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The Legal Rights of DUI Crash Victims



If you've been injured in an automobile accident that was someone else's fault, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for the crash. If successful, you'll be entitled to compensation for your injuries and accident-related expenses. There are, however, some additional factors to consider if the driver at fault was driving while intoxicated.

Automobile Accident Compensation

For your personal injury lawsuit to be successful, you and your auto accident lawyer will have to prove three things in court:

  • The driver who caused the accident owed you a duty of care, or had a responsibility to drive safely and avoid getting in accidents that could cause injury to others
  • The other driver violated that duty
  • You were injured and incurred expenses (known as damages) as a result of that accident

If police have already cited the other driver for DUI or DWI, then it may be easy to prove the first two elements. And your medical bills, lost wages, and car repair or replacement costs help prove the third thing.

Depending on the state in which you live, your attorney may also argue that you're entitled to punitive damages. This is compensation above and beyond the actual expenses you incurred as a result of the accident, and are intended to punish the other driver for egregious behavior.

DUI: A Serious Crime

Your personal injury case may, however, be complicated by the fact that the other driver has been charged with a crime. That's because driving while intoxicated is a serious crime that can result in jail time. Even if you win your personal injury lawsuit, you may have trouble collecting a judgment if:

  • The driver was uninsured or underinsured
  • The driver doesn't have money to pay the judgment
  • The driver is incarcerated and unable to earn a living to pay the judgment

Your automobile accident attorney can help assess the likelihood of winning your lawsuit and successfully collecting compensation from the drunk driver who was at fault.

Visit LawyerLocator to learn more about personal injury law or to find an automobile accident attorney in your area.