When a person is charged with or convicted of driving drunk in Chino, CA and they cause an accident as a result, they are not only at risk of being hit with criminal charges, but they might also be faced with civil liabilities. Civil liabilities refers to “a legal obligation that arises to a private party, usually for payment of damages or other court-enforcement of a lawsuit.” Generally, a DUI offender is pursued for damages (i.e. financial relief) from a victim if that person suffered physical and/or psychological injuries as a result of the accident.
Examples of Damages a DUI Offender Might be Obligated to Pay if a Civil Lawsuit is Filed Against Him or Her
If a victim decided to file a civil suit against a DUI offender, they could request that they are provided with the following damages:
- Pain and suffering. If the accident has resulted in a victim suffering from physical/psychological pain, they could ask that the court require the DUI offender to compensate them for this. Now, pain and suffering is viewed as a noneconomic damage and is often difficult to place a value on. Therefore, if you want to be sure you aren’t asked to pay an amount that is far beyond what the victim should receive, you should contact a drunk driving accident lawyer in Chino, CA so that you are properly represented.
- Medical bills. If the victim required emergency medical treatment, had to undergo a surgical procedure, or needed to receive ongoing treatment for the injuries they suffered, you could be asked to cover the cost of their medical bills. While your auto insurance policy may cover some of this depending on the types of coverages you purchased and whether your insurer is willing to pay given the circumstances, any amount that isn’t covered could fall on you to pay.
- Mental anguish “is a type of suffering that can be compensated in a personal injury case, generally meaning significant mental suffering that may include fright, feelings of distress, anxiety, depression, trauma, or grief” [Source: Cornell Law School].
- Lost wages. In the event the drunk driving accident resulted in the victim being unable to work, you could be held liable for paying them the money they would have earned had they been able to work.
It is important to understand that victims are only able to collect damages they can prove they actually suffered. However, if they decide to retain a lawyer of their own, that could increase their chances of winning their case. So, if you want to be sure you have a legal expert in your corner protecting your interests and defending your rights, it is best you hire a Chino, CA drunk driving accident lawyer if a civil lawsuit was filed against you.
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