When a car accident involves criminal conduct, including drunk driving or a hit-and-run incident, the injured victim’s compensation may include a personal injury settlement from the defendant’s car insurance company and restitution from the criminal defendant to cover the contingency attorney fee on the settlement.
To obtain a personal injury settlement from the defendant’s car insurance company, the injured victim must prove that the accident was caused by the defendant’s negligent act. Driving drunk or impaired increases the likelihood of speeding, tailgating, and other dangerous maneuvers that constitute negligence. Drunk drivers often flee the scene during a hit-and-run incident for fear of getting caught. If you are involved in a hit-and-run incident, do not attempt to chase the suspect. Pull over to a safe area and call 911. Attempting to catch the suspect may lead to another accident. Once the police are involved, they can handle the exchange of insurance information and refer the case to the criminal prosecutor. The police can also help gather the evidence you’ll need to prove negligence in your personal injury case.
Sometimes the insurance company adjuster or defense lawyer will not dispute negligence in a personal injury case involving drunk driving or a hit-and-run incident. This is a clever strategy to give the appearance of reasonableness and also to prevent evidence of drugs or alcohol from being part of the personal injury case.
Whether or not the insurance company “accepts liability,” the injured victim seeking a personal injury settlement must prove that the car accident caused injury. Often, the insurance company adjuster or defense lawyer that “accepts liability” then denies that any injury could have been caused in the accident. Any delay in seeking medical treatment, for example, will cause the adjuster or defense lawyer to argue your injuries were not from the car crash. Promptly seeking medical care will help defeat this claim and — more importantly — will help you feel better sooner.
Finally, to obtain a fair personal injury settlement you need to prove the nature and extent of your injuries. This final step includes proving the cost of medical treatment, the amount of lost income or wages due to the injury or doctor visits, and the money value of your loss of quality and enjoyment of life due to your pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help gather the evidence and prove your case so that you receive a fair and adequate personal injury settlement. If the insurance company is unreasonable, an experienced personal injury lawyer can handle your case through trial to get you a judgment to be paid by the insurance company.
If your car accident involves criminal conduct, the criminal court may order the defendant to reimburse you for your lawyer fees by way of restitution. Restitution is money paid by an offender to the victim for crime-related expenses, including attorney fees. The court may order restitution for the full attorney fee, even if it was a contingency fee from your personal injury settlement. If you were injured in a car accident involving criminal conduct, schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has experience in criminal court requesting restitution for attorney fees.