to causation for a case dismissal. This causes many accident victims to accept a low settlement.
Obtaining whole compensation can still be difficult
Even in accident injury cases where drunk driver fault is not an issue, it can still be difficult to obtain whole compensation after an accident. Most defendants will also have been convicted of driving under the influence before the injury case goes to court, which can potentially impact the defendant’s ability to pay any injured claimant beyond their insurance protection limit. This means that many drunk driver defendants must be held accountable by attaching legally to personal assets such as filing for garnishment of income or against any real estate holdings. This can be a frustrating experience for injured plaintiffs even with comprehensive legal representation from car accident lawyers who can file the necessary documentation in court.
Contact our offices for case analysis
Never assume that an accident case will be resolved in your favor even if the opposing driver was impaired at the time. North Carolina negligence law is clearly in the favor of the impaired driver and their insurance providers. It is always best to retain an aggressive and detail-driven DUI attorney who understands the challenges in obtaining financial compensation and how to build a strong case for whole damages. Call our office today and let us put our experience to work for you by analyzing your potential claim for maximum damages.