Drunk driving is inexcusable, and unfortunately, when DUI drivers cause crashes, the injured victims are often those who follow all the traffic laws. If you have been in such an accident, the consequences of your injuries may affect the remainder of your life. Your injuries may keep you hospitalized for months and in need of long-term rehabilitation. You might even be unable to ever return to work.
You may not be aware of the different sources of compensation that you could claim. What you need to focus on is the fact that you have legal rights, and that help is available to fight for maximum recovery of damages.
The factors that will affect your compensation
If you file a personal injury lawsuit against an alleged drunk driver, the court will consider different factors when it comes to adjudicating your documented claims. The following are some of the important aspects of DUI claims:
- Driver’s conviction: If a criminal court convicts the driver for drunk driving, it might benefit your case. The court may see a criminal conviction as negligence per se, which would be adequate proof.
- Modified comparative negligence: Connecticut uses the law of modified comparative negligence, which considers the culpability of all parties. If the court finds that you were partially responsible for the accident, it will allocate a percentage of negligence to you, and deduct that percentage from the awarded amount of damages. However, if your part of the negligence exceeds 50 percent, you will not receive any compensation.
- Dram shop liability: Under the dram shop laws of Connecticut, an establishment that provided the driver with alcohol could bear some liability in your claim. However, you will have to show that the vendor intentionally sold or recklessly gave the driver alcohol.
- The long-term effect: The nature of your injuries may lead to the need for long-term medical care and rehabilitation. The court may award damages that cover not only the medical expenses incurred after the crash but also your future medical costs.
- Loss of income: If your accident led to mental and physical injuries that caused your inability to return to your previous job, or earn a gainful income, the value of your lost future income may form part of a monetary award.
- Fatal injuries: If the crash led to the death of a loved one, you and other surviving family members could claim wrongful death. If such a claim is successful, you can expect a more significant reward, particularly if the deceased loved one was the breadwinner of the family.
You are not alone
Your biggest challenge may be to establish negligence when you file a DUI lawsuit. The prospect of fighting a legal battle at this challenging time may be overwhelming. However, an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney can take over and navigate the ensuing legal proceedings on your behalf.