If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver while on the road, it’s understandable to feel both physically and emotionally distressed. Hopefully, you’ve already received medical attention for any injuries you’ve suffered so now you can focus on how to hold the driver accountable for their actions. The legal process may seem daunting when you aren’t familiar with it, but a lawyer can help you along the way.
At Lane Brown, LLC, our team has an in-depth understanding of car accident lawsuits. We can help you gather evidence in your case and hold all liable parties responsible. Hopefully, by proving negligence, we’ll be able to maximize your claim value. Having a Chicago car accident lawyer by your side will make you feel supported as you fight for the compensation you deserve for an accident you didn’t cause.
How to Prove Negligence in a Car Accident
When you’ve been in a car accident, you may have firsthand experience regarding who was at fault in the wreck, but it’ll still take evidence to prove negligence in court. When a drunk driver hits you on the road, proving negligence might come easier because it’s likely that the police have filed criminal charges against the driver.
If criminal charges are filed, you can use any evidence from the criminal case in your civil case. For example, a breathalyzer test showing that the driver’s blood alcohol level was above .08 can be used in both trials. Even if the drunk driver wasn’t criminally charged, you can still sue them in civil court.
The standard for negligence in civil court is lower in civil court than in criminal court, so you can use things such as witness testimonies, photographs, video footage, medical records, and police reports to prove that the driver was negligent in a civil case.
Calculating Your Claim Value
Once you can prove that the drunk driver was negligent in your accident and their negligence led to any injuries you suffered, you can begin calculating your claim value. Your car accident lawyer in Chicago will help calculate your settlement by examining all of your damages.
Economic and non-economic damages will be considered including financial losses you’ve experienced and ways in which the accident affected your lifestyle. Economic damages may include medical expenses, property damages, and lost income from being out of work. Non-economic damages may include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and scarring and disfigurement.
When hit by a drunk driver, it’s possible that the judge will award punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant has intentionally caused harm. Usually, they’re awarded as a way to set an example for other drivers on the road.
Reach Out to a Chicago Car Accident Attorney
Although a settlement may not erase the traumatic experience you’ve been through, it can help you recover without added financial strain. You deserve to be compensated for your suffering and the drunk driver should be held liable for their negligence.