What are my rights if I was in car accident with an at-fault drunk driver?

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What are my rights if I was in car accident with an at-fault drunk driver?

My truck was totaled. I loss conciousness for a few seconds and had loss of bowels. My head also had a gash. I was experiencing extreme pain in my left side which later was determined as fractured ribs. I was hospitalized for four days. My hospital bills were a little over $18,000 and ambulance ride a little over $500. I still can’t lay in my bed from the discomfort. The accident was about a month ago. At this point how much is my claim worth. My health insurance already paid my hospital bills so does the other person’s insurer have to reimburse either me or insurer?

Asked on February 26, 2013 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Whether the other person's insurance has to reimburse your insurer is their issue--not yours.

When injured by an at-fault driver, like a drunk driver, you can potentially recover all of the following:

1) Any out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs;

2) Lost wages, if you couldn't work;

3) Any out-of-pocket property damage (i.e. property damage not paid for by insurance)

4) Pain and suffering for disability and diminution of life enjoyment and impairment of life functions. As a rule of thumb, this is often in an amount equal to around 1 - 2 times your medical bills.

5) Other miscellaneous costs--like if you had to hire a housekeeper or aid to help you out while disabled.


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