Civil Suits for Drunk Driving InjuriesA civil suit for drunk driving is separate from any criminal proceedings a drunk driver may face. Criminal proceedings are designed to punish the reckless driver and to act as a deterrent for future criminal conduct. Those injured by a drunk driver may file a civil case to seek monetary compensation. If you are injured by a drunk driver or if you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, a civil suit may help you recover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, damaged property or pain and suffering. Prior to filing suit, you may enter into settlement negotiations with the drunk driver’s insurance company or counsel. If the at-fault driver received a traffic ticket or citation for an open container or was arrested for DUI, you may be in a better position to negotiate your claim.
Tips for establishing DUI
- Tell the police officers if you smell alcohol or marijuana on the other driver's breath. Alerting the responding police officer may spur them to act, possibly administering a field sobriety test.
- Watch to see if the other driver tries to get rid of beer bottles, alcohol or drugs. If you saw the other driver throwing out any of these items, be sure to alert the responding officers.
- Tell the officer if you see the driver switch places with a passenger and/or alert the officer to the true identity of the driver.