What to do if I was involved in an automobile accident and the other driver was under the influence?

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What to do if I was involved in an automobile accident and the other driver was under the influence?

The car we were driving was only seven months old and took a pretty brutal impact. How and what should I ask for on medical bills, pain and suffering and my vehicle? I really do not want to pay for a 7 month old wrecked vehicle especially since I was not at fault. My wife and I both did go seek medical advice.

Asked on July 1, 2013 under Personal Injury, Mississippi

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Property damage and personal injury are separate claims and would be filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.  If the other driver did not have auto insurance, but you have uninsured motorist coverage, you would file an uninsured motorist claim through your insurance carrier.

The amount of your property damage claim will be determined by the cost of repairs to your car.  If the car is a total loss, the amount of property damage compensation you would receive would be its value which might not be much due to it being a total loss.  Property damage is usually settled early in the case.

You and your wife have separate personal injury claims.  When each of you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain the medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  You and your wife's separate personal injury claims filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier or if no insurance filed as an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance carrier should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If you or your wife are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  If both of your personal injury cases are settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If one but not both personal injury claims have been settled with the insurance carrier, only the person whose claim has not been settled would file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault drunk driver.  If you or your wife or both have not settled the personal injury claim(s) with the insurance carrier, the lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault drunk driver must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your rights will be lost forever in the matter.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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