Car accidents happen every day causing thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was DUI, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and receive compensation for your losses.
Proving negligence in a DUI car accident case is similar to proving negligence for any type of personal injury claim. To win your DUI car accident claim you must prove the following elements: duty, breach of duty, causation and damages.
To win your car accident case you first must prove duty. Duty simply means the defendant had a responsibility to act with ordinary care while they were operating their motorized vehicle. All drivers have a duty of care toward other drivers. This duty of care is outlined in traffic laws. Drivers must not speed, drive recklessly, run red lights or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers who do not perform their duty are said to have “breached their duty”.
A breach of duty can be any reckless or negligent driving action. Drivers who run red lights, tailgate, fail to yield right-of-way or drive on the wrong side of the road and cause an accident have breached their duty. If you have proven breach of duty in your car accident claim then you have proven negligence, but to win your car accident case you must also prove that their negligence was the proximate cause of your DUI car accident injuries.
Proximate cause means that the driver’s negligence caused your car accident injuries. Stated another way, your injuries flowed from the natural sequence of events following the driver’s negligence and under normal circumstances an “ordinary person” could have foreseen the likely outcome of their negligent actions.
After the plaintiff has proven duty, breach of duty and causation they must also prove injury or loss. Without injury or loss the plaintiff does not have a case. To prove injury or loss the plaintiff must have evidence. Evidence can include medical documentation or testimony.
If the plaintiff proves each element in their DUI car accident claim they may be entitled to compensation or damages. Damages which may be recovered can include: loss of wages (future and present), loss of consortium, pain and suffering, medical expenses (future and present) and loss of property. In some cases the plaintiff may also be entitled to punitive damages.
In most states if you have been injured from another driver’s negligence, inattention, recklessness, distraction or drunk driving you are entitled to compensation (some states have passed no-fault laws which may limit your ability to file a car accident claim). If your car accident injuries were caused by a third party or a defective product, you may be entitled to additional compensation from the manufacturer of the product.
DUI car accident injuries can be serious and permanent. They can radically change your life and make it impossible for you to provide support for your family. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was DUI, contact a DUI car accident lawyer if you need help filing a DUI car accident claim.
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