Injured By a Drunk Driver In Arizona?

With events like Barrett Jackson and Waste Management Open starting up during Arizona’s relatively warm weather, visitors are flocking to our state. Tourism is an undeniable boost to the local economy, but these events are also strongly associated with alcohol consumption. That unfortunately means an increased risk of intoxicated drivers on the road. If you are in an accident with an intoxicated driver, the best-case scenario is that there is only property damage. However, when alcohol is involved, car accidents tend to be more severe. You could be seriously injured from a collision caused by a drunk driver. This could also cause you to incur medical bills, lost income, and other expenses through no fault of your own. A personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation for your losses. For your free consultation with an experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer, call 480-833-800

Scales of justice in focus with a blurred lawyer in the background, symbolizing legal help for those injured by a drunk driver

Drunk Driving Injury Claim

The information here is meant to address the personal injury claim resulting from a drunk driving accident. This is a civil claim, which is separate from the criminal prosecution the defendant may face from DUI charges. A criminal defendant can be ordered to pay restitution by the court. This is separate from a judgment obtained through a personal injury claim. A defendant may need to pay restitution as part of their probation requirements and in order to have their criminal conviction set aside. 

The other driver doesn’t need to be convicted of DUI for you to be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim. However, a DUI conviction can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim resulting from that accident. So can a police report, so it’s crucial that you call the police to the scene of a traffic accident if you believe the other driver is intoxicated. The driver’s BAC needs to be tested as soon as possible to show the driver’s level of intoxication when the accident occurred. 

Most of the time, car accident injury claims are settled through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. The majority of injury claims settle out of court, but insurance companies have additional incentive to settle claims arising out of drunk driving accidents. Juries tend to sympathize with victims injured by drunk drivers, so settling out of court can reduce legal costs. This doesn’t mean that you should pursue this type of claim without legal representation. The plaintiff should still consider hiring an attorney to ensure that the settlement they receive is fair and fully compensates them for all of their losses. 

Damages To Claim In An Injury Settlement

To receive full compensation for a drunk driving injury claim, the plaintiff will likely need to request multiple types of damages. Every situation is unique, so the damages that apply to one case might be slightly different from another case. Have your claim reviewed by a personal injury attorney so you can make sure you demand all of the damages for which you are due compensation. For your free consultation in Maricopa, Pima, or Pinal County, call 480-833-800

Medical Expenses. If you are injured by a drunk driver, your medical expenses to treat your injuries should be compensated in a personal injury claim. The best form of evidence for pursuing medical expense reimbursement is medical records. See a doctor as soon as you can after an accident- you may have injuries that you aren’t even aware of yet. You may have an extensive course of treatment before you. 

Future Medical Expenses. Plaintiffs in injury claims will usually have 2 years from the date of the accident to bring their claims. If the plaintiff has severe injuries, they could receive medical treatment much longer than those 2 years, if not for life. The plaintiff should estimate their future medical expenses and demand them in their personal injury claim. 

Lost Wages. An injury victim may miss work, and lose income, for multiple reasons. First, the victim’s medical treatments could interfere with work hours. Second, their injuries could be severe enough to require longer-term leave from work. When making a demand from the defendant, the plaintiff should request lost wages reimbursement. This can be more difficult to calculate if the plaintiff is a contractor, owns their own business, etc. 

Lost Earning Potential. Severe injuries can impede an accident victim’s career opportunities. This is especially true if the victim works in manual labor or has a job that is physical in nature. If you expect your injuries from a drunk driver will affect your ability to exceed in your career, you should have a personal injury attorney help you estimate your lost earning potential damages. These damages can be quite significant, especially taking into account the plaintiff’s field of work. 

Pain and Suffering. The pain, trauma, stress, suffering, and other negative aspects of recovering from an accident can’t be represented by a clear numerical figure. Pain and suffering is a damage that can cover these less-tangible costs. There are multiple ways a plaintiff can calculate their pain and suffering damages after a DUI accident. The most common is by assigning a multiplier between 1 and 5 to the rest of the damages that the plaintiff incurred. This is known as the multiplier method. The plaintiff can also assign a daily value to their pain and suffering and multiply that by the number of days they experienced pain and suffering or the number of days they expect to experience pain and suffering. This is known as the per diem method. 

What To Do After An Accident With a Drunk Driver

Unless damages are minor, the police will usually come to the scene of a traffic accident. If you believe the other driver is intoxicated after a collision, you should call the police and let them know your suspicions so that the other driver’s BAC, or blood alcohol content, can be tested. The police can also issue a police report that can be used as demonstrative evidence in a future personal injury claim. 

Just like any other car accident, you should exchange information with the other driver and take pictures of the scene. This is after removing your vehicle from the roadway, if possible, to somewhere safe. If other factors could’ve affected the accident, like traffic signals or weather conditions, you should do your best to document this with your photos as well. 

To seek compensation for your injuries, you need a medical record as a basis for these demands. If you don’t see a medical professional immediately after the accident, you should see your medical provider as soon as possible. If paying your medical expenses while waiting for an injury claim to settle is an issue, you can learn more about the medical lien process with your free consultation- call 480-833-800 to schedule your free consultation. 

Experienced Lawyers For Arizona Injury Claims

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver in Arizona, you deserve compensation for your damages. A skilled injury attorney can handle your negotiations with the other party so you can focus on your recovery rather than back-and-forth with an insurance company. Get a knowledgeable lawyer on board before you take any actions that could hurt your claim. To get started with your free consultation, contact us at My Az Personal Injury or call 480-833-800

Published On: April 21st, 2024Categories: Personal injury