If you have been injured in an accident caused by an alcohol-impaired driver, you could be entitled to compensation. As a responsible citizen, you heed the law and drive sober. Perhaps when you have had a little too much, you use a designated driver. You did everything right. Yet you still found yourself involved in a drunk driving crash thanks to someone else’s choice to drive under the influence. That is unfair and you deserve justice. An Alpharetta drunk driving accident lawyer can help you fight for justice.
Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can cover your medical expenses, damages, and even punish the guilty party. The drunk driving accident attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers are standing by to hear your story, evaluate your case, and explain your rights. Call our law office today to learn more during a free consultation at (404) 888-8888.
The Difference Between Criminal and Civil Cases in Drunk Driving Accidents
If you have been in a car accident before, you may be used to the process of determining fault and dealing with insurance companies. In car crashes, often someone was negligent, leading to the accident. This means that a person either acted or failed to act in a way that led to the collision. The person responsible can therefore be held liable for expenses related to the accident.
A drunk driving crash is different because law enforcement is more involved. Unlike a minor traffic violation where both parties involved were sober, insurance companies determine who pays for damages, and the guilty party may receive only a ticket, while drunk driving accidents have stiffer legal consequences. The impaired driver can face punishment ranging from fines to jail time. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety even states that a first-time drunk driver could face $1,000 in fines and fees and a one-year license suspension, while a third offense can result in higher fees and mandatory jail time.
However, just because a drunk driver must face criminal charges and related expenses does not mean that the victims of negligence cannot also pursue compensation through a civil suit. For this, Georgia residents can contact an Alpharetta drunk driving accident lawyer to help file a personal injury claim.
Civil and Criminal Litigation in Drunk Driving Cases
The criminal aspect of a DUI case determines the legal punishment faced by a drunk driver. This is different from a civil case brought by the victim against someone who caused an accident. The criminal case will essentially prove that the driver was to blame and will face legal consequences, providing you with closure. The civil case can provide you with compensation on top of that closure. This compensation can cover:
- Medical bills and expenses related to the crash
- Wages lost during your recovery
- Changes to your lifestyle that resulted from your injuries
- Rehabilitation and outpatient care costs
- Physical and psychological trauma
In other words, criminal litigation seeks justice in the eyes of the authorities while civil litigation seeks justice in the eyes of the victim.
On top of receiving compensation to pay for bills and losses, a court might also assign punitive damages. It is extra money in addition to the compensatory damages that help you pay for accident expenses. These costs are designed to punish the perpetrator. Put simply, if the criminal case provides closure, and compensatory damages cover your losses, punitive damages use your case to set an example.
However, this option will depend on the circumstances of your case. A drunk driving attorney can determine the possibility of punitive damages after your accident.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Alpharetta, call (404) 888-8888
DUI Accidents Do Not Always Involve Motor Vehicles
Not all drunk driving accidents involve two or more cars. Sometimes they only involve one. In fact, a car does not need to be involved at all. Operating any vehicle while under the influence constitutes drunk driving. Alcohol-impaired accidents can involve any of the following:
- Golf carts
- Utility vehicles
Sadly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that crashes involving bikes or pedestrians have been on the rise since 2009. Smaller vehicles and individuals are harder to see by an impaired driver, and these crashes can cause more devastating injuries than ones involving two cars. Devastating personal injuries equal more drastic changes to a victim’s life after the accident, with higher bills and greater emotional trauma.
If you were injured in a drunk driving crash that involved a bike, pedestrian, or another vehicle, contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to learn about your legal options by calling (404) 888-8888.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
Pursuing Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver
You may be hesitant to file a personal injury lawsuit following your accident for several reasons. Perhaps you think you need to wait until the criminal aspect is resolved. Untrue. Your civil suit is separate from the criminal charges and you do not need to wait on those results before filing your own lawsuit.
Maybe you believe your injuries are too minor to merit compensation. This is also false. No matter the injury, if it was caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you have the right to pursue compensation.
Whatever your reservations, consult a personal injury attorney. The statute of limitations on a personal injury claim in Georgia is two years per the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33, so you do not want to delay having your questions answered. A personal injury lawyer can use a number of tools and strategies to help you receive compensation following a drunk driving accident. Once you contact our law office, we will evaluate your case and get to work to:
- Compile evidence
- Interview witnesses and experts
- File necessary paperwork
- Negotiate settlements
- Fight for you in court
We will maintain communication with you every step of the way and are happy to answer any of your questions. Plus, we do not receive compensation until you do.
Get Help from a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Alpharetta
If you were injured by an impaired driver, you deserve justice, not only in the form of a criminal case, but also in civil court so you can receive compensation for your losses. An Alpharetta drunk driving accident lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you in your pursuit of damages. Contact our office today for a free consultation by calling (404) 888-8888.