Being hit by a drunk driver and ending up in the hospital is bad enough. What if you found out that the drunk driver got that way due to an irresponsible bar owner? If the drunk driver that hit you had recently left a party, bar, or restaurant, you may be able to hold the establishment financially responsible for your injuries. Read on to find out more about drunk driving cases.
Damages and Drunk Drivers
While accidents can happen, it can be particularly appalling to find out later that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. In most cases, the fault for the accident will lie squarely on the shoulders of the drunk driver. In addition to a criminal case, though, you can also seek a civil judgment from the driver. That means suing them for your damages. In most cases, damages mean payment of:
- Medical costs of treatment for your injuries.
- Lost wages for the time you had to miss work.
- Pain and suffering.
- Personal property damages for your vehicle and other damages.
Damages and Social Host Responsibility
When it comes to criminal charges, the law about social host responsibility varies widely from state to state. In a few states, the host of a party cannot be held responsible for what a party-goer does after they leave the party. In some states, both hosts and bar or restaurant owners may be criminally prosecuted for supplying liquor to those who are already drunk. That means serving liquor to those who are obviously intoxicated and allowing that person to drive. When an accident occurs after such a situation, the party host or the bar may be held liable both criminally and according to civil law.
No Criminal Charges?
While the person who served the drunk driver that hit you will not be criminally charged, you shouldn't change your actions. When it comes to being paid what you deserve, you can always sue the host or owner of a bar after you are injured in an accident. It does help your case if they are criminally charged, but that is absolutely not necessary for you to take legal action. Talk to a personal injury lawyer about the circumstances behind the drunk driving accident and find out about social host responsibility and liability issues. You can be paid by both the drunk driver and the social host, so speak to a lawyer today.