Drunk driving remains one of the top causes of car accidents in America, and Montana is no different. Driving while intoxicated means that the driver has impaired vision, reflexes, and judgment, any one of which can lead to an accident. While most drunk drivers who cause accidents face prosecution, it’s important to remember that you have rights. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you should contact a Billings drunk driving accident attorney to discuss your case and whether you have a claim for compensation.
Why You Should Consider a Civil Claim
It’s important to understand the difference between a criminal prosecution for drunk driving versus pursuing a civil claim for damages. The criminal prosecution will focus on whether the driver is guilty or not guilty of driving while intoxicated. If they are found guilty, they will face a number of penalties such as jail time, loss of driving privileges, mandatory drug or alcohol counseling, and heavy fines. However, it’s unlikely that the court will order them to pay any losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. Furthermore, their case may be dismissed or they may plead guilty to a lesser charge.
If you are injured through someone else’s fault, pursuing a civil claim allows you to seek compensation for your losses. You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Damage to your vehicle and other losses
- Pain and suffering
Even if the driver was never convicted of driving while under the influence, you may still be able to pursue your claim. Your claim may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, we encourage you to speak with a Billings car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Drunk Driving is Negligent Driving
Most cases involving car accidents involve proving that the other driver was negligent. In other words, you need to prove that the other driver failed to take reasonable care to drive safely and avoid causing an accident. When someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they are typically incapable of driving safely. Evidence that they were under the influence at the time the accident occurred can be used to prove that they were negligent and should be held liable for your injuries.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Driving under the influence isn’t just limited to alcohol – it is also against the law to drive while under the influence of illegal drugs, as well as prescription medication, and over-the-counter drugs. If the driver was impaired when they caused your accident, they should be held accountable for your losses.
Drunk driving accidents can result in catastrophic injuries that can change your life forever. At Ragain & Clark, we understand how difficult the challenges are that you’re facing. That’s why we fight to get you the compensation you need to put your life back together. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call us at 406-651-8888 or fill out our online contact form.