Winning Civil Damages as a Victim of DUI

Drunk driving costs the United States over $132 billion annually. In 2015 alone, over 290,000 people were injured in an alcohol-related accident. Although raising awareness about the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has helped reduce the pool of victims, far too many continue to be harmed by irresponsible drivers.

Over half of all fatal highway crashes nationwide are alcohol-related. DUI accident victims who have suffered a severe injury or the loss of a loved one have the right to pursue compensation from the negligent party. If you are recovering from an injury sustained from a drunk driving accident or wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Orlando, working with a DUI accident attorney is the first step.

Two Types of Lawsuits after DUI

Criminal DUI Lawsuit

A criminal DUI lawsuit takes place when the State takes action against the alleged perpetrator of DUI. This is the criminal case in which a judge or jury may sentence the defendant to fines, incarceration, and other penalties upon a DUI conviction. For the defendant to be convicted of a crime, the State must find that he or she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Aside from testifying as witnesses, victims have no control over criminal proceedings and may not receive the necessary restitution.

Civil DUI Lawsuit

Victims may file civil lawsuits against those who hurt them regardless of whether the offenders were found guilty of a crime. In a civil case, the goal is to hold the defendant accountable to the victim. The victim initiates and controls the case. As a party, he is entitled to the important information related to the case and can work with his attorney to make decisions relevant to the case. In a civil case, the victim must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable for the damage sustained.

A victim must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused or contributed to:

  • Physical injuries
  • Property damage
  • Financial losses
  • Wrongful death

DUI Victims’ Rights

Florida’s constitution guarantees crime victims fundamental rights. These rights include the:

  1. Right to compensation for losses
  2. Right to be informed about the criminal proceedings
  3. Right to be present at any point during the trial
  4. Right to be heard during criminal proceedings

Reasons to File a Civil DUI Lawsuit with an Attorney

Control the Case

Victims play a larger role in a civil suit because they are a party to the case. Victims have final approval of settlement proposals. Working with an attorney ensures a victim is fairly represented and that he fully understands negotiations.

Receive Compensation

Civil actions can provide compensation for several losses endured due to the accident, such as medical expenses, lost income, mental health services, property loss, and financial support loss and funeral expenses in wrongful death cases. An attorney with extensive experience negotiating can help you win the maximum compensation you need to cover all expenses associated with the accident.

Hold the Offender Accountable

Even if the offender never spends a day behind bars, a civil suit provides another means for victims to receive justice. A DUI accident attorney protects your interests at each turn.

While you are recovering from injuries or grieving the loss of a loved one, the most important thing you can do is focus on your health. Allow our Orlando DUI accident attorneys to take the necessary measures to hold the responsible party accountable for the pain he or she has caused you and your family. Receive a free consultation by calling 407-228-3838 or contact us. The Umansky Law Firm works on a contingency meaning that our personal injury lawyers will not accept payment until they settle your case.