Driving under the influence (DUI) is a clear violation of the duty to operate a vehicle in a safe manner. Oftentimes, the injuries from DUI accidents are severe and victims may require extended care or therapy. Victims of this type of motor vehicle accident can file a civil lawsuit to pursue compensation for their injuries and property loss. Making a demand for full reimbursement in a civil setting can be confusing since a DUI is largely considered a criminal matter. If you have been hurt by a drunk driver, the attorneys at Quick Law Group, PLLC, in Bellevue, WA, can fight for you. Liz Quick and Matt Quick operate on a contingency plan so victims can focus on their recovery rather than worry about upfront legal fees.
A Closer Look at DUI Accidents
Any time a driver is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 0.08%, that driver is considered to be legally drunk. If caught, the driver faces the criminal charge of DUI, but might also face liability for any injuries in cases where a car accident also takes place.
Criminal Charges vs. Civil Lawsuits
A civil suit can be brought by the accident victim in an effort to seek reimbursement in cases where the responsible party was cited with DUI. The criminal DUI matter is one that is prosecuted by the State, against the drunk driver. The injured party plays little, if any role, in the criminal proceedings.
DUI accidents often cause devastating injuries which require lifelong care. Victims of these tragic accidents can file a civil lawsuit to recover complete compensation.
In a civil case, the burden of proof is much less than in the criminal matter. What this means is that when you seek damages in a civil suit from a drunk driver, you have to prove the driver more likely than not caused the accident. But to obtain a DUI conviction, the State has to prove that the accused was driving while over the legal limit beyond a reasonable doubt. The consequences of a judgment in a civil matter versus a conviction in a criminal case are also different. The likely outcome of a civil case is an order of payment to the victim, while a criminal conviction carries with it the potential loss of driving privileges and possible jail time.
We Can Help You Focus on Healing
The benefit to filing a civil case in DUI accidents is to obtain the funds needed to make the victim "whole" again. Orders to pay a victim, referred to as restitution, are designed to return the hurt party back to the same quality of life they were in prior to the accident taking place. Our attorneys can help victims seek reimbursement for:
- Lost wages
- Medical and surgical expenses
- Prescription drug needs
- The cost of necessary rehabilitation or therapy
As with any type of car accident, the possibility of suffering significant injuries is high with a DUI accident. The victim might suffer broken bones, cuts and lacerations, burns, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, and even death. The cost needed to treat these injuries is something the victim can, and should, seek from the drunk driver. Victims of DUI accidents are also entitled to demand repayment for the costs needed to repair or replace any personal property damaged or destroyed in the accident.
Contact Our Office for Assistance
If you have been in a car accident with a drunk driver, we know how devastating the situation is for you and your family. Liz and Matt Quick take an aggressive approach to recovery in every case they handle, and in DUI accidents, also look to the law to hold the driver accountable for their actions in the hopes of deterring similar conduct in the future. We can also explore other avenues, such as dram shop liability, to ensure all negligent parties are held responsible for their actions. To schedule an initial office consultation, contact us online or call us at (425) 576-8150.