All auto accidents can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims, regardless of the level of injury and the circumstances involved in the case. But, when people are injured as the result of an auto accident involving an impaired driver, the court system has additional remedies in place because of reckless behavior that could result in the injured party being better compensated for injuries and long-term impact on their life.
While most Arlington accidents are focused on simple negligence when determining fault for a mishap, accidents caused by drunk drivers are the result of reckless behavior that could be determined as gross negligence in a trial. This verdict could also result in an additional damage award from a sympathetic jury when an Arlington drunk driver accident attorney can craft a solid case on behalf of their injured client. The legal professionals at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi understand this possibility and will always investigate every drunk driver accident case thoroughly for all avenues of compensation.
Insurance Company Negotiations
Typically there will be a responsible insurance provider for a drunk driver, even though that is not always the case. Some individuals who make the reckless decision to drive under the influence will not bother to maintain automobile insurance.
Negotiating with an insurance company is never an undertaking for an injured claimant, and especially when a drunk driver is involved, because the insurance company is primarily obligated to the company and their client – not you.
Many insurance providers will even provide the legal defense for a drunk driver who they have covered when they think they can prove the claimant had a high percentage of fault in causing a crash. The insurance provider is only liable up to the maximum of the drunk driver’s policy, so further legal action may be necessary as well against the respondent.
Legal Action Against the Driver
Tennessee is designated as a “fault” state for auto accidents. This means that individuals who are injured in an accident with a drunk driver can also file suit against the driver in addition to an insurance claim.
Proof of drunk driving can not only establish negligence, it can also rise to the level of gross negligence because it is considered reckless behavior by the Tennessee court system. This can be an important material case fact when the defendant was charged criminally as well because all impaired driving accident citations are classified as aggravated charges.
This can be especially important in a drunk driver accident involving a commercial vehicle when the driver was on duty at the time of the crash, as the employer can potentially be liable for damages as well. This would mean that there would be additional avenues of financial recovery that could provide adequate funds for a whole damage award.
Limitations on Damages in Arlington
Even though a drunk driver accident case can be obvious with respect to fault of the impaired driver, the insurance provider will still emphasize any personal contribution to causation of the injury because it will reduce the total amount of damages available.
Tennessee negligence laws allow for a reduction in total available damages based on the comparative negligence percentage of injured claimants who were also driving during the impact. While most passengers injured in a drunk driver accident will have no assessment for personal fault, all drivers are assessed for a personal percentage.
This is a part of the negotiation process that insurance companies or employers want to control from the very beginning, and we understand these tactics well at GKBM Law. This is often the most intense part of any settlement negotiation, even in an impaired driving accident case, and having an aggressive Arlington drunk driver accident attorney is vital to receiving a fair settlement.
Always remember that the lawyer you choose can matter greatly, especially when a drunk driver accident case will be going to a full trial. Anyone in Tennessee who has been injured by a drunk driver should call the experienced legal professionals at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi for a full free evaluation of your potential injury claim value.