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Can You Sue If You Get Hit by a Drunk Driver?

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Can You Sue If You Get Hit by a Drunk Driver?

Can You Sue If You Get Hit by a Drunk Driver?

Can you sue if you get hit by a drunk driver? The answer: yes. When a motor vehicle accident involves a drunk motorist, it almost always leads to a legal claim brought by those who were hit by the drunk driver. Intoxicated motorists can not only face civil liability for injuries and damages they cause in an accident, but may also face serious criminal charges for DWI, especially if an accident results in serious injury or death. 

If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to file suit against that driver for your injuries and damaged property.

Civil vs. Criminal Drunk Driving Case

A civil claim arising from a drunk driving accident is separate from the criminal proceedings that might be initiated following the accident. A criminal DWI case is intended to punish the drunk driver for their conduct and to protect the public from future harm from drunk driving through a deterrent effect. Whereas a civil case requires that someone suffered some sort of compensable injuries or losses, a criminal DWI case can be filed even if no accident or injuries were involved.

A civil case following a drunk driving accident is filed by the persons injured or who suffered property damage in the accident, or by the family members of those killed by a drunk driver who causes an accident. A civil lawsuit may be a drunk driving accident victim’s only means of securing compensation from the drunk driver who caused the accident.

Read more: Taking Notes After Your New Jersey Accident Or Injury

Effect of New Jersey’s No-Fault System on Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuits

New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that a person injured in a motor vehicle accident is expected to first turn to their own insurance policy for compensation under their personal injury protection coverage for medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs. Only once PIP coverage has been exhausted can a drunk driving accident victim bring a claim against the drunk driver.

In addition, for accident victims who have selected the limitation on liability in their auto policy, they cannot seek compensation for non-economic damages arising from the accident, such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life, unless they’ve suffered a catastrophic injury as defined by state law. Insureds who have selected the full liability option in their auto policy can seek non-economic damages under any circumstances. Of course, any drunk driving accident victim can seek compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and repair or replacement costs for their vehicle.

Read more: Will My Insurance Premium Go Up If I File A Claim?

Filing a Wrongful Death Suit after a Drunk Driving Accident

If you have a family member who was killed by a drunk driver, your loved one’s estate and your family may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Wrongful death claims are often thought of as a personal injury claim that the decedent could have brought had they survived the injuries wrongfully inflicted upon them. A wrongful death claim can allow your family to recover losses you’ve incurred due to your family member’s passing, including funeral and burial costs, lost financial contributions and benefits, and loss of your family member’s companionship and society.

Read more: Wrongful Death Claims Explained

Contact a Haddonfield Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Drunk Driving Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a drunk driving accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Andres & Berger, P.C. represent clients injured because of drunk driving accidents in Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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Sharon Smith

Mike Berger and staff were professional, pleasant, strategic and knowledgeable. The office always kept me informed about my case and moved the case along quicker than I expected. I would highly recommend them to anyone !!

Kathryn N.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mr. Andres is reliable, honest, driven, knowledgeable, compassionate and highly respected among colleagues and medical professionals. He stands by his word and can be trusted. He and Gail have fought for me during times when I wasn’t strong enough to fight for myself. The Andres & Berger law firm understands Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Mr. Andres thank you for your support and guidance over the years. I consider you my fierce, tenacious attorney and dear friend.

Mike V.

Mike Berger of Andres & Berger handled my case over a six year period. He and the team examined every detail to get the best outcome. They were honest, candid and communicative throughout the whole process. It was a long ordeal but could not have been handled more professionally. I highly recommend.

Yadira R.

I just want to say thank you for what you have done for me and my family throughout the years. You made us feel like family, not just clients. You were always very detailed when it came to our cases and tried everything in your power to get us all the help we needed.

Gregory W.

Our family appreciated your unfailing attention to detail. There were last minute snags, we seldom worried that something would fall through the cracks, but you anticipated every contingency. Your firm demonstrated a veracity for the truth, a strong work ethic and overall impeccable character in dealing with our case.

01 / 05

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