Despite the apparent dangers of Driving While Intoxicated, DWI remains one of the common causes of accidents today. Although this kind of negligence is often a personal decision taken by the drunk driver, it often adversely affects innocent road users. Unfortunately, few people know what to do in case they get into an accident with drunk drivers. As a result, not many victims have been seen to sue a drunk driver.
If you or your loved one has been a victim of drunk driver accidents, here are six nuggets of knowledge you should know before you sue a drunk driver.
What You Should Know Before You Sue a Drunk Driver
1. Civil vs. Criminal Consequences
In most states today, DWI is a criminal offense. This means the perpetrator will be prosecuted in criminal court. However, to compensate for your loss and pain, you may have to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver in civil court. This will ensure you get rightfully compensated and gain justice for yourself or your affected loved one.
2. Different States Regulations Vary
Different states in America have different laws and regulations regarding DWI. These regulations vary on penalties, jail terms, fines , or even the mere definition of what may be considered as DWI. Whereas a certain level of intoxication may pass as a DWI in one state, it may be legal in another. You, therefore, have to put this into consideration before attempting to sue the driver on DWI grounds.
3. You Can Sue For Wrongful Death
If the drunk driving accident resulted in the death of your loved one, you could be entitled to compensation on their behalf. You can file a wrongful death claim and seek damages for all the pain, suffering, and financial losses you have endured as a result of your loved one’s wrongful death.
4. Hiring a Lawyer Will Make it Easier
Many people tend to overlook the importance of legal counsel in DWI related lawsuits. This is never a wise move. Hiring a competent DWI lawyer will make the process easier for you and increase your chances of winning your claim. DWI accident lawyers are well versed in the legal procedures and tactics employed by insurance companies and defense lawyers. Pursuing your case without a lawyer’s help is akin to walking through landmines with your eyes closed.
5. The Statute of Limitations in Your State
As is the case with all other laws in America, different states dictate the time within which you can press charges against a perpetrator. DWI lawsuit statutes of limitations vary across all states. As such, you may find it helpful to know the statute of limitations in your state. This will help you plan your next move in the legal battle against the drunk driver.
6. Evidence is Key
All court cases are based on evidence and to win a civil case you need to demonstrate a preponderance of evidence in support of our claim.This means you have to go the extra mile and get all the relevant evidence about your case. This could be in the form of photographs, witness accounts, videos, and medical reports. You could also reach out to the relevant authorities and get a copy of the incident report. Was there an alcohol test carried on the driver on that day? If so, this may be very helpful in proving your case.
Waste No Time
The secret to winning full compensation is speedily following all the procedures required. Do not waste any time, as this will interfere with your odds of winning the case. Reach out to a DWI lawyer as soon as you can and let them guide you through all the steps required of you.