Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an extremely negligent act that puts all other motorists at risk of harm. If you were struck by an intoxicated driver, you could have grounds for a civil claim.
A Murfreesboro drunk driver accident lawyer could help you seek financial compensation from the party responsible for your losses. Do not hesitate to seek guidance from a hardworking injury attorney.
How Are Drunk Driving Accidents Different from Other Wrecks?
Car accidents caused by drunk drivers are often more devastating than other vehicle collisions because they involve a driver who is incapable of operating their vehicle in a safe manner. Intoxicated drivers have a slower reaction time and may be unable to stop if they start engaging in dangerous behavior such as crossing over the main center line on the roadway, which could result in a head-on collision.
Another unique aspect of these accidents is the defendant is typically arrested at the scene. Therefore, the defendant is often facing criminal charges in addition to civil litigation.
Recoverable Damages in an Intoxicated Motorist Collision
Due to the gross negligence involved in a drunk driving wreck, injured claimants can seek three types of legal compensation. The first type of legal recourse is economic damages which involve out-of-pocket expenses and losses such as lost wages and medical bills. Then there are human damages, which are intangible losses such as disability, pain and suffering, or loss of consortium.
The third type of compensable losses are specific to cases involving someone in an egregiously reckless and unreasonable manner, such as operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Called punitive damages, this compensation aims to punish the defendant for their behavior and discourage them and others from repeating the negligent act. An experienced Murfreesboro lawyer could ensure a claimant is compensated for all their losses stemming from an accident caused by an intoxicated driver.
Criminal Versus Civil Court
Generally, there are going to be two types of cases involving a drunk driver. There is the civil case where a compassionate lawyer in Murfreesboro helps an injured party seek compensation from the drunk driver, but oftentimes there is also a separate criminal case.
The criminal case involves the local government holding the defendant accountable for their violation of the law. This case is completely separate from the personal injury case because the theory of the criminal case is that the person that was injured is actually not a real person, but the state.
Criminal cases require the defendant to be on probation, pay fines, attend alcohol and drug screenings, and spend time in jail. These cases do not usually require the defendant to pay legal restitution to the injured party, that usually only happens in a civil proceeding.
However, there can be some overlap involving these separate cases. If a defendant is convicted of drunk driving in the criminal case, a well-practiced local attorney could use that as evidence of negligence in the separate civil case.
Reach Out to a Murfreesboro Drunk Driver Accident Attorney for Guidance
Vehicle wreck cases involving an intoxicated driver can be devastating, and often result in catastrophic harm and fatalities. If you were struck by a drunk driver, you should not hesitate to seek legal recourse with the help of a skilled attorney.
A Murfreesboro drunk driver accident lawyer could provide much needed guidance during a challenging time. A compassionate legal professional could review your case, calculate your damages, and advocate on your behalf in and out of court. Call now to schedule your initial case consultation.