A drunk driving accident can turn your life around in an instant. You may have suffered serious, long-term injuries or lost a loved one in a car crash. If so, you have a right to take legal action against the driver responsible. In Ohio, the liable party is responsible for compensating the victims of an accident.
A Springfield drunk driving car accident lawyer from our firm can help you quantify your damages and file the paperwork necessary for pursuing a claim with the insurance company. If the liable motorist is not covered or does not have enough insurance coverage, The Fitch Law Firm LLC could represent you in a car accident lawsuit. The initial consultation is free.
Pursuing Compensation from a Drunk Driver in Springfield
It is illegal to drink and drive. Depending on the at-fault party’s blood alcohol content (BAC), their age, whether they have any prior alcohol-related offenses, and the extent of damage caused, they can face various consequences. These range from fines and the use of an ignition interlock device to jail time and license suspension.
However, these penalties do not address the harm you and your family suffered because of a drunk driver’s negligence. Regardless of the criminal consequences they face, if an intoxicated motorist caused your or your loved one’s injuries, you could file a claim with their insurer for your accident-related losses, including:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Lost income
- Lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Skin scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of a loved one
- Property damages
- Funeral or burial expenses
When we represent you, we will help identify all possible recoverable damages in the case. This is just one of several services we offer clients seeking financial recovery in Springfield.
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How a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
Aside from identifying the damages you could recover, an attorney from our firm can help you after a drunk driving accident by:
- Identifying the liable party, which is usually an impaired driver or someone who sold the driver alcohol
- Gathering evidence, such as the police report of your collision, accident footage, and eyewitness statements
- Quantifying damages so you can file for a fair settlement from the at-fault party’s insurer
- Filing all the legal, insurance, and administrative paperwork required for the case
- Negotiating with the liable party’s insurer to make sure you avoid lowball offers and unfair terms, which can hamper your recovery or financial well-being in the long run
Our legal team can also help you understand the insurance and personal injury laws that apply to your case. For example, when you reach out to us in time, we make sure to file your lawsuit within the appropriate deadlines if going to court becomes necessary.
It is crucial that you reach out to us as soon as possible if you want legal help. The more time a lawyer has to build your case, the stronger it can be, and we want to secure the best possible outcome for you.
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Driving While Intoxicated Is a Form of Negligence
The reason operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) is considered negligence is because it can:
- Affect judgment and restrict alertness
- Impair coordination and limit the ability to control a vehicle
- Slow response times
- Lead to swerving and swaying while driving
- Cause higher risk tolerance, which can lead to dangerous and aggressive driving
Injuries commonly seen in drunk driving cases include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Disfigurement and scarring
Any of these injuries could cause permanent disabilities or even death. However, as long as you can establish a connection between the accident and your or your loved one’s injuries, you can take steps to hold the drunk driver accountable. Our team is here for you and ready to discuss your case for free at any time.
We work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you pay nothing up front or out of pocket unless we secure a settlement or court award on your behalf. Additionally, our fees come out of your earnings, not your pocket. This is a beneficial arrangement for clients as there are no financial risks.
Make Sure You See a Doctor After a Car Accident in Springfield
One way you can support your case is by seeing a doctor immediately. Even if your injuries were not severe enough to warrant emergency room care, prioritize getting a medical checkup after any type of accident. Your docotor’s records can help our drunk driving accident team evaluate your damages and establish the negligence of another party.
You deserve to make your maximum medical recovery, as well. Follow through with your doctor’s orders, and we can handle the rest.
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Springfield Drunk Driving Accident FAQs
Drunk driving accidents can destroy your life and your family members’ lives. However, you may be unsure how to hold the liable party accountable for their negligence and how to approach your insurance and civil claims.
With this in mind, we have answered some of Springfield’s most commonly asked questions regarding drunk driving accidents below. If you have additional questions we did not cover here, contact us to discuss your concerns in further detail.
What Is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability refers to the liability of an establishment that serves or sells alcohol. These establishments are known as dram shops and can be held accountable when they over-serve or sell alcohol to someone who is already under the influence.
If that party goes on to cause an accident, the dram shop can be held accountable for the victim’s damages. Your attorney‘s investigation into the cause of your accident will reveal whether a dram shop shares fault for your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File My Lawsuit?
Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means your lawsuit must be filed before the two-year deadline expires.
However, if you are unsure how much longer you have to move forward with your case or extenuating circumstances may have made the statute of limitations deadline unclear, be sure to reach out to your lawyer for clarity.
Will I Have to Appear in Court?
You may have to bring your case to court. In some instances, you may be able to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement through the insurance company. However, insurance companies regularly attempt to deny the claims of those who are injured in drunk driving accidents, asserting that policies are not in effect when drivers are under the influence.
Your drunk driving accident attorney will closely evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine whether an insurance settlement is appropriate in your case. If an insurance settlement is unavailable or the offer in question does not adequately meet your needs, your attorney may suggest pursuing civil action against the culpable party.
Could I Be Awarded Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are rarely awarded. However, they can be awarded when the jury finds the defendant’s actions abhorrent or reprehensible. Punitive damages are not an entitlement you have the right to recover but rather a way for the court system to punish the defendant for intolerable conduct.
You should never expect to be awarded punitive damages. Still, if the jury finds such an award appropriate in your case, you could see a dramatic increase in the total value of your injury settlement. Your lawyer can give you a better idea of whether punitive damages could apply to your drunk driving accident case after reviewing the details further.
Connect with Our Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney in Springfield for Help
You should not have to shoulder the financial consequences of a collision because of an intoxicated driver’s actions. The law allows you to seek compensation for accident-related losses and damages, allowing you to hold them responsible.
A lawyer from our team will walk you through everything you need to know about the case and fight in your corner for the financial recovery you deserve. Contact The Fitch Law Firm LLC to speak with a compassionate team member. We are here to listen to the facts of your case, explain your rights and options, and determine the next best steps.
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