Drunk driving accidents are unfortunately prevalent in North Memphis, and their impact on victims and their families can be devastating. The physical, emotional, and financial consequences of such incidents can leave victims overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn for help. An experienced personal injury lawyer in North Memphis at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC can help you and your family navigate the complex legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Steps in Pursuing a Drunk Driving Accident Claim
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 73,479 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred between 2011 and 2022. The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be incredibly challenging and confusing for victims and their families. In addition to dealing with the physical and emotional consequences of the accident, you may be faced with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and the daunting task of seeking compensation from the responsible party.
Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
The first step in pursuing a drunk driving accident claim is to schedule a free consultation with a skilled attorney. During this meeting, you will have the opportunity to discuss the specifics of your case and ask any questions you may have. The attorney will carefully evaluate your situation to determine if you have a viable claim and provide guidance on the best course of action.
In-Depth Investigation and Evidence Collection
Once your attorney has determined that you have a strong case, they will initiate a thorough investigation to gather crucial evidence and identify all potential sources of compensation. This may involve:
- Obtaining and analyzing police reports and accident scene photographs
- Interviewing witnesses and obtaining their statements
- Reviewing medical records and consulting with medical experts
- Obtaining the at-fault driver’s driving history and criminal records
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to determine the sequence of events and the cause of the collision
- Collecting evidence of the responsible party’s intoxication, such as BAC test results, surveillance footage, or eyewitness testimony
Filing a Claim and Preparing a Demand Package
Your attorney will file a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company with the necessary evidence collected. They will also prepare a comprehensive demand package outlining the damages you have suffered, including:
- Medical expenses (past, current, and future)
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (if applicable)
This demand package serves as the foundation for negotiations with the insurance company and provides a clear picture of the compensation you are seeking.
Settlement Negotiation and Mediation
After filing the claim and submitting the demand package, your attorney will enter into settlement negotiations with the insurance company. This process may involve several rounds of back-and-forth discussions, with each party presenting their case and counteroffers.
If the insurance company refuses to offer an acceptable settlement amount or disputes the extent of your damages, your attorney may recommend mediation. During mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) will work with both sides to facilitate communication and help them reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
Preparing for Trial
If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation, your attorney will prepare to take your case to trial. This process may involve:
- Drafting and filing a formal lawsuit with the court
- Conducting discovery, which includes exchanging evidence and information with the opposing party
- Taking depositions of witnesses and experts
- Preparing and filing pre-trial motions to resolve any legal issues before the trial begins
- Developing a trial strategy and preparing opening statements, witness examinations, and closing arguments
Trial and Verdict
Your attorney will present the evidence during the trial and argue your case before a judge or jury. They will:
- Deliver an opening statement outlining your case
- Present evidence through witness testimony and exhibits
- Cross-examine witnesses called by the defense
- Make objections to any improper evidence or arguments presented by the opposing party
- Deliver a closing argument, summarizing the evidence and urging the jury to find in your favor
After both sides have presented their cases, the judge or jury will deliberate and decide on liability and the amount of compensation to be awarded. If the verdict is in your favor, your attorney will work with you to collect the judgment and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Firm Today
Start With a Free, No-Obligation ConsultationFree Case Review
Understanding the Different Types of Compensation Available
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows one death every 45 minutes from motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Victims of drunk driving accidents often face a wide range of physical, emotional, and financial challenges as they attempt to recover and rebuild their lives. The legal system provides for different types of compensation, broadly categorized into economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable losses that can be easily calculated based on the financial impact of the accident. These damages cover various expenses and losses, such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and property damage. The goal of awarding economic damages is to help the victim return to their financial state before the accident by compensating them for the monetary losses they have incurred due to the drunk driver’s actions.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, address the more subjective and intangible consequences of the accident. These damages compensate the victim for the emotional and psychological impact they have experienced, which can often be just as debilitating as physical injuries.
Non-economic damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship or consortium. While it can be difficult to assign a precise monetary value to these types of damages, they are an essential component of the compensation package, as they acknowledge the full scope of the harm caused by the drunk driver.
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded when the at-fault driver’s actions were particularly egregious, reckless, or malicious. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which are designed to compensate the victim, punitive damages punish the responsible party and deter others who might engage in similar behavior.
Punitive damages are not awarded in every case, and their availability depends on the specific circumstances of the accident and the jurisdiction in which the case is being pursued. Nevertheless, when awarded, punitive damages can significantly increase the victim’s compensation, sending a strong message that drunk driving will not be tolerated.
Get a free case review today. There`s no fee unless we win!
The Importance of a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in North Memphis
Victims and their families are often left to navigate a complex legal landscape while simultaneously dealing with the physical and emotional repercussions of the incident. Hiring a skilled and experienced North Memphis drunk driving accident attorney can be crucial in guiding you through this challenging time and ensuring your rights are protected.
Understanding the Legal System
Drunk driving accident cases involve both criminal and civil law. A skilled attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to navigate these complex legal systems, ensuring that all appropriate charges are filed against the responsible party and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
It is crucial to establish liability for the accident. A drunk driving accident attorney will know how to collect and analyze evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and blood alcohol content (BAC) results, to prove that the at-fault driver was intoxicated and caused the collision.
An experienced attorney can accurately assess the full extent of your damages and advocate for the maximum compensation you deserve. They will also be well-versed in negotiating with insurance companies, often attempting to minimize victim payouts.
Over $500 Million
Recovered on Behalf
of Our Clients
Contact a North Memphis Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
By retaining a knowledgeable and experienced North Memphis drunk driving accident attorney from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of securing the compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life. Contact us today.