One of the things that sometimes confuses drivers who are debating filing a lawsuit is whether or not they can sue someone who has been convicted of a crime. You can, in fact. It’s possible to be a convicted drunk driver and to still be sued for negligence. A personal injury attorney can help you to determine whether or not this is an option for you.
Suing for Damages In a Drunk Driving Accident
When you sue someone in a personal injury claim, your first concern should be getting the money back that the injury caused you. This will involve your attorney determining how much you can realistically ask for. Your lost wages, property damage, medical expenses and other expenses are all calculated into this equation. The thing to remember is that, even though the drunk driver may be facing jail for what they did, that doesn’t really do anything to help you recover from the financial damages that they did to you.
Pain and suffering will usually be added to these claims. This is calculated to compensate the victim for what they’ve been put through as a result of the wreck on a personal level. Presumably, whatever suffering the victim endured may have not even happened if the driver that struck them hadn’t been negligent. Your injury attorney will help you to determine how much to seek for pain and suffering that resulted from the drunk driving accident.
What About Negligence?
Negligence has to do with taking reasonable care to preserve the safety of others. When you’re on the road, being drunk behind the wheel is most certainly negligent. Other drivers on the road should be able to expect that everyone else adheres to the law and that they do not willingly and unnecessarily endanger other drivers by doing things such as driving drunk. When drivers do end up taking to the road under the influence and hurt someone, they may be held liable for negligence in most cases.
Even if the driver that injured you is already in jail, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your options. There may be more options for you than you’d imagined. In the case of some claims, the other driver will actually offer to settle because they want to avoid court costs and because they’re convinced that they’re going to lose the claim anyway.
Your personal injury attorney may be able to get started on your case right away or they may need some time to review it to determine whether or not you have a good justification for filing a lawsuit. If they believe that you do have reason to file a lawsuit, you’ll want to make the decision without delay. There are limitations on how long after the fact that you can actually seek compensation.