Most people are aware of DUI laws and penalties in their country. However, most of them are not sure what happens if they cause a car accident or other kind of personal injury during operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Also, many individuals hurt in a DUI related accident, don’t know their rights or legal options. In case a drunk driver causes an accident that resulted in a personal injury, he or she will face criminal charges. These charges can only be decreased by having a criminal defense attorney by your side.
Pursuing Damages from the Intoxicated Driver
In case you have suffered a personal injury due to DUI related car accident, you have the right to sue the intoxicated driver and pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit. These personal injury lawsuits are filed on the basis of the negligence of the intoxicated driver. If the intoxicated driver is charged for a DUI, your claim will most likely be approved as negligence per se. This means that the intoxicated driver has violated a public regulation or a driver statute that caused the injury in question. Since this particular public regulation or statute was designed to prevent personal injury, violating it means you have solid grounds for a civil suit for damages.
As the victim your obligation is to provide evidence that support your claim. Medical records and witness reports should be enough to prove that the sustained injuries are a direct fault of the drunken driver. In case the driver was not arrested or charged with DUI, you will have hard time proving negligence. In this case, you will have to prove that the defendant had a duty towards you that was breached, and that breach was the cause of your personal injury. The only duty other drivers have towards you are the duty to drive safely and responsibly. Driving while intoxicated is not considered a responsible and safe behavior. Making a decision to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs means you are making a breach of your civil duty.
We can conclude that the drunk driving was the actual and proximate cause of the sustained injury. Although it may seem that is easy to prove that the driver’s action lead to the personal injury, only an experienced personal injury lawyer can approach the case properly.
Relations between DUI Charges and Civil Liability
It is very important to mention that civil and criminal liability are not the same. It doesn’t matter if you are not charged for DUI, you can easily be pursued for civil damages if you caused any DUI related personal injuries. If a victim proves the driver was negligent during operation of a vehicle, the driver may face severe consequences, starting from paying compensation, to driver’s and professional license suspension and jail time. If you have sustained a personal injury due to a drunk driving accident, hire a personal injury lawyer to file a personal injury claim. This way, you will recover damages for the sustained injuries. Recovering from a drunk driving-related accident is not easy. By hiring an attorney you will hire someone who will fight for the compensation you deserve.
One of the most important things you can do after being involved in a automobile accident is to speak with an attorney to determine if your are entitled to compensation from injuries. Most personal injury law firms that focus on car and truck accident will offer a free initial consultation to assess the damage, which party was at fault, and what are the necessary steps you need to take. The consultation should be free of charge, and you will be able to speak with large national companies that handle car accidents through their personal injury division, as well as local accident law firms located in your state, and quite possibly your particular city. Often times these attorneys will be able to direct you to physical rehabilitation centers that focus on those injured in car accidents.