When Your Accident Involves A Drunk Driver

Almost any accident has the potential to cause major disruptions in your life, but it can be especially troubling when the wreck was caused by a drunk driver. A driver that has so little regard for the safety of others that they drove while intoxicated can make you feel like even more of a victim than usual, particularly when you are dealing with injuries from the wreck. Drunk driving wrecks involve more than one type of legal action, and one type has a great deal of influence on the other. Read on to find out more.

Criminal Cases

Not to confuse the issue, but when you are involved in a wreck where criminal activity contributed it can mean that two courts will play a part. Drunk driving is a criminal charge and, while you won't have much say in how the case gets prosecuted, the outcome could still affect your claim.

Criminal cases may involve the driver facing serious charges that come with some severe punishments. They may face fines, court costs, driver's license suspension, jail time, community service, and more. In some cases, criminal cases can involve victim restitution, in which the criminal courts order the driver to pay the victim. The more serious the injuries and the more egregious the circumstances the more likely it can be that you receive some payment for your injuries.

Civil Cases

Whether you are entitled to criminal court restitution or not, you are entitled to file a suit against the other driver. Unlike criminal court, you have more involvement in a civil proceeding, and getting a personal injury attorney to help you is recommended. While there are many factors to consider, a plaintiff that was not only responsible for your injuries but was also convicted of drunk driving can spur the amount of compensation to over and above what is usually offered. The need for proof comes via the criminal courts and the blood alcohol content of the driver. Additionally, you will need to obtain the police report from the scene which will also detail whether any traffic citations were issued to the driver.

You are entitled to get several forms of compensation, such as:

  • Medical expenses both past and future
  • Property loss and damage, such as your car and personal belongings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages

Speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your wreck and get the monetary compensation you deserve.