One of the leading causes of accidents on the road is driving while intoxicated. In addition to any civil claim that could be brought after a collision, there are also criminal charges that the state could bring. This adds a unique element that is not present in many other personal injury claims. A trustworthy car accident attorney could inform a claimant about how to navigate these two cases.
If you were injured by an intoxicated driver, you should speak with a Cicero drunk driving accident lawyer to learn what might be possible in your case.
When someone is intoxicated, they lose some of the cognitive ability to make judgments, as well as their coordination while operating a car. A drunk driving accident is more serious than a simple fender-bender. There will usually be criminal charges associated with a DUI, in addition to a civil claim for damages. It is important to speak with a drunk driving lawyer early in the process in order to maximize the potential settlement at the end of the case.
While drunk driving accidents can occur any day and any time, they occur more frequently between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. They are also more likely on Fridays and on the weekend, when people are more likely to be drinking.
Finally, a disproportionate number of DUI accidents are caused by people between the age of 18 and 25. For this reason, that age group tends to have much higher insurance rates.
A plaintiff is entitled to seek economic damages as well as non-economic damages. However, in a situation where a drunk driver causes an accident, they may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Compensatory damages like economic and non-economic damages are meant to make up for anything taken away by the injuries. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for egregious conduct. Driving while intoxicated may rise to this level.
An accident does not need to be solely the fault of one party in order to recover damages. Several parties can be held liable. As long as the defendants are more than 50% at fault, the plaintiff can make a recovery for the injuries sustained. Typically, if someone is driving drunk, it is easy to prove that they are more than 50% at fault. A DUI accident attorney in Cicero could fight to ensure that the plaintiff does not bear more than half of the fault in a case.
The drunk driver will likely be charged with a criminal offense. In this situation, the plaintiff is merely a witness, but they might need to testify. A civil case, however, is the claim against the driver for money damages as the result of the accident. Since most cases settle before trial, there may not even be a court appearance required. A local lawyer who handles driving while intoxicated cases could fight for a settlement for a car accident before it reaches a courtroom.
Following a drunk driving accident, the injured party does not decide whether to press charges. Only the state can charge someone with a DUI. If a drunk driver is not charged with a criminal offense, it does not bar an injured person from seeking civil recourse.
Operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol is a criminal offense. Therefore, there are added layers to a drunk driving claim in civil court than in many other accident claims. A Cicero drunk driving accident lawyer could sit down with you and explain the process so you are in a good position to recover compensation. Call now to learn what is possible in your case.