DUI Accident in Texas - Is Civil Compensation Possible?

Compensation for the injured party from a driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol incident can provide the victim of the accidents with enough money to recover fully. Understanding what compensation is possible in a civil suit is important to the individual is able to prepare the case effectively with the help of a lawyer.

The DUI Accident

As in most states, drinking and driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs is a crime in the state of Texas. The individual that is under the influence of either substance can cause a collision either with an object or with another driver. The resultant injuries are the fault of this person, and law enforcement usually arrests him or her either after the incident or once everything clears. It is often that cops will pull the drive over before he or she starts a crash. However, some are not in locations that law enforcement officers will see, and the situation leads to civil litigation.

The Need for Civil Compensation

When the person hit by the other driver
under the influence suffers injury, he or she usually needs to file suit because compensation is necessary for a number of reasons. Generally, the primary concern is medical treatment. Other matters become important as time progresses such as bills, expenses, property damage, a loss of work and income and pain and suffering. These are all possible damages available through compensation from a lawsuit. The individual filing the claim usually will face off against the insurance company of the at-fault driver and may conclude the claim through a settlement offer
provided by the carrier.

Types of Damages

The person as a victim from a DUI accident can seek several damages in Texas. These include pain and suffering which usually has a specific calculation based on the extent of pain and duration of suffering, medical treatment and the loss of income while in recovery. It is possible to receive compensation for the property damage caused by the drunk or high driver. Other damages usually depend on the specific circumstances of the claim. Additionally, the judge may provide more monetary compensation based on any special conditions or extensive damage caused. The lawyer usually can either calculate reasonable compensation possible or hire an expert witness to calculate the range.

Punitive Damages in a Civil Suit

If there are special circumstances, intentional harm, aggravating factors or particularly grievous injury, the judge may determine that the victim will receive punitive damages in addition to the standard compensation awarded. This punitive award has a dual purpose. The judge will consider the case and award punitive damages to punish the DUI driver at fault and to provide more compensation for the incident. This type of award is entirely up to the judge and can remain a factor no matter how moderate or severe the incident is. The lawyer can express the need for punitive damages, but the judge does not need to even consider them.

Pursuing a DUI Accident Claim in Texas

Even though the claim usually does demonstrate fault by the DUI driver, the plaintiff may need to prove certain other issues such as gross negligence to increase the chances of punitive damages. Gross negligence in Texas is when there is more than just a momentary lapse in thought, judgment or intentional action. The person must also cause greater harm because of his or her lack of judgment and decision-making skills. While the drunk driver is usually responsible for the accident, the defending lawyer may also try to place some blame on the plaintiff. The victim will need to show that he or she was not at fault in any way.

However, the individual may acquire less compensation if the opposing legal team can prove he or she was partially responsible.

The intoxicated driver will often face criminal charges, but the victim will need to initiate a civil claim to recover damages through litigation. This type of claim will provide various awards if successful and can ensure there are funds for economic and even intangible damages that the drunk driver caused through his or her actions.

Legal Support for a DUI Accident in Texas

Depending on the case, it is possible to pursue more compensation if various other damages exist such as pain and suffering, medical treatment and a loss of income. By hiring a lawyer, the victim can pursue the claim an increase to the strength of the case significantly for a Texas DUI accident claim.

Provided by HG.org

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 and.how they may affect a case.

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