Injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents are often the subject of civil litigation. While a person guilty of a DUI can face severe charges and penalties, including jail time and restitution, they may also face civil liability. If a loved one is killed or injured by a DUI defendant, a lawsuit may be the only way to recover economic damages.
Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings in Drunk Driving Cases
Civil lawsuits for DUI are separate from criminal proceedings. A criminal trial is intended to protect the public from harm by serving as a deterrent, and it punishes the driver for reckless behavior. Drunk drivers should hire an attorney for DUI Help in Charles Town, WV because they can face charges even if no injuries take place.
Civil cases for DUI typically come in the form of injury suits, filed by victims or their survivors. If a person is hurt by a drunk driver, civil litigation can be the sole recourse when trying to recover the costs associated with lost wages, property damage, and medical treatment. Depending on the jurisdiction, a person may be able to receive monetary compensation for pain and suffering.
No-Fault Laws and Civil Litigation
A state’s no-fault laws have an effect on a plaintiff’s ability to file a suit against a DUI defendant. If one lives in such a jurisdiction, it’s likely that there are rules in place barring suits for injuries that come with damages below a certain amount.
Pure Negligence and Civil Suits
If a person lives in an area with pure negligence laws, they can sue a drunk driver for their injuries. All the plaintiff must do is prove fault. Most cases seem like a sure bet, but defense lawyers and insurers have spent a substantial amount of money and time defending these cases.
If a person is killed in a DUI crash, a representative can schedule a free consultation and file a wrongful death suit. These suits are often filed to ensure a person’s survivors can enjoy a degree of financial stability after death. Non-economic and monetary damages are available, and punitive damages may be obtained as well. An attorney who knows the state’s DUI laws can help the plaintiff or their family receive compensation, and DUI help in Charles Town, WV, can allow a defendant to protect themselves from such liability.