Boca Raton, FL – The roads are always a dangerous place because of the possibility of motor vehicle accidents. However, some drivers take unnecessary risks that put the lives of other people in even more danger than usual. Thousands of incidents involving intoxicated drivers happen in the state of Florida each year, resulting in large amounts of property damage and bodily injury. Anyone who is involved in an accident with a driver who was under the influence has the option of bringing a civil lawsuit against them, even if the state is bringing their own separate criminal case.
A civil case is necessary for compensation
When someone is arrested for a drunk driving incident, the state will bring a criminal case against them. However, the criminal case is designed to punish the defendant and deter them from committing the same kind of offenses multiple times. When the accident victim needs payment for medical treatment and property repairs, they will likely need to file an insurance claim and speak with a lawyer about bringing a civil case. Personal injury lawsuits are the main remedy for anyone who has sustained serious losses and needs financial resources to pay for them.
How is a lawsuit against an impaired driver different?
The structure of civil accident lawsuits does not change much whether the driver was impaired or not. The plaintiff’s attorney will still have to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused their injuries. This needs to be done independently of the criminal case. The main benefit for the victim is that some of the evidence from the DUI investigation may also be used in the civil case as well. The state begins this process to collect evidence as soon as they arrive on the accident scene and notice that the driver may be impaired.
Negligence cases against drivers
The structure of a civil accident case is about proving the four elements of negligence. The plaintiff needs to show that the defendant owed others a general duty of care on the roads, that they breached this duty, they caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and the victim suffered some kind of damages. When all of these elements are shown at trial, the jury will be instructed to award the victim an amount of money that is based on the total value of all of their losses. This amount can be large if the damages included things like extended time periods out of work, long term hospitalization and medical care, or reduced earning capacity. The victim’s emotional pain, trauma, and suffering can also be factored as non-economic damages. Specific questions about the availability of damages should be directed to the victim’s lawyer.
Firm contact info:
5255 North Federal Highway, 3rd Floor, Boca Raton, Florida 33487