People love to gather together for the holidays and celebrate with an eggnog or mulled wine. However, many of those people then cause injury when they decide to drive home after too much to drink and they cause a collision. When a drunk driver crashes into your car and injures you or a member of your family, it can disrupt your holidays, as well as your life for months or even years to come. Drunk drivers should be held completely responsible for all of the losses you experience due to a crash.
Criminal v. Civil Case
Law enforcement officers are aware that drunk driving increases during the holiday season and they therefore increase their enforcement efforts from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. However, police are unable to stop all drunk drivers before they cause an accident and injuries. If you are in a crash, you should always call the police and wait for them to arrive if possible. When police arrive and suspect a driver is drunk, they can perform field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer test to gather enough evidence of intoxication to arrest them. Once arrested, the driver will likely face criminal charges of operating while intoxicated (OWI)1 or worse if they caused serious injury.
A conviction for OWI can punish the driver with fines and jail time, but this case often does little to help cover the losses of any drunk driving accident victims. In order to hold the driver financially liable for your losses, you will need to file an insurance claim or even file a claim in civil court for personal injury. By doing so, you can seek recovery for the following and more:
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Lost wages and future lost earning power
- Permanent disability
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages2
Throughout this process, it is critical to have the help of a highly experienced drunk driving accident lawyer who knows how to use evidence from the criminal case to benefit you in your civil case and help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible from the drunk driver.
Contact a Michigan Auto Accident Attorney for Help Today
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we have helped many victims of drunk driving accidents recover financially and move on with their lives in the best possible position. Please call our office at 313-GET-HELP if you would like to discuss your case for free.