California DUI Accident Attorney: How to Protect Your Rights After a Drunk Driver Hits You
A car accident is never an enjoyable experience. When it involves a drunk driver, however, it is even more important to know how to protect your legal rights. Consult with an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible after any accident. At Deldar Legal, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in handling drunk driving cases. They know how to deal with insurance companies to protect your legal right to compensation. Call (844) 335-3271 to schedule your free consultation.
Here are some important things to remember in order to protect your legal rights after an auto accident:
Anything you say can be used against you.
The insurance company will find any possible opportunity to reduce the value of your claim. This means that anything you say – even statements you make in the minutes immediately after the accident – might be used in an attempt to prove that you weren’t really injured that badly. After an accident, the insurance company will often call you to get a statement about what happened in the accident. This, too, can be used later in an attempt to discredit your version of events. The best policy is not to make any statements about the accident to anyone other than your attorney. Once the insurance company is notified that you are represented by counsel, they can no longer contact you about the accident. All communication must be made through your attorney.
Anything you post on social media can be used against you.
As part of the campaign to devalue your claim, insurance investigators will routinely comb through social media channels to find any information you have posted. Pictures, statements, and other information can all be used in an attempt to discount your pain or call you a liar. Even simple photos of you engaging in your daily life can be used in a backhanded attempt to discredit your injuries – the insurance company might claim that you could not possibly be in pain if you are able to work and go to the gym and do your other usual activities. Do not give them the opportunity to use your own information against you. Be sure all your accounts have the strongest possible privacy settings. Do not accept connection requests from anyone you do not know. Do not post ANY photos or statements about the accident.
The driver – and his or her insurance company – are not on your side.
The other driver might be apologetic or even friendly at the scene of the accident. Their insurance company will likely call and express concern over your injuries. Do not be fooled by any politeness that may or may not be genuine. The fact is that you have the legal right to be compensated for any injuries caused by a negligent driver. This legal right is in direct opposition to the insurance company’s interest in paying as little as possible on claims, and the driver’s interest in keeping his or her insurance premiums low. The negligent drunk driver and his or her insurance company are not on your side. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that they are.
You Can Collect Your Own Evidence
It is important to be an advocate for your own legal rights. An auto accident lawyer can help you document the injuries and losses you have sustained after an accident caused by a drunk driver. It is easier to present a persuasive case for compensation when you can detail the specific ways in which you have been affected by your injuries. For example, simply stating that your back hurts does not make a persuasive case for compensation. It would be much more compelling if you had a journal detailing five sleepless nights, three days you missed work, ten days you couldn’t complete your normal workout at your gym, and the fact that you had to purchase a special back support to use on your office chair at work. These specific details make a stronger case for compensation to a claims adjuster (or, if necessary, to a jury).
Crime Victims Have Legal Rights Under California Law
Like many states, California has enacted a Victims’ Bill of Rights. This Bill ensures that victims are aware of the court proceedings against the person who victimized them and stay notified throughout the process. The goal of the Bill is to ensure that victims have some say in court proceedings against criminal defendants. Without such victims’ rights, crime victims have no standing in a criminal trial.
Another important component of the Victims’ Bill of Rights in the establishment of the California Victim Compensation Board. Victims have the right to file a claim with the Board for injuries they sustain as a result of a crime. Drunk driving victims cannot “double-dip” from this fund – if the driver’s insurance company is compensating you for your injuries, the Board will not also compensate you. But the Board can be an important resource in cases where the drunk driver does not have auto insurance. Victims of drunk drivers should be aware of all the sources of compensation that might be available to them.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a California DUI Accident Attorney
Injury victims of drunk drivers are also crime victims. They have legal rights that can be enforced in both the civil and criminal courts of California, but victims must know how to enforce these rights effectively. It is also important for victims to know what to say and do – and NOT say and do – in order to protect their legal rights in the future.
Our experienced California DUI accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies. They understand the legal issues presented by drunk driving cases, and they know how to protect injury victims’ legal right to be fully and fairly compensated for all the losses they suffer. Call us today at 844-335-3271 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.