Drunk driving accidents in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania happen far too often. In 2019, over 9,000 alcohol-related crashes were reported, and 299 people died in DUI car accidents that year, according to the Pennsylvania DUI Association.
Every drunk driving crash is preventable. In each case, the driver made a reckless decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. The individual’s irresponsible choice in some cases resulted in death or serious injury.
What you need to know about insurance companies and drunk driving accidents
If you were a victim in a DUI crash or lost a loved one, you might think the insurance company will be on your side and compensate you fully. After all, you did nothing wrong. In an ideal world, you would file a claim and receive a fair settlement to cover all of your losses without any hassle.
But unfortunately, that’s not how the world works for insurance companies. To ensure you receive full compensation, it’s wise to arrange a consultation with a Pittsburgh drunk driving accident attorney as soon as possible. With an attorney on your side, you can level the playing field.
Reasons you need an attorney
The insurance company may want to settle the case quickly to avoid a lawsuit. You might receive an offer. You might be tempted to accept the offer and move on. But you need to consider the full impact of the accident. Does the amount offered by the insurance company cover all of your losses?
Types of damages in a drunk driving accident
The compensation you may be entitled to receive (known as damages) may include (but is not limited to) the following:
- Medical expenses such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, medication, surgeries, costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Pain and suffering, which might include mental and/or emotional distress related to the crash.
- Lost wages, which may include your inability to work or need to take on lighter duties due to your injuries, as well as future lost income.
- Loss of consortium, or loss of affection, which means the accident has affected your ability to have an intimate relationship with your spouse. These damages also can apply to the impact of the crash on the relationship with children or parents.
- Loss of quality of life, which means the crash may have left you with permanent disabilities that diminish your ability to enjoy hobbies or participate in normal activities that were a part of your life before the accident.
The insurance company knows that accident victims may be entitled to the damages listed above, and possibly more. But they are for-profit businesses. They make money through the premiums their policyholders pay. When they receive a claim, they will look for ways to minimize payments or deny the claim outright.
Even when the crash is clearly the drunk driver’s fault, the insurance company might try to find a loophole or some other reason not to pay. They might say you did something to cause the crash. Even if the other driver was drunk, their impairment is not enough proof that he or she caused the crash. It needs to be proven that the drunk driver caused the accident.
How to contact an attorney
As you can see, drunk driving accident claims can become complicated in no time. You might feel overwhelmed after the crash. An experienced car accident attorney in Pittsburgh can work on your behalf and be your advocate through the entire process. We understand the complex nature of DUI crashes and now how to pursue all the damages a victim is entitled to receive.
Contact the Romanow Law Group today for a free consultation about your drunk driving accident in Pittsburgh. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees until you win your case.