Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on June 4, 2021 in Auto Accident. Updated on February 24, 2022
Accident victims who were injured due to the negligent actions of another driver have the legal right to pursue compensation for their damages. This means that if your injuries were a result of a drugged driver’s negligent actions, you may be able to file a claim through that driver’s liability insurance.
Our Sacramento car accident attorneys are prepared to help you file a claim and pursue full compensation for damages. The consultation is free and there are no upfront costs or fees.
Even though liability may seem clear, and you may think it is an open-and-shut case, insurance companies routinely deny and undervalue these types of claims. That is why you need an experienced attorney to help you build a robust case.
Just like other injury claims, victims of drugged driving accidents have the burden of proof. There are a few steps you can take right after the crash to help your attorney build a case.
You should always dial 9-1-1 after a car accident. This is especially important if you believe the driver who caused the accident was under the influence of drugs. Although Proposition 64 legalized marijuana in the state of California, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When law enforcement arrives, they may be able to evaluate the at-fault driver to determine whether he or she has taken any drugs, legal or illegal. If the driver refuses a chemical, blood or urine test at the scene of the accident, it may also benefit your claim.
Make sure to inform the office if you have a suspicion the other driver is under the influence of marijuana or other drugs. For example, does the other driver smell like marijuana? Does he or she look sedated or seem to have an unusual amount of energy that may indicate he or she is on a stimulant?
If you saw the other driver drifting between lanes, speeding or violating traffic laws, there is a chance that others saw it too. That is why you should try and speak to any potential witnesses at the scene of the accident if it is safe to do so.
With their permission, you can record a video of your conversation for future reference.
If you can, try and take pictures of the accident scene and the other driver’s vehicle. You may be able to spot drugs or drug paraphernalia in the other driver’s car, which could help prove he or she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
Even if you prove the other driver was under the influence of drugs, the insurance company may try to deny liability under an exclusion clause that says they do not cover illegal acts. However, insurers use this tactic to try to get injury victims to give up because they do not know their rights or understand the law.
Our attorneys know your rights and are prepared to stand up for them on your behalf against the insurance company. While driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an illegal or intentional act, causing a car accident that results in injuries is not. It is simply an act of negligence, which the insurance company should have an obligation to cover.
The bottom line is: Avoid taking the insurance company’s word for it. If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, discussing things with a licensed attorney is important.
Generally, the first step after an accident is to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
If the insurance company denies liability by arguing your injuries were caused by an intentional act, you may be able to pursue compensation by filing a lawsuit. If the offer from the insurance company is too low to cover your damages, you may file a lawsuit to demand the insurer pay the full value of your claim.
While most cases do end in settlements, there are times when a lawsuit may be necessary.
You have the legal right to pursue compensation for an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, whether through a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit.
The experienced attorneys are prepared for either option, as our goal is to help you recover the full value of your claim. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that there are no attorney fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
The initial consultation to review your claim is free with no obligation to take legal action.
Call us today at (916) 777-7777