Can I file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver who hit me even if the driver was not arrested?
Despite harsh criminal penalties and decades of anti-drinking and driving campaigns, drunk driving remains a top cause of injuries and deaths nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 300,000 Americans are injured in drunk driving accidents each year. About 10,000 people are killed in accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. A far greater number of Americans admit to driving drunk, leaving all of us vulnerable when we take to the roadways. Our Los Angeles drunk driving accident attorneys discuss the rights of drunk driving accident victims to pursue compensation against drunk drivers below.
Suing the Drunk Driver Who Hit You
If you are injured in an accident and suspect the other driver was intoxicated, you will want to be sure the driver is investigated. Call local law enforcement to the scene of the accident right away. Inform the officers as to your suspicions and why. Law enforcement officers should investigate the driver to assess whether he or she may have been intoxicated. The officer should gather evidence as to the driver’s intoxication.
Those injured by a drunk driver can pursue a personal injury action against the intoxicated driver, regardless as to whether the driver is arrested or convicted of the drunk driving charges. Evidence gathered as to the driver’s intoxication will greatly assist your personal injury case, but the bar is lower for proving a personal injury case than criminal charges, so even without a conviction your case may be successful.
Damages in a DUI Accident Case
Individuals injured by a drunk driver can pursue damages to compensate them for their losses associated with the accident. Potential damages could include medical bills, lost wages, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. Additionally, you may be awarded punitive damages to deter the offender and others from engaging in the dangerous behavior of drunk driving. Your DUI accident attorney will assist you in evaluating your case to determine what damages you might be eligible to receive from the negligent drunk driver who injured you.