Insult And Injury: What To Know About Criminal Vs. Civil Cases

Posted on: 29 August 2020

What might at first seem like a typical car accident case could be far more complex than you thought. If the driver that caused your accident broke the law in some way at the same time, your chances for compensation might be stronger. Read on for a quick and easy explanation of the way criminal charges and civil personal injury cases can intersect.

Accidents Happen

Almost all of the time, an accident is just that – an accident. The driver who ended up causing your accident may be as upset as you are about things. Maybe their attention wandered for a moment and they ran a red light or perhaps they were confused and made an error. Whatever the reason, the driver of the car that caused the accident will owe you compensation for your damages regardless of how sorry they are for being careless.

Accidents and Citations

It can be very disturbing to find out that the driver that hit you did so negligently. That means that they failed to use due care by speeding or breaking another traffic law. Unless they were going a certain number of miles per hour over the speed limit, it's probably not a crime. They will often be ticketed by the responding law enforcement officer, though. If so, this can help you prove not just fault but lead to an easier settlement. After all, you have proof that they failed to be careful enough and were cited.

Accident Scene/Crime Scene

Things can escalate when the driver is intoxicated. Drunk or drugged drivers cause accidents every day and they are almost always to blame for the accident. Law enforcement officers that show up at an accident scene are trained to recognize the signs of impairment in a driver. Empty alcohol containers, breath odor, slurred speech, and other signs of impairment may follow the other driver as they are taken to the hospital where blood is taken to measure the presence of inebriating substances. Driving under the influence (DUI) can evolve into an aggravated DUI charge when an accident is involved.

How to Take Legal Action

You deserve to be paid for your damages when a negligent or intoxicated driver causes a wreck. Take the following steps to ensure that you will be paid the compensation you deserve:

  1. Get a copy of the police or accident report and check for notes about an arrest or ticket.
  2. Follow up and find out if the driver was arrested and charged.
  3. Take civil action without awaiting the outcome of the criminal case of the driver. Just the fact that they were charged with an offense will benefit your case.
  4. As soon as possible, speak to a personal injury lawyer. Someone who offers personal injury attorney services can review the facts of the case and help you take action to get compensation.