Oklahoma City, OK- Drunk drivers cause about a third of fatal accidents in the U.S. They leave thousands of victims with fatal or devastating injuries. Drunk driving accident victims make one small group of the 15,000 Oklahomans victimized by a violent crime. Too many crime victims are unaware of their rights, but a law gaining momentum aims to ensure they know those rights and take advantage of them.
Supporters of Marsy’s Law say that Oklahoma is one of just 15 states with similar protections for victims of violent crimes. While the law doesn’t change or add any of the rights already granted crime victim; it will require victims of violent crime to be informed of their rights.
Supporters of Marsy’s Law say that if criminal must be notified of their rights, so should their victims, ABC News 7 reports. Sadly, too many victims are not active participants in the justice system because they aren’t aware they have input in sentencing and may be eligible for restitution or injury compensation.
The District Attorney’s Council, The Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association, and The Oklahoma Chiefs of Police support the legislation, according to ABC News 7.
Marsy’s Law will be on the general ballot November 2018.
What Are My Rights as Drunk Driving Accident Victim?
As a victim of a violent crime, you have the following rights:
Input in Perpetrator’s Sentencing
Crime victims and their families are allowed to express how they would like the perpetrator’s case to proceed. A judge or jury will consider a family’s wishes when it comes to sentencing the convicted person.
Many surviving family members and victims are unaware that they are eligible for restitution to cover medical bills, insurance deductibles and other costs associated with crime, whether it is a DUI accident or assault. Restitution is paid for by the convicted person or persons slowly over time, so it may not meet all the immediate needs of a drunk driving accident victim, or victims of other violent crimes.
Filing a Civil Suit
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates drunk driving accidents in U.S. cost citizens $242 billion annually. If you are injured in a drunk driving crash, you are going to face exorbitant medical costs, especially if your injuries were severe. Whether fatal or an injury-only accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your economic damages.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident or you were severely injured, USAttorneys.com recommends you get legal help. You can locate a compassionate, attentive and assertive counselor on our website. Our drunk driving attorneys in Oklahoma City will ensure your rights are respected during all stages of your personal injury or wrongful death claim.