How does a drunk driving criminal case differ from a civil lawsuit?

civil case vs criminal case keyboardIf you are injured in an accident with a drunk driver, the drunk driver will likely face criminal charges for driving while under the influence. This could result in fines, license suspension, and jail time. But these do nothing to compensate you for your injury. After the accident, you might have expensive medical bills and be unable to work. If you want to hold the drunk driver responsible, you will have to file a civil case to sue for damages.

The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases

Under criminal law, the district attorney—on behalf of the government—is usually the one who prosecutes the accused. Prosecution does not usually include any financial compensation for the victim unless the court decides to award punitive damages. The court may award punitive damages in cases where the behavior of the at-fault party was deemed to be especially reckless

The victim must sue in civil court to recover damages as a result of the drunk driver’s actions. If the drunk driver is found to be responsible for the victim’s injuries, they will need to pay damages to help victims recover financially. Hiring an attorney can help ensure the appropriate steps are taken so you get the money you deserve.

Potential Damages You Could Recover in a Civil Case

The amount of compensation to which you may be entitled is usually calculated by adding together your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include your medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning potential, as well as property damage to your vehicle. Non-economic damages could include physical and emotional trauma you have suffered after being injured by a drunk driver.

Call an Alaska Vehicle Accident Attorney

If you were injured by a drunk driver, you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to get started on your civil case. Attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many car accident victims understand their rights and get the compensation they deserve. Make an appointment for a free consultation.