If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident for which an underage drinker is at fault, you may be entitled to collect additional damages often awarded in accidents involving negligence. The laws in the state where you live may look at accidents where alcohol is involved as an instance of gross negligence in which case you can sue for punitive damages against the drunk driver. In underage drunk driving cases, you also may be able to collect a personal injury settlement from other parties who may share in the responsibility.
Suing for Punitive Damages
Involvement in a vehicle accident where your injuries are due to another driver acting in a grossly negligent manner gives you reason to file a claim for punitive damages. Consequently, a judge or jury may award punitive damages upon determining that your claim of gross negligence is valid and that the driver – by drinking and driving – blatantly disregarded the rights and safety of others.
In a vehicle accident that involves underage drinking, the driver may not be the sole person against whom you can file a lawsuit. Since punitive damages are intended to punish those at fault for reckless behavior, both the at-fault driver and the person who provided alcohol to a young person under the legal drinking age broke the law, entitling you to punitive damages.
In some states, parents who allow underage drinking in their homes can be in trouble if an underage drinker causes an accident after being served alcohol. In a civil case, an adult who is guilty of providing a minor with alcohol may be responsible for injuries you sustain in the auto accident. Under the law in some states, that person also may face criminal charges for supplying a minor under the legal drinking age of 21 with alcohol – especially if the minor causes an accident in which someone is injured or killed.
Collecting Compensatory Damages
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, in addition to filing a claim for punitive damages, you may be able to collect compensatory damages from the driver at fault for the accident or from his or her auto insurance company. But not all insurers accept liability for damages, including coverage for injuries to others, that a drunk driver causes in an accident. They see drinking and driving as intentional acts.
In that case, you will have to take the driver to court. Compensatory damages may be awarded to pay for your medical expenses and time lost from work. Along with receiving compensation for your physical injuries, you can be reimbursed for damage to your vehicle, but the defendant will be responsible for paying you for all of the damages awarded out of his or her own pocket.
Receiving Personal Injury Awards
The amount of any awards you receive for personal injury claims depends on several factors including how seriously you were hurt, the length of your recovery, whether you recover fully or have a permanent injury or disability as the result of your injuries, and if aggravating circumstances, such as drunk driving, were involved. Visit http://www.danielgoodmanlaw.com for more information.Share
25 June 2016
When you get into a serious car accident, things can become complicated quickly. In addition to worrying about other lawyers and problems with your vehicle, you might also be left with serious injuries that keep you from enjoying your life. On top of everything else, you might be left with a huge stack of medical bills, and it can be hard to know what to do next. I want you to understand that there is hope, which is why this blog is all about hiring an attorney. By using this advice, you might be able to streamline your case and enjoy a larger settlement.