Many residents in Washington DC don’t expect to be searching for a DUI injury lawyer DC can provide. Being involved in an alcohol or drug related car accident certainly isn’t something that most Americans plan for. But when you find yourself (or a loved one) facing a complicated and potentially life-threatening injury because another person chose to drive under the influence, it’s important to know where to look for a DUI injury lawyer DC residents trust.
At Cohen and Cohen, P.C., we are dedicated to helping injured DUI accident victims fight for the financial damages they deserve. Many clients contact a firm like Cohen and Cohen, P.C. because they know our team can provide a top DUI injury lawyer DC communities respect. Clients often feel angry, frustrated, and confused about where to turn. One important distinction that injured plaintiffs must understand in a DUI injury case is that a criminal charge is different from filing a civil suit. This distinction may seem complicated at first, but understanding the purpose of a civil lawsuit is essential for DUI accident injuries.
When an individual needs a DUI injury lawyer DC can provide, he or she was likely involved in an accident where another driver was intoxicated. The injured victim won’t have to worry about filing criminal charges (or being charged with a criminal act, for that matter) because he or she was not the one driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The driver who was intoxicated, on the other hand, is likely to be charged with DUI or DWI by the local law enforcement as act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is considered a criminal offense. Local authorities may also choose to pursue additional criminal charges, depending on what occurred before, during, and after the accident.
It is important to understand that any individuals who were injured in the crash will not be responsible for filing the criminal charge of DUI or DWI; local authorities and state attorneys handle this.
In order to receive financial compensation for any injuries sustained in a DUI accident, the injured party may have a few options available (which depend on local laws, insurance coverage, and details surrounding the accident).
An individual may be able to receive enough money through the liable driver’s insurance plan; however, many people find that the amount offered isn’t always enough to cover all medical bills and compensate for pain and suffering. It is common for injured parties to look for a DUI injury lawyer DC can offer because they do not have the money to cover necessary medical costs.
Additionally, the liable driver may not be found guilty of a DUI offense in criminal court. In order to convict a driver for DUI, authorities must prove to the court beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence. There are many possible reasons why authorities may not be able to provide this proof, and the driver may therefore avoid a DUI conviction. When this happens, injured parties may feel as though the driver responsible for the crash has not properly met their due justice.
When an injured party wishes to seek financial damages from the driver — regardless of whether or not the individual was convicted in criminal court — pursuing a civil suit or negotiating a settlement may be the next step. In this case, the individual may want to seek legal counsel from a DUI injury lawyer in DC.
Regardless of whether the responsible driver has received a “guilty” verdict in criminal court, it is still possible for an injured victim to file a claim against the person in civil court in order to seek financial damages. As an experienced DUI injury lawyer DC clients rely on can attest, it is possible for a driver charged with DUI to receive a “not guilty” verdict in criminal court but still be held liable for their actions in civil court.
Rather than proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the person was driving under the influence, a plaintiff in a civil case typically needs only to prove that it happened with “a preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, the standard of proof a DC DUI injury lawyer needs to achieve is lower and can thereby yield different results from any associated criminal case.
Timing is very important for anyone who may file an injury claim against another driver for an alcohol or drug related accident. Some individuals choose to seek monetary damages through a civil case immediately, while others wait to see if the driver has been convicted in criminal court. If the driver is convicted for DUI in a criminal case, it could help the injured plaintiff’s argument when seeking damages in a civil suit. However, if the driver is not found guilty of DUI in a criminal case, this ruling will not necessarily hurt an injured plaintiff’s civil case.
The timing of your case is something that should be discussed with a good DUI injury lawyer DC has to offer. Additionally, it may be wise to talk about other options available to you. Sometimes, a DUI lawyer is able to win a higher settlement amount for a client through an out-of-court negotiation. In other cases, the client may be entitled to more monetary compensation from an insurance company. The potential success of each of these options depends on unique variables in each case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by someone driving under the influence, Cohen and Cohen, P.C. may be able to help you seek the financial compensation you deserve. We are dedicated to serving communities throughout the DC metro area and if you’ve been involved in an alcohol or drug related car accident, our team may be able to help you claim compensatory damages.
For more information about the legal options available to you, or to seek legal counsel from a law firm that understands the complexities of car accidents in Washington DC, contact Cohen and Cohen, P.C. today. We’re proud to be known as a DUI injury lawyer DC can turn to when they need help.