Thousands of Americans lose their lives as a result of drunk driving each year. Driving while under the influence of drugs or other substances slows down a driver's reaction time and increases the risk that the driver will suffer an accident. Therefore, drinking and driving is highly illegal and you will want to speak with a drunk driving accident attorney about how you can seek compensation for the death of a loved one.
After a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were with your loved one at the time of the accident, you may notice that the other driver seemed intoxicated as you were exchanging insurance information after the accident. In any accident, you should contact the police and wait for them to arrive. However, you should consider bringing up to the police officer that the other driver seemed intoxicated.
If you were not at the scene of the accident, you may never find out that the other driver was under the influence of alcohol unless the driver passed away or a police officer noticed that the driver was intoxicated and charged them with drinking and driving. If this is the case, your drunk driving accident attorney will be able to use the testimony from the police officer as evidence of negligence.
The Importance of Proving Negligence
Drunk driving is a critical part of your case because you must prove that the other driver was negligent. Otherwise, you would not necessarily be entitled to compensation for the death of your loved one and the situation might simply be treated as a tragic accident with no parties at fault.
If the police officer never investigates the driver for drinking and driving, your drunk driving accident attorney may track down witnesses who may testify to the fact that the driver was likely under the influence. There might also be video footage that can show that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. For example, a dashcam might show the driver swerving erratically.
Compensation to Expect for the Death of Your Loved One
While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, you are still entitled to compensation, and doing so can help you hold the other party to account for the accident. You will be entitled to compensation for various forms of damages such as medical expenses, lost future earnings, and emotional damages. In the case of drinking and driving, you may also be awarded punitive damages.
For more information, reach out to a drunk driving accident lawyer.