If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you are likely to face a long uphill climb. First, you have to handle the severe or minor injuries caused by the accident, take care of all the necessary medical expenses, and in the event of your death, your loved will have to face that loss. Besides, lost income (in case you can’t go to work) and physical impairments are issues you may face for quite some time.
These are some of the reasons you should understand your legal options if you or your loved one has been hit by a drunk driver. All Las Vegas DUI attorneys understand that drunk drivers and the possible injuries associated with their recklessness can result in lawsuits or criminal charges. That could mean jail time and victim restitution.
The law allows you to file a civil lawsuit if you have been hit by a drunk driver. This process is different and separate from the possible criminal charges that the driver is likely to face in a criminal court. Note that the criminal process is designed to offer protection to the public from harm. It also aims at protecting other people from the negligent actions of drunk drivers.
Criminal prosecution of a drunk driver can happen whether or not she caused injuries to someone. In fact, an accident caused by the driver is not necessary to trigger a criminal investigation and prosecution. You (the injured person) can file a personal injury claim against him or her.
‘Dram shop’ and ‘social host’ liability laws in Nevada also apply if the drunk driver is underage and knowingly accepted to be served alcohol by a bar, restaurant, or other alcohol providers. The law may also hold these other parties liable for the driver’s negligence in a drunk driver lawsuit.
The blood alcohol content for all drivers under 21 years is 0.02%. For older drivers, the standards BAC is 0.08%. Keep in mind that there is no legally permissive blood alcohol content for commercial drivers in the state of Nevada.
Note that a civil lawsuit is the only way you can recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and damaged property that result from the driver’s recklessness. Non-economic damages or the money paid for your pain and suffering may also be awarded.
In an unfortunate situation where your loved one dies as a result of a crash caused by a drunk driver, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Note that a wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim. All medical care expenses incurred before the victim’s death and the costs associated with the funeral activities are awarded to the plaintiff. Besides, all economic and non-economic damages and emotional, pain, and suffering compensation is available.
Even when you are sure that a drunk driver is responsible for your injuries, it’s always challenging to prove it. Therefore, contact an attorney who can help you understand all your legal options.