If you have just been arrested and released from jail on a Driving Under the Influence charge you are probably asking can I be sued for a DUI if I’m already facing criminal charges? You will find the answer is a resounding yes. You will probably be receiving notice of a claim from a personal injury lawyer within thirty days of the wreck. It is generally in your best interest to hire an attorney as soon as possible after being released from jail.
The State’s prosecutor will be working to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, this standard is a higher legal standard than the personal injury lawyer seeking a financial recovery for their injured client. The standard in a civil lawsuit is by the preponderance of evidence. If you admit criminal guilt in a criminal court the personal injury lawyer will be able to use your admission as proof you were drunk driving when you struck their client. In some jurisdictions you may be able to work with your lawyer to resolve the criminal case without making an admission. If there is no admission it cannot be used in the civil lawsuit against you.
When the person you hurt while driving drunk pursues their case they will be seeking recovery of all medical bills and lost wages your negligence caused, this is true in all personal injury claims. Your second difficulty is the injured Plaintiff will also be pursuing a claim to punish you for your reckless decision for drunk driving. The damages meant to punish you are called punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to deter your future conduct.
Most personal injury lawyers will not settle for less than all of your insurance coverage. Some of the more aggressive plaintiffs will seek to go above and beyond your insurance coverage and take your personal assets. Even more difficult is many insurance policies exclude punitive damages for drunk driving from insurance coverage. What this means to a Defendant in a DUI case is the only person who may be paying for their DUI wreck is themselves personally without any financial responsibility of their insurance company.
If you have just been released from jail on a DUI wreck involving injuries you may need to hire a Decatur, GA DUI defense lawyer quickly. There is a high probability that the person you hurt is retaining a personal injury lawyer to seek a financial recovery due to your criminal mistake.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Andrew Lynch from Andrew Lynch, P.C., for his insight into civil consequences of DUIs.