When a drunk driving accident occurs, the drunk driver faces charges in a criminal court. The police investigate the case, gather evidence of the drunk driving offense and forward the information to the state’s attorney for prosecution. If you’re the victim of the drunk driving accident, you may assume that the criminal process is enough to represent your interests. Don’t make this mistake. Even if the drunk driver faces criminal charges, there are still important reasons to pursue a civil claim through Arizona’s civil legal system.
Can I bring a drunk driving personal injury claim if there are already criminal charges?
Yes, you can bring a drunk driving personal injury claim if there are already criminal charges. The victim of a drunk driving accident may bring a civil case whether or not the state pursues criminal charges. The determination of fault in a civil drunk driving case does not depend on the outcome of the criminal case.
Drunk driving personal injury cases allow for complete damages
Bringing a personal injury claim after a drunk driving crash allows you to claim more damages than are available to you through criminal court. When a drunk driver faces criminal charges, victims can ask for reimbursement for medical bills and property damage. In a criminal case, there’s no way to claim compensation for pain and suffering and reduced lifestyle. A personal injury claim is the only way to receive full and complete compensation for your true damages.
You may access insurance to pay for your damages
Another reason to pursue a civil claim after a drunk driving accident is that there may be insurance to pay for your damages. In a criminal case, you have to wait for the offender to pay court-ordered restitution. That day may never come. When you bring a personal claim, you may be able to collect your compensation through the other party’s insurance company. When you have a civil case, you can take steps to collect payment directly if the other party or the insurance company doesn’t immediately pay.
Drunk driving personal injury attorneys in Arizona
When you’re hurt in a drunk driving accident, you have a right to bring a claim for compensation against the responsible driver. The claim doesn’t depend on the outcome of the criminal case. When you pursue your own claim, your drunk driving personal injury attorney in Phoenix can help you build your own evidence and negotiate compensation that fairly represents your damages. If you’re hurt in a drunk driving accident, pursuing a personal injury claim is the best option to seek full compensation for all of your losses