“Hit the bottom and get back up; or hit the bottle and stay down.” – Anthony Liccione
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident? And was the driver responsible for the accident charged with a DUI or DWI? If so, what are your legal rights as an accident victim?
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving When Intoxicated (DWI) are criminal offenses. Even though a vehicle collision that is caused by drunk driving is thought of as an accident, it is legally not an accident. It is intentional negligence as the driver chose to climb behind the wheel of the car while intoxicated.
DUI / DWI: A comprehensive definition
Before we look at what your rights are as a motor vehicle accident victim caused by a drunk driver, let’s look at a comprehensive definition of each of these terms:
According to Steven Gans, both the DUI and the DWI are charges relating to drunk driving or driving under the influence of narcotics or drugs. The name used depends on which US state you live in or traveling through.
From a legal perspective, a driver’s blood-alcohol level must be under 0.08.
Thus, if you are the driver, and your blood alcohol level is higher than 0.08, you run the risk of being arrested and charged with a DUI. It is also perhaps worth noting that if pulled over for dangerous driving and your blood alcohol level is below 0.08. However, your behavior is erratic; you can still be arrested and charged with dangerous driving or a DWI.
Your legal rights as a drunk driving accident victim
Succinctly stated, you have the right to claim for damages from the driver who caused the accident.
Because driving drunk or under the influence of narcotics is a criminal offense, the guilty driver will have to pay fines or even face jail time. It just depends on how serious the accident is. Even when considering the best-case scenario, a DUI or DWI is a grave charge.
Therefore, the question that begs is: How do you go about claiming for damages?
The simple answer is to hire an Allstate insurance attorney in Los Angeles to manage your claim on your behalf.
Your lawyer will file both a personal injury claim and a motor vehicle accident claim based on your physical, mental, and emotional injuries as well as the damage to your motor vehicle.
At this juncture, it is essential to note that physical injuries are not the only injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident. There are also the so-called hidden injuries, the emotional and mental health consequences of the crash.
Mental health issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are common, but severe side effects of the accident. And, depending on how severe the PTSD symptoms are, the time you will need to heal after the accident will more than likely take considerably longer than first estimated.
Thus, part of the healing process will require psychiatric care and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and time off work. This is itself a valid reason for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The resulting pay-out is needed to pay the bills.