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Filing for compensation after an accident can be a lifeline, helping you access treatment, making up for missed paychecks, and allowing you to continue providing for yourself and loved ones as you heal. However, handling a claim while injured is often challenging, to say the least.
Our Michigan drunk driving accident attorneys are here to provide all-around support: We build personal relationships with our clients, creating unique legal strategies and sharing regular updates as we execute each step of the plan.
Depending on the scope of your injuries and losses, you will be able to file for a wide range of damages including:
- Medical bills
- Future medical needs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you suffered a catastrophic injury, you may need ongoing medical care and assistance for the rest of your life. Properly calculating damages in these cases is essential to ensure your accident does not leave you in financial trouble. Insurance adjusters tend to understate the amount you deserve because they don’t want to pay.
Our team works with you and medical experts to find every aspect of your life that may be affected by an injury, so you can request the compensation you need.
Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Cases
If you lost a loved one to a drunk driving accident, our team is here to do everything we can for your family. Deciding whether to file a wrongful death claim is always difficult. If you are not sure you want this additional commitment, or how it will help you, please reach out to us with your questions. We don’t hold you to any obligations—but we want to make sure you are aware of all your options so you can make the right choice for yourself and your family.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today for help.
Liability in Michigan Drunk Driving Accidents
There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about who can be held liable when a drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver causes an accident. Here are the facts:
Filing a Claim Against a Drunk Driver’s Insurance
Despite claims to the contrary, a drunk driver’s insurer is just as responsible for paying victims’ injury claims as a sober driver’s insurer would be. A lot of the confusion here comes from insurance contract terms saying these companies will not pay for purposeful destructive behavior.
However, drunk drivers never mean to get in an accident—in fact, they’re gambling they won’t. While they may have made a conscious choice that put them in a bad situation, they weren’t out looking to harm others. Therefore, their insurers must pay.
Filing a Claim Against a Bar or Liquor Store
You may not be familiar with Michigan’s Dram Shop Law, which provides accident victims a mechanism to hold irresponsible liquor sellers liable. While these claims are not filed often, our Michigan drunk driving accident lawyers can investigate your case to see whether you might benefit from making one.
To win a dram shop claim, you must be able to prove:
- The establishment gave alcohol to a minor or visibly intoxicated person
- That alcohol was a major contributor to the accident and your injuries
Finding proof a bartender or other individual knowingly served alcohol when it was illegal for them to do so is difficult. Therefore, we do not recommend most accident victims rely on this type of claim.
Michigan’s Comparative Fault Rule
Like all accident claims, collisions caused by drunk drivers are evaluated to see whether blame was shared between multiple parties. Drunkenness is a big sign of driver negligence, yes—but if you were speeding or bending any other rules of the road, you still could be found to share the fault for an accident.
This matters because our state’s comparative negligence rule allows insurers to reduce the amount of the final settlement by the percentage of fault attributed to a claimant. An attorney can help you avoid facing unfair accusations from an insurer, but we recommend you reach out to us as soon as possible after the accident so we can do our best for you.
What Evidence Is Important in Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Proving liability in a drunk driving accident requires gathering and presenting evidence that demonstrates the driver's intoxication and establishes their responsibility for the collision. Some key pieces of evidence that are important in proving liability in a drunk driving accident include:
- Police Reports: Official police reports documenting the accident are crucial. They often include important details such as the officer's observations, statements from witnesses, field sobriety test results, and any preliminary breathalyzer or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results.
- Breathalyzer or Blood Test Results: Results from breathalyzer or blood tests conducted at the scene or later at a medical facility can provide concrete evidence of the driver's intoxication level. These test results can establish the presence of alcohol or drugs in the driver's system and determine if they were above the legal limit.
- Field Sobriety Test Results: Field sobriety tests administered by law enforcement officers, such as the walk-and-turn test or the one-leg stand, can help establish the driver's impairment. These tests assess the driver's coordination, balance, and ability to follow instructions.
- Eyewitness Testimony: Statements from witnesses who observed the driver's behavior, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or erratic driving, can provide crucial evidence to support the claim of drunk driving.
- Surveillance Footage: If the accident occurred in an area with surveillance cameras, obtaining and reviewing footage can provide visual evidence of the driver's behavior and actions leading up to the collision.
- Accident Reconstruction: Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the scene, damage to vehicles, and other relevant factors to recreate the sequence of events. Their findings can help establish the driver's negligence and impairment.
- Medical Records: Medical records documenting the injuries sustained by the victim can demonstrate the severity of the accident and correlate it with the driver's impaired state.
- Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses, such as toxicologists or accident reconstruction specialists, can provide professional opinions and analysis supporting the claim of drunk driving and establishing liability.
- Driver's Statements: Admissions of guilt or statements made by the driver indicating their consumption of alcohol or drugs prior to the accident can be powerful evidence in proving liability.
It's important to consult with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney in Michigan who can help gather and analyze the relevant evidence to build a strong case against the drunk driver.
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Grewal Law has been amazingly empathetic and forward-thinking through this very emotional and trying time.- Anonymous
As a family-owned firm, Grewal Law PLLC is dedicated to serving you the Michigan way: With honesty, integrity, and care. We’ve expanded to three offices throughout the state to make it easier for all to access quality legal help in times of hardship. Our firm has even handled serious and high-profile cases, and we have the skill and resources to do so whenever necessary to help our clients find justice.
For those whose lives have been upended by a drunk driving accident, we want you to know help is available. While the criminal justice system does not do anything for victims, we can. Our Michigan drunk driving accident attorneys know the law and we know how to use it in your favor if you were harmed by an intoxicated driver. Ask us today how we can help you start a drunk driving injury claim.
Manvir (Mick) Grewal Sr. Founder and Managing Partner
Scott Weidenfeller Attorney; Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Team Leader
Ayanna Neal Attorney; Sexual Assault, Civil Rights, & Criminal Team Leader
Nolan Erickson Attorney; New Client Intake Coordinator & Mass Torts Projects
David Mittleman Litigating Attorney
Gurrajan Gill Attorney
Tim Seeger Attorney
Chelsea Lenard Attorney
Rico Neal Attorney
Carlye Reynolds Gasior Attorney
Michael Szparaga Attorney