It's bad enough to get hit and hurt by a driver who was careless, but it can only add insult to injury when that driver was drunk. Drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated put everyone on the road at risk, and when their actions lead to accidents with injuries, the stakes climb even higher. Read on for an overview of how things might proceed when a drunk driver causes you to be in a car crash.
It's a criminal matter
Drunk driving is obviously against the law, but a driver who causes an accident with injuries can face even more charges. The punishment associated with this level of wrongdoing can mean strict minimum sentencing guidelines in some places. While a driving while intoxicated (DUI) first offense can sometimes be "pled" to reduce the impact, that is seldom an option for those who injure or even kill other drivers or passengers.
As the victim, the courts might order the offender to pay you something known as restitution. This monetary measure both punishes the drunk driver and allows you to be paid some money for what you've been through. While seeing that the drunk driver who caused you to suffer from the physical injuries and other assorted forms of damages get punished is one form of assurance, it may not be enough.
It's also a civil matter
Victims of drunk drivers are able to receive both restitution and personal injury damages. Just because the criminal court system has dealt with the drunk driver doesn't mean that you cannot also seek damages in civil court. The two types of cases are separate but can be connected in one major way: the drunk driving charges are considered criminal traffic violations and can be used in your personal injury case.
Seek legal help and take action
The faster you speak to a personal injury lawyer, the faster you can get compensated. The evidence available after an accident that involved a drunk driver might be more plentiful but you need to act quickly on that evidence. Your first indication of a DUI arrest might be the police report (or accident report). If traffic citations are issued to the other driver, it will be noted on the report. Your attorney may need a subpoena to gain access to the BAC level (blood alcohol concentration) of the driver, but the police report is considered public information.
When a drunk driver is involved in your accident, the chances of them being 100% at fault are, well, 100%. Speak to a personal injury law firm like Terrel DoRemus & Associates as soon as possible after your accident to learn more.
Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.