Civil Consequences of DUI

Driving under the influence is illegal in every state of the country. The consequences of these actions often are criminal charges with potential fines, jail or prison terms, suspension of driver’s license and various other similar issues. However, what many may be unaware of is that civil cases may be filed against the perpetrator of these acts as well as criminal.

The person injured because of the drunken driving of another may sue the violator. Additionally, it is not necessary for the criminal case to be concluded with a successful verdict. The victim of the accident must only prove that the driver was the reason he or she was harmed.

When the driver or passenger has been injured due to the actions of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she may pursue civil action against the vehicle operator. This may usually arise when car and health insurance are incapable of recovering costs due to medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering and similar concerns. It is often best to consult and hire a lawyer to assist with these civil matters to
ensure everything has been filed and processed with the right agency and area. Experienced legal representation may be the only way to succeed in some cases.

Criminal Penalties of DUI-Related Car Collisions

Criminal consequences of driving under the influence incidents often start with the DUI charges issued from the arresting officer. Many states require the loss of driver’s license privileges for about six months to include a fine. Some demand driver school for substance abuse or counseling to educate these persons about the severity of these crimes. Car insurance companies frequently cancel policies after these crimes have occurred. In addition to this, the payments owed each month to these companies may double or triple. This is due to the risk to the business that drunk drivers pose.

When a DUI charge is not the first, the driver may be dealing with severe consequences based on the state. Some states have policies where the third or fourth DUI charge leads to harsher penalties that usually include prison terms in years. Other charges may be added to the DUI one such as reckless driving, endangered driving, assault in certain situations and if death occurs, homicide of various degrees may be the most serious. When an injury occurs with these actions, additional charges are usually added on to the DUI charge. As these violations increase in frequency or numbers, the state they occur in may use the harshest possible penalties that may cause the driver to spend lengthy time periods behind bars.

Civil Penalties of DUI-Related Car Collisions

While jail or prison terms are not part of the civil case process, there are severe penalties issued depending upon the case and all related factors. The car insurance concern is still part of these proceedings to include the expensive premium payments. This usually also includes the suspension of the driver’s license. When someone has been hit by a drunk driver and been injured, it is almost always a successful case. The driver’s car insurance policy pays for the damages to the victim at a greater amount than if the person was not driving while intoxicated. For the claims where the injuries are so severe the insurance carrier is incapable of paying all compensation necessary, the driver that caused the accident while under the influence of alcohol must pay out of pocket penalties. This is if the person has the money to pay the compensation payout.

Settling the Case

Some injured person may seek additional compensation damages when he or she feels the person has money enough to provide to the victim. This means a settlement from the insurance carrier of the driver may be rejected for the full amount in lieu of seeking the monies from the drunk driver. In certain circumstances this could be the worse manner to choose. A settlement may be reached through negotiation with lawyers and insurance carriers based on policies and states. Other settlements may be concluded through the compensation being provided by the drunk driver.

Negotiation and Legal Counsel

For personal injury civil cases against a drunk driver, it is best to hire a lawyer to assist in these matters. This person may perform an asset check on the vehicle operator to ascertain how much money he or she is able to afford in contributing to the recovery of the injured party. If a settlement cannot be negotiated, a court case may go to trial. For successful claims that exceed the insurance coverage of the driver, he or she must provide monetary compensation above what the insurance carrier is capable of allocating.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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