Drunk driving accidents can cause serious injury and sometimes death to drivers, passengers, other motorists and pedestrians. When bodily harm or death occurs at the hands of a drunk driver, state law may allow for a felony DUI charge. While a felony charge may prevent that driver and others from drinking and driving, it does a little to compensate those injured or killed as a result of a drunk driver's negligence.
For individuals injured by a drunk driver, or for the family members of those killed by a drunk driver, damages may be awarded through a civil or wrongful death lawsuit. Regardless of the heinous nature of the crime, more information must be established to receive damages for injury or death resulting from a drunk driving accident.
In a civil lawsuit, the individual seeking compensation must be able to prove that the driver was intoxicated at a level too high to safely operate a vehicle. They must also be able to prove that the intoxicated driver showed negligence by failing to use reasonable care when driving. Many times this proof is established through evidence provided by law enforcement, incident reports, expert opinions and witness testimony. Although it may seem relatively easy to prove intoxication, that is not always the case. Proving a driver was negligent, especially when blatant intoxication is not evidence, may be difficult.
Individuals injured in an auto collision caused by a drunk driver may benefit from speaking to an attorney. With the help of a legal professional, intoxication and negligence may be easier to prove and make compensation and damages easier to recover.