DUI Accident Lawsuit Information — Simplified

Those who cause accidents due to drinking while driving are not just facing criminal penalties but are also in danger of being sued by the civil court as well. Following is some of the most important information you should know about a DUI Lawsuit

Was this a recent occurrence?

Injuries caused by drunk driving are most often the subject of a civil lawsuit. While those with DUI citations can face a criminal lawsuit and the possibility of jail time or license suspension they can also face civil lawsuits from their victims or their families. If you or a loved one has been killed or injured due to a DUI case, a civil suit may be you best option to recover damages for the incident.

A civil suit for a DUI is a separate and distinct legal process than any other criminal proceedings that may come from driving while under the influence. Criminal hearings are in place to protect the public from any futures occurrences of DUI acting primarily as a deterrent as well as a punitive action. A drunk driver can face these charges whether he has killed or injured anyone or damaged any property.

The civil lawsuit from drunk driving will come into play if the drunk driver has injured anyone and is filed by the victims of a DUI, or in the case of a wrongful death, it can be filed by the victims family members to recover damages. If you have sustained injuries due to a DUI, a civil suit may be your only chance at improving the high costs of medical treatment, damaged properties, lost wages and many other economic pressures that can come from the incident.

Depending on the laws that govern your specific jurisdiction, you can even find compensation for non-economic damages too, for example, compensation for pain and suffering.

Civil Suits and No-Fault Laws

No-fault laws might be able to interfere with the ability to file a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver. Many states have no-fault laws in place, if so you may find a threshold is in place that prevents you from filing lawsuits for automobile accidents unless injuries have surpassed a minimum statutory severity or the total of damages has reached a certain monetary amount.

The positivity of no-fault laws has been the subject of discussion in many different states that have this law. Unlike those states with the pure negligence laws, no-fault states are not automatically subjected to the possibility of a civil suit. Even if you have been clearly injuring by a drunk driver, unless you are in a pure negligence state, you might not be able to receive any compensation if the statutory threshold has not been passed.

There are some minor exceptions to this law, and they vary from state to state.

Civil Suits for those living in the Pure Negligence States
Those living in states with pure negligence laws in place, you are free to sue any drunk drivers for any injuries you may have sustained. In this case, you will only have to prove fault as you would in any civil suit. On the surface, a civil suit against a drunk driver may seem like a slam dunk open and shut case. But defense attorneys and insurance companies have disputed loud and long over these cases, and they are never as easy as they seem to be.

All the defenses common to negligence cases including comparative and contributory negligence apply to the drunk driving civil suit as well.

Wrongful Death and Drunk Driving

If a relative or loved one has been killed because of a DUI driver, a next of kin may file a civil suit for the wrongful death on behalf of the deceased. A wrongful death is often the only legal mechanism by which a family can secure some financial compensation in the event of a departed family member. Wrongful deaths are a variation of the personal injury lawsuit and follow many of the same guidelines.

You can find both economic and non-economic compensation for damages are available; some states will even allow some punitive damages to apply. Punitive damages are arbitrary financial actions taken against the driver in an effort of deterring future occurrences.

How To Start The Process Of A Car Accident Lawsuit

When someone is in an accident where they are injured, obtaining some settlement might be a good idea. The amount of time that you will be off from work, not to mention all of the medical bills and the replacement of your car, might exceed what your coverage will provide. You will need to file a lawsuit to obtain money from the other person’s car insurance, and if they don’t have any, you can file a lawsuit against them. There is always a way to get some compensation for the pain-and-suffering that you have experienced, not to mention the lost time that you are going through. Let’s go over the process of finding a lawyer that understands how to defend people that are involved in a car accident.

How The Process Begins

After you are in a car accident, especially if it was significant, you are going to be a bit confused about what you need to do next. You will probably file a claim, but if you are injured, you will want to find a personal injury attorney that can help you out. The other probability is that other people are going to sue you, and for that, you will need to be defended. You need to find a law firm that specializes in personal injury law so that you can potentially get a settlement. The process will begin by meeting with different attorneys that can look at your case. You may want to do the research online so that you can narrow your list of potential contenders for representing you in court.

The Process Of Evaluating Lawyers

Lawyers can look at the information that you have, which might not be a lot at first, and they will be able to make a quick assessment as to how they could represent you. They will present their idea of how they might be able to help, and after you retain one of them, they can get started. They will request an assortment of different documents from police, the hospital if you went there, and also will begin a conversation with the other person’s insurance. As mentioned before, if they have none, then that is going to be a completely different lawsuit where they can help you resolve this issue. These attorneys are not only able to represent people in car accidents. You might have been in your truck, riding on your motorcycle, or you may have had a boating accident. In this particular case, you are looking for a car accident attorney that can use their experience in personal injury law to help you in the case.

How They Can Position You To Win

These lawyers can represent you in a very positive way by establishing negligence on the part of the other driver. By doing so, you will have a better chance of getting a settlement. There are some states where there is a 50-50 rule which means if either the plaintiff or defendant can be shown to be more than 50% at fault, the person at fault will lose the case. The type of compensation that you will receive will depend upon what your lawyer is suing for. They almost always can receive a reimbursement for medical bills, and any out-of-pocket expenses which may include lost time from work. You may have other expenses such as storage, rental car expense, and once the settlement is reached, you will receive your money, and the lawyer will receive theirs from the total amount of the settlement.

How Long Do These Court Cases Last?

Depending upon how convincing your lawyers are, this could resolve itself very quickly. Most insurance companies do not want to go to court because of how expensive it can be. Therefore, they are going to focus on settling out of court if possible. This is the only way that they will be able to save as much money as possible. If it is clear that you are to the right, and the other person is in the wrong, they will want to settle the amount that your attorney is requesting.

Evaluating And Choosing The Best Attorney

You can assess and choose an attorney in a very short period. When you go to Google, you can see which companies have the highest star ratings, and also the most positive testimonials. This will give you a short list of potential contenders, allowing you to meet with each one, and ultimately choose the right attorney. All of these attorneys will be fantastic due to the ratings. You simply need to use one that is either going to be the most affordable or will take on your case without requiring a retaining fee. They will be paid once they have won the case, and if you can work with one of these law firms, this will probably work out the best.

Car accidents can be very troubling. You can be injured substantially by the impact caused by the negligence of another. By having the right law firm on your side, they will be able to represent you and ultimately help you get your settlement. It is important to act as quickly as possible so as to gather as much information as you can. This can all be used in support of your position. In the span of several weeks or months, this will all be behind you as a result of using a personal injury car accident lawyer that is confident that they can win your case.