No one expects to be in a collision with a drunk driver, but it often happens. As you're on the way to the hospital, you might begin to realize how significantly you've been hurt, feeling broken bones, witnessing bones being set and starting to receive stitches for serious wounds. The emergency team does all it can to help at the scene and during transport, but the reality is that you're going to have a long road to recovery.
If you are hurt by a drunk driver, it's almost certain that you'll have a claim to make against them. This claim can help you get the money you need to cover your care as well as to compensate you for the pain and suffering you've been through. Worrying about money is detrimental to a patient with bigger health concerns, and that's where a settlement may come into play.
When can you settle with a drunk driver?
It is best not to settle immediately. Instead, you'll want to wait until you understand the full impact this crash has had on your health, family and home, work life and other activities. You need to be able to fully assess the situation, because if you don't, you could accept a settlement that isn't enough to cover your ongoing needs.
Keep in mind that you will have a lot of leverage in your case, especially since the other driver was intoxicated. If that person is convicted of drunk driving, this is a huge boost to your case and can help you get more out of a settlement.
Insurance companies do have limits, so this is another issue to consider. If the insurance company offers as much as it can and it won't be enough, you may also need to seek a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit can help you obtain more than just the insurance maximum, but it depends on the situation.
A trial is possible for some cases that have questionable evidence, but if the driver is convicted and you're positive that they were intoxicated, the likelihood is that you'll be able to seek your claim and settle outside court. Your attorney will discuss your case with you and help you decide if the settlement is fair or if you still need to go to trial. Every case is different, so it's important to do all you can to get the compensation you deserve.