Drivers with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit should never get behind the wheel. Compared with sober motorists, they are more likely to cause devastating crashes because their judgment is impaired. Drunk drivers are also prone to reckless driving when they disregard traffic laws, putting theirs, and other people’s safety at risk.
A person is driving under the influence in Denver when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher, according to the Office of Legislative Legal Services. Despite strict measures to discourage impaired driving, many still choose to be irresponsible. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, almost 60 people are arrested for driving while impaired every day.
If you have been seriously hurt when an intoxicated driver hit you, a Denver drunk driving accident lawyer might be able to help you hold them accountable. You may not be in a position to attend to legal matters while you heal, and having an attorney early on ensures that you preserve your right to recover fair compensation. Call, today at (800) 598-7557, for a free case evaluation.
Filing a Lawsuit in Denver When Drunk Driving Is Involved
Following a collision involving a drunk driver, your legal options may be limited because of certain challenges in your case. In typical auto accidents, injured parties can file a lawsuit against at-fault drivers immediately after the incident. This may not be possible in your situation since the other driver might have to deal with criminal charges first. Understand that your personal injury lawsuit is a civil case, and it may have to wait until the closure of the criminal case against the other driver. One common reason for this is that you may also need to use the evidence presented in the criminal trial.
Do not be surprised if you have to wait months before filing your case. The defendant may choose to fight the criminal charges and extend the timeline of their case. Moreover, the compensation you receive may be less than what you expect if the other driver spent a considerable amount of funds on the prior trial. In other words, your case may not be as simple and straightforward as you think. Seek a drunk driving accident lawyer’s counsel to learn more about your legal position and what to expect from your case.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Denver, call (800) 598-7557
Filing a Claim Against the Other Party’s Insurance Company
Every motorist in Denver must purchase auto liability insurance that will cover damages arising from a car accident. Thus, you may be able to file a claim against the insurer of the drunk driver. Just be aware that insurance companies do not always have your best interests at heart, so it is advisable to let a lawyer handle communication and negotiations on your behalf. If the company refuses to offer you fair compensation, your legal representative can file a lawsuit for you.
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Reasons to File a Civil Claim
Criminal penalties do not include payment for losses and damages that drunk driving accident victims suffer. Through a civil lawsuit, you can pursue financial compensation regardless of whether the other driver gets a conviction in the criminal case. Additionally, you may have access to non-economic damages that are usually not available in a criminal case. The decision to accept a settlement is up to you.
In every case, some unique circumstances and facts can impact your eligibility to sue the driver at fault. Discuss your case with a Denver drunk driving accident lawyer to know more about how civil cases work. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to schedule a consultation at no cost.
Statute of Limitations
Even if you have the right to sue a drunk driver, it does not mean that you can hold off doing so indefinitely. The Revised Statutes § 13-80-101 in Colorado law states that those who suffered injuries after a motor vehicle accident cannot bring legal action any more than three years after the incident. A lawyer can help you make sure you do not lose your right to sue the driver at fault.
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Dram Shop Case
Colorado’s dram shop law allows you to take legal action against third parties that contributed to the accident but sets the cap for damages at $150,000. A restaurant, bar, or the host of a social function may share some of the liability if they let a minor or a visibly intoxicated person consume alcohol. However, it may be difficult to prove the fault of an establishment, and a drunk driving accident lawyer can help you do so. The statute of limitations for dram shop cases is only one year, so you should act quickly to protect your rights.
Pursuing Legal Action with the Aid of an Attorney
As mentioned earlier, a drunk driving accident can fall under a criminal and civil case. It can be overwhelming to handle legal matters alone, and a lawyer can explain to victims how the two different kinds of cases affect each other. Proving that the other driver was drunk and was responsible for the accident and injury can be challenging, but attorneys are prepared to gather evidence that will establish liability. If you are unsure of your case’s worth, a drunk driving accident lawyer can compute your total losses so you will have an idea about whether other parties are offering a fair settlement.
Let Us Handle Your Legal Obligations
It is understandable to feel confused and uncertain about your case after a drunk driver hits you. Rest assured that Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is committed to helping you explore your available legal avenues and filing a lawsuit if necessary. You deserve compensation if you suffered losses at the hands of someone else. You can rely on a Denver drunk driving accident lawyer who will check the details of your accident and determine if you are eligible to bring legal action against the reckless driver. Please inform us about your concerns by calling Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557. There is no need to pay until we win your case.