What To Do If You’re Sued For Drunk Driving

Our society has little patience for people who get drunk, drive, and injure others. Therefore, if you are charged with drunk driving and face a lawsuit, it’s critical to hire a skilled DUI defense attorney immediately.

You also should learn as much as you can about drunk driving lawsuits and what you can do to help your cause. The information we provide below should get you started. 

The Civil Lawsuit Is Separate From The Criminal Case

If you were arrested for drunk driving and injured or killed someone, you’re facing a criminal charge. What happens, in that case, is distinct and separate from any civil lawsuit that is filed against you. 

You could be convicted of drunk driving and receive a jail sentence in the criminal case or be found not guilty. 

But if you injured the other party and have unpaid bills, lost work time, and pain and suffering as she recovers, they could file a personal injury lawsuit against you. 

If the court finds you are responsible for the other party’s damages, you could have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. If you don’t have the money, you may face wage garnishment for decades. 

A skilled car accident attorney can represent your interests and attempt to argue that you are not responsible for the other driver’s damages. 

Say As Little As You Can To Law Enforcement 

When you are in an accident and drinking, it’s essential to give as little information to the police as you can. The Miranda warning states that anything you say can be held against you, and they’re not kidding around. 

If you give the police too much information, such as how much you had to drink, you could make your defense much more difficult. 

You are required in most states under the ‘implied consent’ law to let the police test if you are intoxicated. If you don’t allow them to do so, you could have your license suspended. 

If you allow them to give you a breathalyzer, you should not say anything to the police about the incident. Instead, wait to talk to an attorney. 

Insurance Won’t Pay If You Were Intoxicated

Whether the police check your blood alcohol content at the roadside or the police station, they will get it eventually. But, unfortunately, if it shows you were legally intoxicated, your insurance company will not pay for damages you caused in the accident. 

At this point, the deed is done, but this is a reason you should never drink and drive and always call an Uber or a taxi. If you cause injuries to someone else in a drunk driving accident, you may be forced to pay out of pocket, which could ruin your finances. 

If you have many assets, it’s a smart idea to have plenty of personal liability insurance to protect you if you are hit with a personal injury lawsuit for any reason. 

Get Alcohol Treatment Before Trial

If you are going to a criminal trial for drunk driving, you can help yourself out by voluntarily going for alcohol treatment. This shows the judge that you are aware you have a problem and are doing something about it. 

However the criminal trial pans out, it also can help in the personal injury lawsuit that you are taking actions to clean up your life. The jury or judge may find you responsible for the other person’s injuries, but taking steps to stop drinking can help your attorney negotiate a smaller settlement. 

Taking personal responsibility for your actions can go a long way towards getting a better settlement outcome. 

A personal injury lawsuit stemming from drunk driving is a serious matter, but a skilled attorney can often minimize the damage. 

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