Injury victims have the legal right to be compensated for any injuries caused by a drunk driver. By understanding these rights, you will be better able to protect them. Here are three important things to understand about alcohol-related car accidents:
1. Any alcohol use can be proof of negligence.
In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove that the driver had a blood-alcohol level of at least .08. This is not the standard for injury claims in civil court. An injury claim is based on the driver’s negligence. Drinking any amount of alcohol before operating a motor vehicle can be considered negligent, so you can file an injury claim even if the driver’s blood-alcohol level was less than .08.
2. A civil case proceeds separately from any criminal cases.
There are many reasons why a prosecutor may not be able to file criminal charges even if the driver’s blood-alcohol level was above .08. There might be problems with the search warrant, police officers’ testimony, or even mishandling samples at the lab. None of this affects your injury claim in civil court. A civil case is completely independent of the criminal case, so your claim for compensation will not be affected by DUI charges.
3. The drunk driver’s insurance company will not tell you the fair value of your case.
Some injury victims choose to settle their legal claims without the help of an attorney. This is not a good idea because the insurance company will not tell you the fair value of your claim. They may not tell you all of the insurance coverage that is available to compensate you. Sometimes, insurance companies misrepresent or misreport the amount of available insurance coverage even to attorneys. Their job is to pay as little as possible on as few claims as possible.
However, experienced attorneys know how to make sure that all of the insurance coverage is identified and obtained if it is needed to fully compensate a victim. Insurance company employees are actively working for the other side. You should never take legal advice from anyone who works for the other guy. By hiring your own lawyer, you will ensure that you are getting an objective valuation of your case from a professional who is working for you.
An Experienced, Aggressive Charleston Injury Lawyer For All Accident Cases Involving Alcohol
Attorney Mark Bringardner is an experienced car accident lawyer. He is also an active supporter of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He knows how to handle car accident injury cases involving alcohol. For years, Charleston injury victims have trusted his office to protect their legal rights. Call 843-380-5299 to schedule your free case review.
DUI Injury Accident FAQ
How do I prove that the other driver was drunk?
Always call the police to respond to the scene of a DUI. Even if the case is not prosecuted, the police report will be critical evidence in your injury claim. Your attorney may also have witnesses testify that the driver showed signs of impairment.
What if I was injured as a passenger in a drunk driver’s vehicle?
Even if you knowingly got into the vehicle with a driver who had a drink, you can still be compensated for your injuries.
What if the driver was impaired by drugs?
Drivers are negligent when they operate a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance. This can be alcohol, recreational drugs, prescription medication, or even household substances (such as bath salts).