The aftermath of a car accident in which the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol would seem, at least on first blush, to be a straightforward matter: you present your claim for compensation against that driver’s insurance company, and it settles. After all, if the insured was drunk at the time of the collision, many times the insurance company will be reluctant to see the matter end up in court where a sympathetic jury might award you much more than any settlement amount it has in mind.
But this seemingly good news — the willingness of the other driver’s insurer to settle, and to settle quickly — can also present a potential trap. You must always remember that insurance companies are like any other business, they have a “bottom line” that drives everything they do. And if minimizing a settlement offer at your expense will foster the insurer’s balance sheet, then it is a safe wager that that is what it will try to do.
But how do you know what is a fair settlement offer? If you are not employed in the insurance industry, or a practicing plaintiff’s personal injury law firm like we are at Jacobs & Dow, LLC, you would probably be at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to knowing the answer to that question. We, on the other hand, are experienced with negotiating settlements with insurance companies that take into account not only the physical injuries and property damage that our clients have suffered, but also the intangibles that you may not even be aware of and the insurer will not want you to know about.
The best way to approach settlement negotiations is to prepare like the matter is going to trial. That is our method on your behalf. To find out more about how we can help to maximize your settlement after a drunk driving accident, see our webpage on the subject, which also has contact information to set up a no-cost consultation with one of our Connecticut personal injury attorneys.