When drunk drivers injure pedestrians, it is important to not leave the entire process in the hands of the criminal justice system. An experienced civil attorney can make the person responsible pay for the victim’s losses, in addition to any criminal penalties they may face. Civil lawsuits are usually the only way to receive compensation for things like medical expenses and property damage associated with a drunk driver’s actions.

After an investigation of an accident involving a pedestrian and a driver in Sioux Falls, police are now going to charge the suspect with driving while intoxicated.

Pedestrian is hit by a drunk driver in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Law enforcement responded to the intersection of East 9th Street and Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls at around 11:15 pm on a Saturday night. The pedestrian was struck somewhere in that area while walking on or near the sidewalk. The suspect’s vehicle left the road surface and came to rest on the sidewalk.

The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injures, but was expected to live. The driver was later charged with reckless driving and drunk driving. No other injuries were reported and the identity of the victim was not released.

How to file a case against a drunk driver

Drunk drivers can be sued for causing an accident just like any other car on the road. They are subject to the same traffic laws as everyone else, and the standard of care for a civil breach of duty remains the same. The defendant may be forced to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, long term treatment, or any other costs associated with the accident. Even when the state’s criminal charges do not result in a conviction, the driver can still be made to answer for their actions in civil court. The best course of action for the victim is to contact an attorney who specializes in drunk driving accidents and let them begin to work on their case as soon as possible.

Attorneys who handle civil accident cases will file an initial complaint with the local court system that details the incident and the value of the plaintiff’s losses. The defendant’s attorney will have a chance to admit or deny the allegations in the initial pleading. As more information becomes available to both parties through the discovery process, they can either choose to close the case through a settlement agreement for a fair sum of money, or they can go to trial and let a jury decide all of the important issues.

What are the chances of winning the case?

A civil lawsuit to prove a driver was at fault actually has a lower burden of proof than the criminal DUI charges brought by the state. In this sense, a civil attorney must only show jury that it was more likely than not that the accident was the responsibility of the defendant to win. The evidence of impairment collected during the DUI investigation will help the plaintiff.

Local lawyers are available to file a case on your behalf

To get assistance from an expert in local DUI laws and civil lawsuits after an accident contact the attorneys at Ogborn, Mihm, and Quaintance. They represent victims throughout the state of South Dakota and the Sioux Falls area.