Drunk drivers are deadly; Americans all over the country have been made aware of the dangers. Nevertheless, people go out, get drunk and then try to drive themselves home every weekend. This behavior puts everyone else on the road at a very real risk of being injured and even killed. When a drunk driver’s mistake costs a life, the family has options for seeking compensation, in some cases.
Drunk drivers face a variety of possible criminal charges. There is even more potential for criminal charges against drunk drivers when they’re responsible for causing a death. In addition to these criminal charges, they face vulnerability to civil lawsuits.
What’s the different between a civil and criminal trial?
Criminal charges are designed to punish the drunk driver for having taken a drunk driving victim’s life. Lawsuits filed by the victims are designed to provide the victims and their families with compensation for having suffered the loss of a loved one. There are very real—and oftentimes harsh—financial consequences for losing a family member.
What’s a settlement?
In some cases, the party being sued may opt to offer a settlement. When this happens, the defendant approaches the plaintiff with an offer of compensation. The compensation offered will usually be less than the jury award being sought. You won’t get as much money from a settlement as you might from a jury award but you won’t have to pay court fees, either. This is why they’re attractive, in some cases.
How would a jury award work?
The jury award you get—if you get one, there’s no guarantee—might include some or all of the money you’re seeking. Your attorney will help you arrive at a sum to seek in compensation. This sometimes takes a bit of work. You may have to project future medical costs or the costs of lost wages because of someone having died.
A drunk driving accident attorney in Dallas will have to hear your story before they can tell whether or not filing a lawsuit would be a good option for you. These lawsuits can be filed under contingency agreements. This means that the car accident attorney you hire doesn’t get paid unless they win your claim. If they do win your claim, their fees are deducted from whatever award you receive. If you’re debating whether or not you should file a lawsuit, consider contacting an attorney and sitting down with them. It’s the best way to find out whether or not you should go ahead and file a lawsuit and most consultations will be free of charge.