Drunk Driving Accidents
Along with distracting driving, speeding, and running a red light, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of serious car accidents in North Carolina and across the United States. Although such accidents peak in the hours between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the fact is that a drunk driver can cause an accident any time and anywhere. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a driver who was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, the car accident lawyers at Maurer Law can represent you in a claim or lawsuit. As experienced Raleigh drunk driving accident attorneys, we provide compassionate representation to victims who are going through some of the most difficult times in their lives.
While the crime of driving while impaired may result in jail time, fines, the loss of driving privileges, and other penalties, a criminal conviction for DUI or DWI does not automatically result in compensation for victims hurt in a drunk driving crash. While it is possible that the criminal court will order a defendant to pay a modest amount of restitution, it is not likely to come close to compensating the victim for all that they have been through.Bringing a Drunk Driving Accident Case Under North Carolina Law
In order to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by a drunk driving accident, a victim usually must bring a negligence lawsuit in civil court. While a drunk driving conviction may be helpful in proving that the defendant did not behave in a reasonably prudent fashion, it is not necessary to establishing liability. To prevail in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must provide proof of the four elements of negligence (duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages) by a preponderance of the evidence.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that a drunk driver who causes a crash has no insurance or too little insurance to fully compensate the plaintiff for their injuries. When this happens, the plaintiff may have the option of pursuing damages from their own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist carrier. A UM/UIM claim may be surprisingly contentious. An insurance company will fight hard to protect its bottom line and, despite its contract with its policyholder, may stand in the shoes of the at-fault driver to contest liability. Thus, an injured person should not assume that a quick or fair settlement will be forthcoming just because it seems obvious who was at fault in a drunk driving crash. In fact, the defendant (or your own UM/UIM carrier) may even try to defeat a claim based on contributory negligence or another defense, such as a failure to give timely notice or file a claim within the statute of limitations. This makes it essential to enlist a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible.Seek Guidance from a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Raleigh
To talk to a seasoned motor vehicle collision attorney about your potential legal options, call Maurer Law today at (919) 229-8359 or contact us online and ask for a free consultation. As a former insurance company attorney, Raleigh drunk driving accident lawyer Michael Maurer understands that it usually takes a fight for an injured person to receive what they deserve after a serious accident. We are prepared to do what it takes to help you pursue appropriate compensation following a car wreck in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Hickory, Chapel Hill, or other areas of North Carolina.