If You Have Been Injured by a Drunk Driver
Car Accident Lawyer
If you have recently been injured in a crash caused by a drunk or otherwise impaired drunk driver, you may be—very understandably—wondering if you have any opportunities for legal and financial recourse available to you. As an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at David & Philpot, P.L. – can confirm, the law broadly protects individuals who have sustained injuries as a result of others’ negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct. Therefore, chances are good that you have a cause to file a personal injury claim against the driver that caused you harm. With that said, no two car accident cases are ever exactly the same. Therefore, it is a good idea to connect with an attorney to discuss your unique circumstances before you commit to a plan of either action or inaction.
Criminal vs. Civil Action
It is important to understand that you may have strong grounds upon which to file legal action, regardless of whether the driver that caused your harm has been arrested, convicted, or had the charges against them dropped. The criminal justice system and the civil justice system are distinct in the U.S. As a result, the driver’s criminal circumstances will not affect your ability to bring a civil claim if you have grounds upon which to file one. Additionally, it is worth noting that the burden of proof required by the civil justice system is lower than the one imposed by the criminal justice system. This means that it is generally easier to win a civil action than it is for a prosecutor to win a criminal case.
What if You Were Partially to Blame for the Crash?
It is also important to understand that you may have grounds upon which to file a personal injury claim even if you were partially at fault for the crash that caused your harm. Some states bar injury victims from seeking personal injury compensation if those victims were more than 49 percent to blame for their injurious circumstances. Other states allow injury victims to pursue compensation regardless of how “much” they were to blame, provided that another can still be held accountable for their negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct that directly contributed to the cause(s) of the victim’s injuries. Either way, even if you were partially to blame for your crash, it is worth speaking with an attorney about your options.