Most auto accidents will have an associated insurance provider that will accept and assess injury claims based on all material case facts. However, the true respondent in any accident injury case is the actual driver who caused the collision. Insurance companies are liable per contract law doctrine to cover damages created by their clients when auto accidents occur. The insurance companies investigate the claim using the official accident report and claims from injured parties, and they are then required to issue a decision on a claim in a timely manner. But, what happens when you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver who also happens to have no insurance protection? The short answer is, it can get complicated. That is why it is always best to retain a DWI Car Accident Attorney that is experienced in pursuing damages from uninsured respondents.
The first step in financial recovery for injuries is filing a lawsuit against the individual who was drinking at the time of the accident. This is accomplished by providing a copy of the official accident report that establishes the identities of both the plaintiff and the respondent drunk driver. This allows the court to rule on whether a claim may be needed, and allows for the case to go forward and be placed on the hearing docket. A DWI Car Accident Attorney may also file a spoliation letter that freezes all assets of the respondent until the time of trial, which can be a necessary step when the individual has ample personal assets and can still move them for protection from confiscation.
The first phase of a trial is presenting facts that establish fault and liability in the accident. This can be a difficult process in North Carolina due to the state contributory negligence law. Any injured driver who is even 1% at fault for causing a crash can be denied any financial compensation for their injuries regardless of the extent or severity.
Possible Punitive Damages
Another issue in a DWI / drunk driving accident is potential punitive damages. These are not compensatory, as they are intended as punishment and to send a signal to the community that drunk driving accidents are not acceptable behavior in the community. However, they can only be awarded by a sympathetic jury that decides the claimant is entitled to a financial award for their injuries or death. Many punitive damage cases are actually wrongful death claims as well, and certain elements of the claim can be filed as a separate litigation act.
Contact Our Law Firm
Being compensated for injuries caused by an uninsured driver is not an easy process, and many times there are no assets to pursue. An attorney from our firm can fully evaluate your potential for damage recovery and initiate the proper legal actions to take in obtaining as much compensation as possible. Time is of the essence because evidence can fade fast. Call today and let our attorneys evaluate your case free of charge.