If You Have Been Injured by Drunk Driver, Don’t Expect the Police to Obtain Compensation for You

A damaged crash barrier along a roadway

If you have taken every precaution to drive safely and are hit by a drunk driver, it can be a disconcerting experience. Being hit by an intoxicated driver usually involves physical injuries as well, such as aches, pains, or in some cases, more severe injuries. Some are long-lasting injuries that can prevent you from functioning at your full potential, no matter what you are doing. If you believe you should be compensated for your injuries and losses, you are correct. A knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can represent you in seeking compensation. It is essential to understand how compensation in a drunk driving accident works.

Will Law Enforcement Receive and Disburse Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents?

Drunk driving accidents represent a violation of both criminal and civil laws. It is essential to understand that the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident has jurisdiction over the drunk driver’s criminal implications. They will handle the arrest, filing of criminal charges, and pursue a criminal conviction. This process does not involve seeking compensation for your injuries under civil law. That is an entirely different issue that you can address with a Los Angeles based personal injury lawyer.

Your Options for Obtaining Compensation in a Drunk Driving Accident

If you were injured by a drunk driver, you have two options for getting compensation for your injuries and damages; a crime victim compensation fund or a civil lawsuit.

Victims of drunk driving accidents can qualify for compensation through the California Crime Victim Compensation Fund. To qualify, they must suffer bodily injuries as the direct result of vehicular crime, including drunk driving. If they meet the criteria, they can receive some compensation directly through this fund.

Another option is to file a civil lawsuit with the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles personal based injury attorney. If the other driver’s insurance company refuses to pay what is fair for your injury claim, your attorney can file a civil lawsuit for you. If successful, you could receive compensation for damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

This type of claim does not depend upon the outcome of a criminal drunk driving case. Even if the driver receives a plea bargain or is not convicted, you still have the right to file a civil lawsuit. However, a criminal conviction could help substantiate your claim. If you receive money from the victim’s compensation fund and later obtain a settlement or court award in a civil case for the same drunk driving accident, you will need to pay the money back to the victim’s compensation fund. You cannot double dip with both.

Seek Compensation for Your Injuries with Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

It is often the victims of drunk driving accidents that are injured the worst. If you are one of these victims, turn to a compassionate Los Angeles based personal injury attorney. Your attorney can ensure that you are maximizing your compensation while you focus on healing from your injuries. Schedule your drunk driving injury case consultation at Jahrmarkt & Associates today by calling (310) 226-7676 or use our online contact form.