Your Rights After a DUI Crash
MARIETTA, Georgia. The minutes and hours after a crash can be confusing enough. However, when a crash is preventable, as is the case with DUI accidents, victims and families can face unique challenges when it comes to healing and seeking a recovery.
Some of the things victims should do after a DUI crash are very similar to what you’d do in any accident. Call the police, make sure that everyone at the scene of the crash is safe and as stable as possible until help reaches you, and try to stay calm. Seek medical attention, even if you think you have no injuries. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder can take days to weeks to appear.
If you were hurt due to the negligent driving of a drunk driver, you have important rights under the law. You have the right to seek damages for your injuries in both criminal and civil courts. You can sue the drunk driver in a separate civil case for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Punitive damages are allowed in cases where the defendant’s behavior shows a conscious indifference to the safety of others. If the defendant has also had a prior DUI then your punitive damage claim will be substantial so as to punish the defendant and deter him/her from driving drunk again. Because drunk driving is a crime, you will likely be called by the county prosecutor as a witness against the drunk driver for his/her DUI criminal case. You will also be entitled to seek a claim from your local county crime victims’ funds for your medical expenses. Contact the county Solicitor or District Attorney to inquire about this fund and restitution for your bills will be made a part of the defendant’s sentencing by the criminal case judge.
When drunk drivers are found guilty of a crash, they may also be ordered to pay restitution to victims and their families. Victims who receive restitution can sometimes see significant award amounts, depending on the seriousness or nature of their injuries. According to the Charlotte Observer, one man was ordered to pay nearly $600,000 in restitution to cover victims’ medical bills.
DUI victims can face a range of unique challenges that go above and beyond their physical injuries. When we get behind the wheel, we trust that drivers will make the right choice. However, when a family member is seriously injured or killed in a DUI accident, that trust can be shattered. Family and friends can suffer immense emotional turmoil. Victims themselves can suffer serious post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their injuries. Unfortunately, when it comes to psychological care, insurance companies don’t always cover it.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a DUI accident, know your rights. If a DUI can be proven, the courts might be more ready to find the other driver mostly, if not entirely, at fault for the crash. The degree of negligence the other party holds plays a major role in how much money you can seek in damages.
Amanda Hall Injury Law are DUI accident lawyers in Marietta, Georgia who work closely with victims and families who have suffered because of another person’s poor choices behind the wheel. Our attorneys can review your case, review your damages, and help you understand the value of your claim. We can fight to help you seek justice either inside or outside of court.
Holding drunk drivers accountable sends an important message. This behavior won’t be tolerated. If you do it, you will have to pay. The hope is that this will deter others from doing the same by making the choice to get behind the wheel drunk.
Amanda Hall Injury Law
145 Towne Lake Parkway, Suite 200
Woodstock, GA 30188