Monday, 4 April 2016

A DUI Accident can Result in a Civil Case

Thousands of people are arrested each year for drunk driving in the state of Florida. In spite of ever-increasing criminal penalties and aggressive public awareness campaigns by private and public organizations alike, drunk driving continues to occur on a regular basis in Orlando and throughout the rest of the state. While most everyone is aware of the fact that drunk driving can result in significant criminal penalties, less clear to those without legal training is the fact that drunk drivers can face civil liability as well. Below, the differences between the criminal and civil consequences of drinking and driving are discussed. For more information or to discuss your specific case, call an experienced Orlando car accident attorney today.

Criminal vs Civil – What’s the Difference?

A criminal case is a legal action brought by the state on behalf of the general public in response to allegations that an individual violatedFlorida law. Criminal penalties include fines, probation, restitution, and jail time. On the other hand, a civil case is a lawsuit brought by a party that alleges that he or she has been injured by the negligence of another person. If the person who brings the civil lawsuit wins, he or she will receive monetary compensation for his or her losses, often including loss of value or damage to property, any medical expenses incurred, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and lost wages. Unlike a criminal case, the defendant cannot be jailed or be subjected to any other criminal penalties. Importantly, the burden of proof is significantly different in these two types of cases – in a criminal case, the state must prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, while a civil plaintiff must only prove negligence by a “preponderance of the evidence” in order to recover.

Victims Must Take Action in order to Recover Compensation

Generally speaking, after a drunk driving accident, the criminal case does not require the involvement of the individual or individuals who have been injured to proceed. Presuming that law enforcement officers responded to the scene of the accident, they will have evaluated all of the drivers involved for signs of intoxication and gathered evidence of such intoxication if it existed. At that point, the file will be sent to the prosecutor’s office, which will then make a decision as to whether or not to prosecute anyone for a violation of the law.

In order to recover compensation, however, victims must take affirmative steps to establish that the driver who injured them was negligent and make a legal claim. In the case that it is clear that the other driver was drunk, negligence will likely be conceded but victims will still need to establish damages and make a claim to the drunk driver’s insurance.  The assistance of an attorney can ensure that victims make their claim in a timely manner and can also help those injured obtain the full and fair value of their claim.

Contact an Orlando, Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today to Retain Legal Representation

If you have been injured in an auto accident in which the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are most likely entitled to significant legal compensation. Orlando injury attorney Jonathan K. Allen is qualified to represent the rights of accident victims and strives to obtain the maximum compensation available in every case he takes. To schedule a free case evaluation with Mr. Allen, call our office today at 407-205-2330.

No comments:

Post a Comment