When someone causes you to suffer serious injuries in a car accident — because he or she was negligent, unlawful or reckless — that person is financially liable for your injuries. If the individual happened to be operating his or her vehicle while intoxicated at the time of the crash, this evidence can strengthen your case and help you pursue financial damages relating to the cost of your medical care, lost income, legal fees and more.
As to the question of whether a criminal drunk driving conviction will help to support your claim for damages, the answer is decidedly “Yes.” The criminal court process will be separate and apart from your personal injury case, as criminal cases are handled via the criminal justice system and personal injury cases proceed through the civil court system. Often, drunk driving cases will proceed to a close before any related civil claims are finished. A conviction in criminal court pretty much cinches the question of who was liable for the accident that caused your injuries.
In criminal court, wrongfully acting parties are held accountable for their criminal violations and punished with fines and jail time; however, they will not usually be required to compensate their victims for financial damages. It’s through civil proceedings that plaintiffs are able to pursue their claims for remuneration relating to medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages resulting from their injuries. However, everything that goes on in a criminal court is part of the public record — and could potentially yield evidence relevant to your claims.
Were you hurt by a drunk driver? Our attorneys are available to assess the viability of your potential claim for damages. Visit our website to learn more about your legal rights and options now.