If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your pain and suffering. Therefore, this guide will explain the legal process of seeking compensation from a drunk driver and explain all of your options.
Our personal injury solicitors can help drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users injured from being hit by a drunk driver. Initially, we offer a no-obligation telephone consultation about your claim. Cases with a fair chance of success may be forwarded to one of our specialist solicitors for further review. If one agrees to take your claim on, you’ll benefit from a No Win No Fee service. That means you could claim for the injuries caused by a drunk driver and only have to pay legal fees if the case is successful.
Call today on 0800 6524 881 to talk to us right away or read on for more information on claiming after being hit by a drunk driver.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Being Hit By A Drunk Driver?
- Examples Of Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Drunk Drivers
- Common Injuries From Being Hit By A Drunk Driver
- How Much Compensation For Being Hit By A Drunk Driver?
- Evidence To Support A Claim Against A Drunk Driver
- Time Limits For Claiming Compensation For Being Hit By A Drunk Driver
- Starting The Drink Driver Injury Claims Process
Section 4(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it an offence for a person to be unfit to drive because of alcohol (and drugs). This can lead to the driver being prosecuted, fined, banned from driving or sent to prison. However, even if criminal proceedings occur, they won’t lead to you being compensated for a personal injury. That’s why you’d need to make a personal injury claim yourself after being hit by a drunk driver.
Some of the criteria checked by our solicitors to determine whether you could sue a drunk driver for compensation include:
- Did the driver breach their duty of care towards you by driving under the influence of alcohol?
- Did a road traffic accident (RTA) occur as a result?
- Were you injured in the RTA?
Essentially, any driver will have a duty to drive safely and responsibly so the main work your solicitor will need to do is to prove that they caused the accident and that you were injured. This is where you can help by supplying evidence to prove liability. We’ll provide further information on this later on.
Essentially, any accident caused by a drunk driver could lead to a compensation claim. In this section, we’ve listed some example scenarios:
- Pedestrian accidents. Drink driving can make it harder for drivers to spot pedestrians crossing the road.
- Rear-end collisions. Drunk drivers don’t react as quickly as normal and can plough into the back of stationary or slower vehicles.
- Head-on collisions. Drunk drivers may swerve into the path of oncoming traffic to avoid another accident, stationary traffic, or because they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.
- Side-impact collisions. Also known as T-bone accidents, these can happen when a drunk driver fails to give way or jumps a red light, crashing into the side of another vehicle.
The severity of being hit by a drunk driver can be magnified massively because the driver will often be driving carelessly and above the speed limit.
The extent of your injuries will be determined by many factors if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver. For example, pedestrians and cyclists have less protection than those driving in another vehicle.
You could be compensated for many different injuries caused by a drunk driver’s negligence. Some common examples include:
To help prove the extent of your injuries, you will usually need to see an independent medical specialist as part of the claims process. Your solicitor will set up the appointment so that your injuries caused by a drunk driver can be examined. The specialist will report back about how you’ve suffered physically and mentally after discussing the incident with you.
Unfortunately, the recklessness of drunk drivers does sometimes lead to death by careless driving. While we understand that receiving a compensation payout for a loved one’s death won’t make it any easier to deal with your loss. However, you may wish to seek justice for your loved one’s loss and if you’ve been affected financially because of their death.
For example, claims could be made for costs such as funeral expenses. Also, if you depended on the deceased’s earnings or benefits, a payment could be made to cover this loss.
If you’ve lost a loved one who was hit by a drunk driver, please feel free to get in touch. We’ll provide free advice about how to proceed but won’t put any pressure on you to take action.
A personal injury claim for a road traffic accident is usually made against the driver’s motor insurance policy. So what happens if the driver that hit you is uninsured? Well, you could still be compensated through the Motorists Insurance Bureau (MIB). They can also help with hit-and-run incidents too.
As you would for any other type of road traffic accident, you should try to provide as much information as possible including the make, model, colour and registration number of the vehicle involved.
A solicitor on our team can help with MIB claims on a No Win No Fee basis so please feel free to call us for more information.`
Our compensation calculator lists potential compensation figures for injuries sustained in road traffic accidents:
However, these figures do not include special damages. Therefore, where applicable, if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, compensation might be paid to cover:
- Private medical treatment and physiotherapy.
- The cost of modifying your home if it needs to be made more accessible to help you deal with your injuries.
- The cost of a carer.
- Travel expenses.
- Lost income (now and in the future).
After being hit by a drunk driver, any injuries can have a massive impact on your everyday life. Therefore, your solicitor will try to ensure that you receive the compensation needed to help you get back on your feet as much as possible.
Even if the drunk driver has been convicted by the police, your solicitor will still need to be diligent and collect evidence to prove why you should be compensated. The types of evidence they might use include:
- Police report. This will provide details of the incident and any evidence of the driver’s intoxication or impairment.
- Medical records. Gather medical records that document your injuries, treatment, and any ongoing medical expenses resulting from the drunk driver injuring you.
- Witness statements. Collect statements from witnesses (if you can do safely) who saw the drunk driver hit you and can provide information about the driver’s behaviour or signs of being drunk.
- Photographs. If you can do so safely, photograph the extent of damage to your vehicle and the drunk driver’s vehicle, and any visible injuries.
- Drunk driver details. Note down the drunk driver’s details, their car’s number plate, and the make and model of the car.
- CCTV footage. Look for any nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident or the actions of the driver before the collision and ask if they’ll provide you with a copy.
- Financial records. Keep any invoices, receipts and other financial records to help claim back any costs you’ve incurred.
You can help your solicitor by letting them know about any evidence you’ve already gathered to support your claim. If your claim is taken on, your solicitor will work hard to find any further information needed.
If you wish to make a personal injury claim after being hit by a drunk driver, the following time limits generally apply:
- For adults, you’ll have 3 years to claim from the date of the drunk driving accident (or when you found out about your injuries).
- For children, parents could claim (as a litigation friend) at any time before the child’s 18th If no claim is made, the claimant will have until their 21st birthday to take action.
- For those lacking the mental capacity to claim, no time limit applies until such time as they regain their mental capacity.
For criminal injury claims, you’ll have 2 years from the date of the accident to seek damages.
If you’ve been hit and injured by a drunk driver and would like advice on claiming compensation, please call 0800 6524 881. A specialist from our team will check what happened and explain your legal options for free.
If one of our personal injury solicitors offers to represent you, they’ll manage the case on a No Win No Fee basis. That should reduce your stress levels as you’ll know that you’ll only have to pay legal costs if you receive compensation for your injuries.
You’re more than welcome to use our live chat service to talk to us about being injured by a drunk driver and claiming compensation so please feel free to get in touch.