Getting injured in an auto accident because the driver was drunk or under the influence of substances can be a petrifying experience. Whether you were driving in your car or injured as a pedestrian, you have the right to take legal action. In New York, you have a deadline of three years to file a lawsuit, but before that, it’s best to consult a drunk driving lawyer. Below are some factors that could adversely impact your claim.
- Not calling an attorney: Because drunk driving accidents often lead to devastating outcomes, it’s important that you talk to an attorney about the worth of your case. They can evaluate your claim based on your injuries and evidence, and they can even help you determine the kind of damages you can claim. Most lawyers don’t charge a fee for the first meeting, and that’s a huge advantage.
- Not gather evidence at the scene: Unless the accident has left you unconscious or in extreme pain, you should take your time to gather evidence at the accident scene. Take pictures of everything you can – your injuries, damaged vehicles, the other driver. All that would come in handy when presenting evidence.
- Accepting the first offer: You are in financial distress and believe that you need the money. However, if you don’t let your attorney negotiate and deal with the other party or their insurer, you could end up with a much lower amount. Your settlement should cover things like lost wages and costs and future medical care.
- Not taking action time. Despite the 3-year deadline for filing a lawsuit, you need to act immediately and take action. For instance, if you don’t contact or talk to witnesses within a reasonable time, you could end up with limited information. Remember that the other side will do all things possible to minimize your settlement.
- Engaging in confrontations. When someone is drunk and has caused an accident, it can be hard to stay calm as a victim. Don’t let your emotions take over. Instead, talk to an attorney and ensure that you stay away from direct confrontations. If you had a share in causing the accident, you should still stay calm and talk to your lawyer alone.
Drunk driving cases may also involve punitive damages, depending on the circumstances. Get an attorney to review your case to know what you can possibly expect from the situation.