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What can you do after a drunk driver totals your car?

Colorado residents have seen more than their fair share of impaired drivers on the road. If a drunk driver caused an accident that caused your injuries and totaled your car, what can you do? You may be able to seek full or partial compensation for your losses through legal means.

People often think that drunk drivers are fully responsible for the car accidents in which they are involved. The truth of the matter is, though, that may not actually be the case. If you choose to pursue compensation, the individual you deem responsible for your losses, his or her legal team and his or her insurance provider may still try to blame you, and they may be successful in doing so. Your chances to recover compensation all depend on the details surrounding the accident.

Determining fault

As previously stated, drunk driving cases seem pretty cut and dry. An intoxicated driver should not have been on the road, period, but that did not stop him or her. You were going about your day, driving your car and paying attention to the road. There was nothing you could do to avoid the drunk driver who entered your path -- or was there.

Legal counsel for the offending party will likely suggest you were speeding, distracted or committed some type of traffic violation, making you liable -- or at least partially liable -- for your losses. The goal here is for them to have to pay you less in the end of it all. They cannot just say you are partially or fully to blame, though. They have to prove it.

In order for a court to establish liability, certain elements have to exist in the case.

These elements are:

  • There was a duty of care by each party to follow traffic laws
  • There was a breach of that duty by you or the other party
  • The impairment itself contributed to your injuries
  • There are documented damages

So, to have the drunk driver held fully liable for your losses, you will need to prove that there was a duty of care breached by, and only by, the other driver; that his or her impairment caused your injuries; and, you will have to supply information about those injuries to the court.

You do not have to do it alone

Your life has not been the same since the day that drunk driver hit your car. The physical, emotional and financial toll the event has had on your life has seemed more than you can bear at times. When wanting to seek compensation for your losses, you do not have to shoulder the burden of going through the process alone. With the assistance of legal counsel, you can do everything possible to seek maximum relief for your losses.

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