Drunk drivers are more than a nuisance to Reno residents: they are a threat to the health and safety of people within the community who must take to local roads and highways in order to get where they need to go. Drunk drivers cause injuries, financial losses and fatalities. Their reckless actions can alter the course of their victims’ lives as well as the lives of those who loved victims who succumbed to their accident-related injuries.
When a victim of a drunk driving accident suffers significant losses they may wonder what rights they have to seek compensation for the harm they unwillingly had to endure. They may speak with personal injury attorneys about their options and the possible legal courses of action they may pursue to recover from their catastrophic harm. They may also, however, receive communications from the responsible driver’s insurance providers to settle the victim’s claims regarding the accident.
A settlement is a legal agreement that provides one party with compensation and, in exchange, absolves the other party from any future claims based on the events covered in the settlement. For example, an insurer may wish to settle a drunk driving accident by paying a victim a lump sum of money but in exchange for accepting the lump sum the victim would have no future recourse against the insurer.
Insurers may push settlements in drunk driving cases if they are concerned that a trial verdict would far exceed the amount they wish to settle. They may want a settlement to reduce their association with a drunk driver and may wish to settle to speed up the resolution of the potentially challenging legal matter.
The victim of a drunk driving accident does not have to settle their claim. If a settlement serves their interests it may be a good option. However, it is best for victims to discuss all possible legal options with personal injury attorneys who understand victims’ rights as well as the repercussions for selecting different legal paths.