Drunk driving is a serious issue that has plagued society for decades. Despite the numerous awareness campaigns and stringent legal consequences, many people still choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. This reckless behavior causes personal injury and endangers other road users and their property. In this blog, we will discuss the various types of property damage that can occur due to drunk driving, the process of filing a claim, and the legal consequences faced by the at-fault driver.
Types of Property Damage
- Vehicle damage: According to car accident lawyers, the most prevalent property damage caused by drunk driving is damage to vehicles, including the driver’s car and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Depending on the collision’s severity, it can range from minor dents and scratches to complete wreckage.
- Damage to public property: Drunk drivers may also cause damage to public property, such as traffic signals, streetlights, road signs, and guardrails. Repairing or replacing these items can be costly, and the at-fault driver may be responsible for the expenses.
- Damage to private property: Collisions involving drunk drivers can damage private property, including homes, fences, mailboxes, and landscaping. Homeowners may have to bear the costs of repairing or replacing damaged items, and they may seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
Filing a Property Damage Claim
If your property has been damaged in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. To file a property damage claim, you should take the following steps:
- Document the damage: Take photographs of the damaged property and gather evidence supporting your claims, such as eyewitness accounts or surveillance footage.
- Contact your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. They will guide you through filing a claim and provide you with the necessary forms to complete.
- Obtain a repair estimate: Get an estimate for repairing or replacing the damaged property from a reputable source, such as a mechanic or contractor. It will be crucial in determining the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
- Consult with an attorney: If you have difficulty navigating the claims process or dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney specializing in property damage claims. They can help protect your rights and ensure you receive your deserved compensation.
Legal Consequences for Drunk Drivers
In addition to being held financially responsible for any property damage they cause, drunk drivers may also face criminal charges and other legal consequences. These can include:
- Fines and penalties: Drunk drivers may be required to pay fines and other penalties, including restitution for any property damage they have caused.
- License suspension or revocation: Depending on the severity of the offense and the driver’s previous record, their driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for a certain period.
- Jail time: In some cases, drunk drivers may be sentenced to jail time, especially if their actions resulted in severe property damage, injury, or death.
- Mandatory alcohol education and treatment: Many states require drunk drivers to attend alcohol education classes or undergo treatment for alcohol addiction as a condition of their probation or sentence.
Property damage caused by drunk driving is a serious issue that affects countless individuals each year. Understanding the types of property damage that can occur, the process of filing a claim, and the legal consequences faced by the at-fault driver is crucial in addressing this problem. As a society, we must continue to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and work together to prevent these senseless accidents.
If you or a loved one were in a vehicular accident, the Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson in Rock Hill, SC is here to help. Our team of seasoned personal injury attorneys has a proven track record of obtaining maximum compensation for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.