If you suffer injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, it is not always easy to file a claim for damages. In order to prove fault in this type of accident, you will need concrete proof – not just speculation – that the other driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. You can use DUI accident evidence from a criminal case to prove the other driver’s impairment.
A Police Report Gives Vital Evidence to Prove Intoxication & Fault
As with any accident, calling the police after the crash is an important step in recovering damages. Not only will this bring emergency services to your aid, but it will also generate a police report that can become the cornerstone of your injury claim.
A police report should provide information about both drivers, any witnesses, and the police’s account of the crash as assembled through questioning all parties present. It should also note any citations given to any of the drivers, which would include citations for drunk driving. The report should also include results from any analysis of the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration). You might also use testimonies that eyewitnesses provided regarding the other party’s erratic driving behavior.
The Impact of a Criminal DUI Case on Your Civil Accident Case
A car accident involving a drunk driver can produce two separate legal cases:
- A civil case where you, the plaintiff, seek to recover damages caused by the drunk driver.
- A criminal case where you may be asked to testify about what occurred during the accident in order to prosecute the other driver for DUI.
But the results of the criminal case do not necessarily dictate whether you will be successful in filing a civil case for damages. If the other driver pleads guilty to DUI or is found guilty at trial, then it may help bolster your case. However, even if the other driver is never convicted, you can still file a successful civil action.
The burden of proof for criminal cases is greater than for civil cases. In a criminal case, prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, plaintiffs must prove liability by a preponderance of evidence.
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. Can Help With Your Civil Accident Case Evidence
Collecting evidence for a civil accident case is difficult for even fully healthy people – it can be impossible when you are recovering from serious injuries or the loss of a loved one. Our Toledo car accident attorneys will do everything we can to handle all the difficult legal procedures and case building for you. We do all the heavy lifting when it comes to evidence collection, court correspondence, and getting you from filing your claim to recovering a fair settlement or judgment.
Contact our office today to set up a free consultation, or call us directly at 419-843-6663.