When you’re involved in a drunk driving crash with a dangerous driver, you probably know that what the driver was doing was illegal. However, while that may be, the case that you bring against the driver goes through his or her insurance or through a civil lawsuit. Essentially, you sue the driver for damages.
Comparatively, the law enforcement agency and state may choose to charge the driver for a DUI. This charge comes under criminal law, so the driver faces a trial and is involved in a criminal case.
What does one have to do with the other? Little, except for the fact that you can speak out at the case to make sure the court understands the impact the driver had on you. Additionally, having proof of a DUI conviction can help your claim finalize quickly, since there is no potential for you to be at fault.
In your civil case, you don’t have the potential to ask for punishments against the other person. What you’re doing is asking for compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, damages to your vehicle and more. In the criminal case, the attorneys fight to penalize the drunk driver. This might come down to fines, taking away the person’s license or a multitude of other criminal punishments.
Even if the state decides not to file a charge against the drunk driver, you can still file a civil case. The burden of proof is lower in your case, so it’s possible to get compensation even if the driver didn’t face charges or wasn’t convicted. Our website has more on what you can do if you’ve been hurt in a drunk driving crash.