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How Do I Sue for Damages Caused by a Drunk Driver?

On behalf of Brad Wicker of BDIW Law posted on Monday June 06, 2022.

Legal remedies are available to recover for your devastating losses.

Statutes banning drinking and driving have been on the books in every US state for decades, yet statistics indicate that DUI collisions remain a threat to all road users. According to an Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) report, there are around 2,950 alcohol-related crashes every year statewide. Almost 200 people are killed in these incidents, while another 1,675 victims are hurt in drunk driving accidents. In other words, more than 63 percent of DUI collisions lead to death or injuries to at least one person.

Victims and their families do have legal rights under state traffic crash laws, but you may not know how to enforce them without a legal background. Fortunately, you can trust a Tulsa, OK, drunk driving accidents attorney to pursue your remedies and obtain the compensation you deserve. It is also helpful to understand some basics on how to sue for damages caused by a drunk driver.

Understanding Liability in a DUI Crash Claim

Most auto collisions are the result of driver negligence, which means more than mere carelessness in a legal context. You must prove that the at-fault motorist did not exercise reasonable care while driving, and this misconduct was the direct cause of the accident. Few would argue that consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is certainly a failure to exercise reasonable care.

Note that your claim against the drunk driver is separate from the penalties he or she may face for a criminal conviction. Your rights are civil in nature since you are pursuing monetary damages instead of jail time. If the at-fault motorist was convicted of DUI, this would be powerful evidence to support your claim. However, a conviction is not necessary to prevail in your civil claim, since the burden of proof is lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in a criminal case.

How to Sue for Damages Caused by a Drunk Driver

Motorist in Oklahoma are required to carry auto insurance, so the first step in the legal process is filing a claim with the company. Even if you have solid evidence related to the DUI crash, there can be challenges in dealing with insurers. These companies are committed to their own financial interests, not yours. You might receive a denial or lowball counteroffer to settle, which means you will need to go to court to get fair compensation. In a DUI accident case, it is possible to recover for:

  • Medical costs to treat your injuries;
  • Lost income;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional anguish; and,
  • Many other losses.

Our Tulsa, OK Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyers Can Help

For more information on recovering compensation after a DUI crash, please contact Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker. You can call or visit us online to set up a no-cost consultation with a member of our team. An Oklahoma drunk driving accidents attorney can provide details on your legal remedies after reviewing the details of your case.