Will a Drunk Driver’s Conviction Help Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania?
After getting hit by a drunk driver in Pennsylvania, victims may require compensation. If the person that caused your injuries was subsequently convicted of drunk driving, that may help your case.
A drunk driver’s criminal conviction might benefit your civil case for compensation in Pennsylvania. That said, just because a driver was drunk at the time does not mean they necessarily caused your injuries. Because of that, victims must compile additional evidence of fault with help from our experienced lawyers. Often, this includes medical records, security camera footage, and other forms of evidence. Once a defendant is found liable for a victim’s injuries, they can recover compensation. In cases where a negligent driver was drunk, victims may be awarded punitive damages in Pennsylvania, in addition to economic and non-economic damages.
We’re here to help victims of drunk drivers recover the compensation they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the Philadelphia car accident attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm, call today at (215) 709-6940.
Can a Drunk Driver’s Conviction Help Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania?
Getting hit by a drunk driver can be devastating for car accident victims in Pennsylvania. An accident’s emotional, financial, and physical impact can be overwhelming, leading victims to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. If the driver that injured you was also convicted of drunk driving, that might help your case in Pennsylvania.
Any evidence of negligence can be helpful in a car accident case in Pennsylvania. Suppose a negligent driver was drunk at the time of an accident, and the fact that they were intoxicated is the reason for a collision. In that case, a negligent party’s drunk driving conviction may benefit your case.
Generally, criminal convictions that are part of the public record and relevant to a civil case can be admissible evidence in a lawsuit. Of course, the defendant must have been convicted of drunk driving during your specific car accident for their conviction to be relevant.
A criminal conviction for drunk driving can be helpful in other ways as well. In order for a negligent driver to be convicted of drunk driving in Pennsylvania, they must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08% or there must be other proof that they were unable to drive safely because of alcohol consumption. Evidence of a high BAC from a criminal case can strengthen a civil case against a negligent driver in Pennsylvania. Drugged driving DUIs are also possible.
It is important for victims to understand the difference between a criminal conviction for drunk driving and a civil case for compensation brought by a victim because of drunk driving. Our Chester County car accident attorneys can use a criminal conviction as evidence, if permissible, to strengthen your case against a negligent driver.
Is a Drunk Driver’s Conviction Proof of Negligence in a Pennsylvania Car Accident Case?
Although a defendant’s drunk driving conviction can help your car accident case in Pennsylvania, it is not proof of the fact that the defendant caused your injuries. In order to prove fault, our attorneys will turn to other forms of evidence so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Just because a negligent driver was drunk at the time of your accident does not mean that they necessarily caused your accident. This might be confusing for victims, as drunk driving is incredibly dangerous and the cause of many catastrophic accidents in Pennsylvania. However, a drunk driving conviction is insufficient to meet the burden of proof and show that a defendant caused a victim’s injuries. For example, a drunk driver who was rear-ended at a red light might not be considered at fault for that crash.
In order to meet the burden of proof, our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys will investigate your case to uncover other evidence of fault. Typically, our lawyers may use a combination of medical records, photographs, security camera footage, and eyewitness statements to prove that drunk driving caused your injuries in a lawsuit.
Often, a criminal conviction for drunk driving is insufficient evidence to prove that a negligent driver caused a victim’s injuries in Pennsylvania. Gaps in medical treatment and other issues might derail a lawsuit that appears cut and dry even if a defendant was convicted of drunk driving at the time of an accident. It is important to gather ample evidence of fault to succeed in your case.
Can You Recover Greater Compensation if a Defendant is Convicted of Drunk Driving in Pennsylvania?
Suppose a defendant was convicted of drunk driving at the time of your recent car accident in Pennsylvania and was also found to be responsible for your injuries in a civil case. In that circumstances, you may be able to recover greater compensation than you originally anticipated. Often, drunk driving is considered gross negligence. This can lead to punitive damages being awarded to victims, in addition to economic and non-economic damages.
In a car accident lawsuit, victims can often recover compensation for financial and non-financial losses. Our Doylestown car accident attorneys can help you recover total compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of a drunk driver’s negligence. Victims who experience pain and suffering due to a defendant may also recover non-economic damages in a car accident case.
With a drunk driving conviction as evidence, it may be clear that a defendant acted with gross negligence. In Pennsylvania, such defendants may be punished via punitive damages if a car accident lawsuit goes to court. Pennsylvania has no cap on punitive damages for these cases, meaning a judge or jury can award victims whatever amount they see fit in a car accident lawsuit.
Call Our Attorneys if You’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Driver in Pennsylvania
If you were recently hit by a drunk driver in Pennsylvania and require compensation, our lawyers can help. For a free case evaluation with the Hershey, PA car accident attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm, call today at (215) 709-6940.