There are few things in life more maddening than being injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. This is especially true if the other driver was drunk.

We all know that drunk driving is illegal and causes countless injuries and deaths in Texas each year, yet for some reason, people continue to get behind the wheel after drinking.

What you can do to take a stand

After being hit by a drunk driver, you can help send the message that drinking and driving is unacceptable by holding the driver financially responsible for what he or she has done. In most cases, this will mean demanding a full and fair settlement from the driver’s insurer, but it could also mean pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

Not only are you taking a stand against drunk driving, you are also securing compensation that can cover medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages stemming from the accident.

Getting the settlement that you deserve

Although it probably makes you very angry that you were hit by a drunk driver, the plus side is that insurance companies are often willing to pay out larger settlements when their insured drivers are convicted of DWI. That means it’s often easier to get the settlement you deserve, even without going to trial.

Of course, in order to maximize your settlement, you need to work with a personal injury lawyer who knows the tricks insurance companies have up their sleeves and will not settle for a penny less than you are entitled to.

When a third party is liable

In addition to pursuing damages from the drunk driver, it may also be possible to hold third parties who played a role in the accident responsible. For example, if the drunk driver was over-served at a bar or restaurant, the bar or restaurant may also be liable for damages.

The first step to take

The first thing that you will want to do to protect yourself — after getting the medical attention that you need — is meeting with a personal injury lawyer. Keep in mind that all attorneys are not the same. You should find a trustworthy and ethical lawyer who charges a fair contingency fee.