Lawsuits, Drunk Drivers and Car Accidents


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A drunk driving injury is a frequent subject of civil suits. Drunk drivers can face serious criminal charges along with penalties such as restitution and jail. But they can also face civil liability if their victim decides to sue.

Civil Suits for a Drunk Driving Injury

A civil suit for drunk driving is a different process from a criminal suit. Criminal proceedings are aimed at protecting the public from future harm by punishing the drunk driver and acting as a deterrent to drunk driving. A drunk driver could face a criminal prosecution even if there was not an injury or accident involved. A drunk driving civil case comes about when a drunk driving injury lawsuit is filed by the victim, or in the case of fatality, by the victim's family. The aim is to recover damages.

No-Fault Laws and Civil Suits

No-fault laws will have a direct effect on your ability to file a civil case against a drunk driver. The effect of such laws on civil cases against drunk driving is a hot topic in many no-fault states. As opposed to pure negligence states, drunk drivers residing in no-fault states aren't automatically subject to a civil suit. Despite the fact that an intoxicated driver has obviously caused a drunk driving injury through a careless action, a no-fault law requires a threshold to be met before a suit can move on. If your damages are along the lines of minor injuries or property damage, you are obligated to file a claim with your insurance provider.

Pure Negligence States and Civil Suits

If you reside in a pure negligence state, you are able to sue a drunk driver for any injuries you sustained. In personal drunk driving injury cases, you only need to prove fault just like you would in any other civil suit. On the face of it, civil law cases against drunken drivers may seem impossible to lose, but insurance companies and defense attorneys have spent substantial amounts of money and time defending these types of lawsuits and winning is not particularly clear-cut.

Drunk Driving and Wrongful Death

If someone you love is killed by the actions of a drunk driver, you, or any other duly appointed representative can file a civil suit for wrongful death on behalf of your loved one's estate. These types of suits are often undertaken by family members who want to make sure that those who are left behind have some type of financial solidity. Wrongful death cases are a type of typical personal injury negligence suit and tend to follow a very similar course. Economic and non-economic damages are both available, and some states also allow punitive damages. These are random amounts that are awarded with the intention of reprimanding the drunk driver and with the aim of dissuading future drunk driving occurrences.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you or a loved one has sustained a drunk driving injury and require legal representation, talk to the partners at Clore Law, who work with personal injury and negligent driving cases. Call them on 843.722.8070. Drunk drivers who cause car accidents face not only criminal penalties but can be sued in civil court as well.

Contact Us

Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.