Hit by a Drunk Driver: What Are My Rights?

Hit by a Drunk Driver: What Are My Rights?

Being hit by a negligent driver who causes a car accident puts you in a position in which you must pursue compensation through a claim brought to civil court. What happens if the driver is intoxicated when they hit you? Does police intervention and the criminal justice system’s procedures override your civil rights to demand owed damages?

No. Thankfully, your rights are not overridden or complicated by a pending criminal investigation and case against a drunk driver who hits you. At the most, you may be urged by your personal injury lawyer to wait a little while longer than usual to file your claim to see how the criminal procedures advance and conclude.

When you demand compensation from a negligent driver, you should expect resistance from them or their insurance company. You and your car accident attorney can strengthen your claim with evidence of their liability. In a drunk driving accident case, criminal evidence used against that driver by the state can actually become your own advantage in your civil claim. This is why your attorney might advise waiting to see what happens in criminal court before taking the driver to civil court.

Criminal evidence that can be used in your civil claim includes:

  • Police reports: Statements made by the police at the time of the drunk driver’s arrest can be powerful influencers for your claim. Insurance companies may decide to back down and offer a fair settlement knowing that you effectively have the police’s word on your side.
  • BAC test result: Drunk drivers are usually subjected to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test at some point after their arrest. The reported BAC level can be a strong indicator of intoxication, and therefore liability.
  • Driving history: Someone who has multiple arrests for drunk or reckless driving can be assumed to be a poor driver by a reasonable person, which raises their liability in turn.
  • Conviction: Nothing confirms a driver’s inability to operate their vehicle safely quite like a DUI conviction. If the drunk driver who hit you gets convicted, then your attorney should be sure to see how this ruling or verdict can be used in your favor.

You deserve every penny you need to recover from serious injuries and related damages caused by a drunk driver. This is your right. Let The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC and our Alexandria car accident attorneys be the legal team to guide you through the entirety of your claim. Backed by 30+ years of legal experience, we are confident we can get you the case result you deserve.

For a case evaluation, call 571.290.2390 at any time.