How to Get Money from the Drunk Driver Who Injured You

As car accident and wrongful death lawyers, we appreciate for encouraging revelers to learn their limits. We see the devastating effects of drunk driving accidents on victims and their families too often. We wanted to share a common point which applies to our practice, which is how a personal injury or wrongful death case differs from the DUI charges the driver might be facing. The fact is that they are two totally different things, and it’s possible to be guilty of one and not the other.

Getting the Most

In order to get the best financial compensation, you need to open a personal injury case. Any criminal case the drunk driver is facing concerns them violating the law and is not concerned with your injuries and damages. Insurance companies may be offering you money or settlements to cover those, but it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer because insurance companies stay in business by not being overly generous. Attorneys are skilled at pressing insurers for more, and we can start a legal battle if they refuse to give you what your case is really worth.

What Damages Can You Seek

You may be feeling the effects of this accident for years to come. Not only can you seek financial compensation for your injuries, but you can also seek it for lost wages caused by your injuries, including lost future earning potential. Examples of other potential damages are pain and suffering, medical bills, rehabilitation, and counseling. If your personal life and marriage have been altered, you may even file for a “loss of consortium.”

Criminal vs Civil Cases for DUI

While having a criminal DUI conviction in hand helps with a civil case, it’s not always necessary. Criminal cases are tougher to prove than civil cases are because criminal cases have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A civil case has to be proven on a preponderance of evidence (that the evidence shows more guilt than innocence).

The driver’s criminal charge of driving under the influence is between the driver and the state. Conviction results in things like points on his or her license or suspension, higher insurance rates, mandatory education courses, and possible incarceration. None of these would benefit a victim or the family other than knowing that the law found the person who hurt them accountable.

Civil cases are between individuals, property owners, and businesses when negligent acts cause harm. They are usually initiated to recover financial damages for the victim or the family. These matters can sometimes be solved with the insurance company alone. If it seems evident that their client had indeed had too much to drink, the insurers are often eager to settle out of court. However, an attorney can almost always get more money from insurance companies and can sue for more damages if the insurance won’t shell out enough. In some cases, more than one party is guilty and compensation can be drawn from any combination of involved parties. There might also be a case of a restaurant or bar over-serving a patron, and liability can rest with them as well. For more information about car accident causes and different types of personal injury cases, speak with a San Jose car accident lawyer.

Click here to read more about the mission of To spread awareness about dangerous levels of intoxication, see our BAC chart here.

Get that Breathalyzer you’ve always wanted.
Sign up today for weekly tip and tricks for drinking smart. Get a full PDF Copy of our BAC Chart.