Many auto accident cases involve two people who genuinely weren’t behaving so recklessly that they deserve society’s ire. People make mistakes. But when it comes to drunk drivers, our community and our laws react with severity. If you’re the victim of a drunk driver, do not hesitate to call a personal injury attorney. You have rights that you may be completely unaware of and you probably need an advocate to take care of the legal issues while you take time to heal.
This chapter covers:
Why DUI cases are confusing to victims
One misstep and we sue
Why DUI Cases are Confusing to Victims
In accidents involving people who were Driving Under the Influence (DUI), the city’s district attorney gets involved and files a criminal case against the driver. In that process, the DA is trying to prove that the other driver was drunk and to punish him or her appropriately.
But that process does not take care of you and your damages! For that, you need your own attorney to handle a civil case against the driver.
The prosecutor’s job is to punish the bad guy. Your personal injury attorney’s job is to make the bad guy and his insurance company pay in the civil process.
In the criminal trial, the DA needs information from the accident victim – the extent of your injuries, damages, and other related information. But the prosecutor doesn’t call your doctors to ask about treatment; he doesn’t negotiate with hospitals to reduce your bills; he doesn’t work with insurance companies to get you the highest coverage possible. (In fact, he may not even know those laws very well.) It’s not his job.
It is a personal injury attorney’s job to do all of those things – as explained throughout the rest of this book.
Think of it this way: The prosecutor’s job is to punish the bad guy in a criminal process. Your personal injury attorney’s job is to make the bad guy and his insurance company pay in the civil process.
One Misstep and We Sue
There is absolutely no reason that the DUI driver’s insurance company should balk at any of your claims for coverage. At the O’Sullivan Law Firm, the moment the DUI driver’s insurance company puts up any fight whatsoever, we sue them.
Why? Because they have a legal duty to pay for all of the DUI driver’s harm and, quite honestly, juries don’t like it when insurance companies fight with victims of DUI accidents. We will swiftly take them into litigation and protect your rights.
The O’Sullivan Law Firm represented a taxi driver who was working in downtown Denver on a Friday night. He was driving east on 17th Avenue and was hit from the side by a drunk driver who ran a red light. The drunk driver’s car spun all the way around and ended up behind the taxi driver. As the drunk driver tried to flee the scene, she smashed into the taxi driver four more times!
When the drunk driver’s insurance company showed resistance to the taxi driver’s claims, we instantly sued. Very quickly, the insurance company realized that they did not want the case to go to court and they provided our client with all of his rightful coverage.
A Final Word on DUI Cases
As we stated at the top of this chapter, many auto accidents involve decent people who simply make mistakes. But DUI cases are different. The drunk driver must be brought to justice in two legal processes: criminal and civil. You absolutely need a personal injury attorney to fight for your rights in the civil process.