Facing an Injury Lawsuit After a DUI-Related Car Accident

September 16, 2022 Car Accidents

In Nevada, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense. You may be familiar with the penalties that could accompany a DUI charge, such as jail time. However, criminal penalties are not the only consequences that someone could face after a DUI car accident.

If you were involved in a DUI-related car accident, you could face a personal injury lawsuit in addition to criminal charges. The impact of a personal injury judgment can be significant, so it is important to understand what to expect when facing a civil lawsuit.

What Is the Difference Between Criminal Charges and an Injury Lawsuit? 

When a person is arrested on a DUI charge, he or she will face criminal charges and his or her case will proceed through the criminal justice system. If convicted, the driver would face penalties that are intended to punish you for breaking the law. For example, the driver may spend time in jail, pay a large fine, or have his or her driver’s license revoked.

A personal injury lawsuit is a civil legal proceeding and follows a different process and set of rules. Instead of punishing a person for committing a crime, an injury lawsuit intends to compensate a victim for any losses or damages related to the accident. 

Instead of ordering jail time or other penalties, the alleged drunk driver would be required to pay a settlement to the victim. These damages may include the victim’s medical care, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

How Is a DUI-Related Lawsuit Proven?

Personal injury lawsuits rely on the presence of negligence. The victim must prove that the alleged drunk driver caused his or her injury and present evidence that establishes the following facts:

  • Duty of Care: The driver owed the victim a duty to drive his or her vehicle safely and to follow Nevada traffic laws.
  • Breach of Duty: The driver breached his or her duty of care by driving under the influence, which is a crime.
  • Causation: The driver’s actions caused the victim’s accident and led to his or her injuries.
  • Damages: The victim suffered damages or losses as a result of the DUI accident that he or she could recover in the lawsuit.

How to Defend Yourself in a DUI-Related Injury Lawsuit

Facing a lawsuit after a DUI-related car accident can be a scary experience. If you find yourself in this situation, you need a lawyer on your side who can defend your interests during the civil legal proceedings and defend you against these claims.

Our top attorney, Paul Janda, can assess your case and help you understand the best possible outcome based on the facts of the accident. Depending on your situation, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the victim and avoid going to court. Your attorney can also argue for the lawsuit to be dismissed, or present evidence that you were not liable for the collision.

If you are facing litigation, hiring a personal injury defense attorney is an important and critical step to take to defend your best interests. As soon as possible after the accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.