A DUI accident can feel devastating for everyone involved. Drunk driving accidents can cause more serious injuries than other types of accidents, since drunk drivers often have less control over their vehicles and a slowed response time that can make it harder for them to react to potential dangers on the road.
Your loved one suffered serious injuries or died in a DUI accident. What can you do next? Since you are not the injured party, you may have limited resources. However, there are some things to consider as your loved one moves forward with their recovery.
Are you the parent of a minor child injured in a DUI accident?
If you are the parent of a minor child injured in a DUI accident, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim on your child’s behalf. Often, the injuries from a DUI accident can leave your child with devastating physical effects that can last for the rest of your child’s life. By seeking compensation on your child’s behalf, you can help set your child up with the funds needed to help with ongoing medical care. Often, the funds from a child’s personal injury claim belong solely to the child and will be set aside in a trust until the child turns 18. Starting a DUI accident claim now, however, will increase the odds that your child will get much-needed compensation for those injuries.
Do you hold legal power of attorney for a loved one injured in a DUI accident?
Sometimes, you may hold legal decision-making power for a loved one who suffers serious injuries in an accident caused by a drunk driver. You may have legal power of attorney for an aging parent who needs additional help managing legal events, or you may hold legal power of attorney for your spouse if your spouse cannot make those decisions on his own after the accident.
If you hold legal power of attorney for a loved one injured in a DUI accident, you can work with an attorney to file a personal injury claim on your loved one’s behalf. You can help make those important decisions and negotiate on your loved one’s behalf, since you have legal decision-making authority.
Did your loved one die in the accident?
If your loved one died as a result of a DUI accident, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. Generally, the deceased’s spouse has the first right to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased does not have a spouse, the deceased’s children may have the right to file a wrongful death claim, and if the deceased has no spouse or children, the deceased’s parents may have the right to file a claim. In some cases, the deceased’s estate may also have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
What should you do if your loved one suffers injuries in a DUI accident?
If your loved one suffers serious injuries in a DUI accident, and you have the legal right to file for compensation on your loved one’s behalf, make sure you take these vital steps.
1. Make sure your loved one receives medical attention, and keep track of all medical records and bills associated with injuries from the DUI accident.
A personal injury claim associated with a DUI accident will usually use those medical bills as the foundation of the compensation your loved one ultimately receives. By keeping track of medical records, you can make it easier to establish how much compensation your loved one deserves.
2. Contact your loved one’s health insurance provider to ask about coverage.
Your loved one’s health insurance provider can offer information about how much help your loved one can expect for medical expenses. You may want to ask specific questions about how much coverage your loved one has for specific elements of care related to his injuries, including how much the insurance company will pay out for elements like physical or occupational therapy or how long a stay in a long-term care facility your loved one can rely on the insurance company to cover.
3. Get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
After a DUI accident, you may clearly know that the other party caused the accident and, therefore, your loved one’s injuries. A car accident attorney can help prove liability for the accident and your loved one’s injuries if liability gets disputed as you try to manage the claim. Furthermore, an attorney can help provide more information about the compensation your loved one really deserves. The insurance company that covers the liable driver may not always provide a fair assessment of the compensation your loved one deserves, but an attorney will give you more information about how much compensation you should fight for.
It’s difficult to feel powerless in the aftermath of a severe accident that results in serious injuries for your loved one. By following these steps, you can increase the odds that your loved one will get the help they need.