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Can I sue a drunk driver for a car accident in Georgia? 

If you or a loved one has been hit by an intoxicated driver, you most likely will be facing anger on top of any financial or physical set backs the accident has caused. Medical bills can pile up quickly after a car accident, physical ailments caused by severe injuries can last for months or years, and may even develop into chronic pain or debilitating permanent disabilities, or even death. 

It may seem like there is no where to turn if you have been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver. With medical bills piling up, and insurance companies doing their best to avoid any kind of payout, it may feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. 

At Marks Law Group we know that our clients have already been through the ringer, and dedicate our time and our careers to helping victims seek the justice they deserve. If you have been the victim of a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, you deserve to be able to heal peacefully and safely, with no worry about money, having to work through your injuries, or covering your medical bills. 

an image of a car accident late at night

Will the drunk driver's Insurance cover my claim? 

The amount of settlement you receive from the at-fault party driver's insurance coverage can vary, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the insurance policies the at-fault driver has. Before speaking to the insurance company and beginning the conversation about an accident claim, you should hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid a large payout, and they know that the average citizen does not know enough about traffic and criminal law, and that they may be able to get away with a smaller settlement. 

If you have an experienced personal injury or car accident attorney on your side, however, then you don't have to worry about the insurance company cheating you. They may try, but with the right attorney on your side, they will fail. 

You are more likely to reach a larger settlement with an attorney on your side, and car accident settlements from insurance companies in Georgia normally settle around $20,000. While this can be a good start, medical expenses after serious accidents can reach into the hundreds of thousands and, in many cases, insurance claim settlements do not cover the true cost of being a car accident victim.

Related Content: What to do after a car accident?

If the Insurance money is not enough, can I sue the driver personally?

In the State of Georgia, the law allows you to sue an at-fault driver in civil court up to 2 years after the accident. This means that if your original insurance settlement did not cover your expenses, or more injuries popped up after your settlement, or you did not receive a settlement at all, you do have options. 

If you choose to sue the at-fault driver in civil court, there are some steps you must take first. Your accident lawyer should already have a good evidence file started after your insurance claim battle, and this evidence can be used again in civil court. Evidence such as police reports of the accident, court transcripts from the at-fault driver's DUI case and conviction records, surveillance video if it is available, etc. Any little detail can be helpful when it comes to proving that the at-fault driver is responsible for the bills you have accumulated after the accident caused by them. 

What damages can I sue a drunk driver for? 

While you can sue anyone for anything in a civil suit, is it important to note that frivolous lawsuits can end up costing you money in the long run. That is why it is important to have your ducks in a row before suing anyone else in civil court, and know exactly what you are suing for. 

There are several reasons you may want to sue a drunk driver for a car accident in Georgia. You may be compensated for the cost of medical bills, cost of car repairs, pain and suffering, and even for money lost if you were unable to work for a time. 

What many victims do not realize is that medical bills do not simply cover physical injuries, but also mental anguish. Many drivers face extreme anxiety and PTSD symptoms when returning to the road, some experience anxiety so bad that they are not able to drive for long amounts of time after the accident, and in severe cases, some victims never drive again. Many victims also fall into depressive episodes and cycles due to anxiety, PTSD symptoms, and chronic pain or injuries after car accidents. At-fault drivers may be required to pay for your therapy, as well as any physical medical issues that you have. 

Related Content: Who pays for physical therapy after a car accident?

The largest, and most expensive, line item you can sue a driver for is called Punitive Damages. In plain English, Punitive Damages are essentially hefty fines placed on driver's to deter them from drunk driving or causing accidents again. These fines can range up to thousands of dollars,  a max limit of $250,000 in Georgia depending on the details of the accident, but normally range somewhere around $20,000 to $30,000. 

Can I sue a drunk driver if they killed one of my family members? 

Called a Wrongful Death Lawsuit, you are able to sue persons who caused the death of a family member or person close to you. This can apply in many situations, from accidental discharge of a firearm resulting in death or car accidents that result in death.

This is a civil suit, not a criminal suit, and the guilty party will not face prison time based solely on this lawsuit, but they will face fines. And while money cannot replace the life of a loved one, monetary reparations can help the families of fatal car accident victims reach some form of closure, pay for funeral costs, help surviving children, pay for left over medical bills and debts, or even help a victim's loved one feel as though a small amount of justice has been reached. 

How much money is my personal injury lawsuit worth?

The average personal injury lawsuit in Georgia normally settles around $20,000 to $30,000 dollars, but there is realistically no cap. If you have been permanently disabled, if the drunk driver was in a company vehicle such as a USPS truck or FedEx truck, if the drunk driver was a commercial trucker, that amount can raise exponentially. In the last several years, there have been multiple personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits that have settled in civil court for millions of dollars. 

That being said, you should never expect a payout that large. If you go into a lawsuit expecting to walk away with millions, you will most likely be disappointed. It is only in extreme circumstances that you will walk away with a settlement that large, and these circumstance always include death and/or permanent and debilitating pain and injuries, such as paralysis or loss of limbs. 

You must also account for the payment your attorney will receive. Unlike many lawsuits, you normally do not pay your attorney before you receive a settlement when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. If you are suing for a personal injury claim, you can normally expect your attorney to instead ask for a portion of your future settlement, normally somewhere around 35% if the case is settled in mediation and around 40% if the case goes to court, which takes much more time but normally does end up in larger settlements. 

a photo of a man drinking while driving

Let us help you get the settlement you deserve 

Whatever the circumstances of the drunk driving accidents you have been involved in, we are here to help. Drunk driving crashes cause more than just physical and material damages, they also cause emotional damages, and damages that can affect the rest of your life. If you have been the victim of intoxicated drivers, then you deserve financial compensation to help you on your path towards healing. 

If your quality of life has been affect in anyway by a motor vehicle accident, we are standing by and ready to help you. At Marks Law Group, our personal injury lawyers know that there is nothing harder than recovering from injures caused to you by another person, especially if that person was able to walk away and you weren't. We dedicate our lives and our careers to ensuring that our clients receive the money they need to pay for medical treatment, loss of income, funeral expenses, and every other cost associated with being the victim of intoxicated drivers. 

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