Can I sue if I have been injured by a drunk driver?

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Written By ArmandoPeterson

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For most people, the idea of an OWI is one of a crime. Getting behind the wheel of a car and driving is breaking a law and requires you to retain the services of a defense attorney and is classified by the legislature as a misdemeanor crime…that is, unless you’ve been arrested and convicted more than just once or twice. However, OWI can also be considered a tort, meaning that there is a civil aspect to the crime as well.

A tort is a civil breach where the injured party can sue the other party for damages. Injury in this case doesn’t necessarily mean physical injury, although it can include medical costs for a physical injury. No, injury in this case can mean damage to someone’s tangible property or to something intangible like a business reputation or other loss of revenue or income. In these cases, the person who has been wronged by the one committing OWI can sue to recover money to cover the damages that have occurred.

Think about it this way. Let’s say someone was drunk and ran through your business. Not only will you incur an actual cost to repair the building and restock the store, but you will also incur a loss of revenue because you can’t open your business to customers while those repairs are being made. The person who ran into your business can be held legally liable for the costs of repairing your store and replacing your inventory as well as the amount of money you have lost by not being available for your customers.

Many people are unaware that tort laws exist, relying on their insurance policies to pay for the damages while just dealing with the loss of income. However, if this is something that has happened to you, it is in your best interest to contact a civil attorney who can review your case and make a determination as to whether or not your case has merit. If so, the attorney will take your case and bring suit.

The good news is that in a civil case, you don’t have to pay an attorney upfront for their services. They usually work for free, including expenses, until the case settles. At this point, the attorney will be entitled to a portion of the settlement, usually expressed as a percentage of the settlement rather than a flat fee plus expenses. Of course, if you don’t win your suit, the attorney walks away empty handed, making it a win-win situation for you.

What’s more is that the burden of proof for winning a tort is much lower than that for a criminal case, making it easier for you to prove damages, especially if the injuring party has already been convicted of the OWI. However, it is important to note that civil cases have a statute of limitations that limit the amount of time you have to bring suit against the injuring party before the complaint is no longer valid. To establish whether or not your case is within the statute of limitations, you can check the Arrest Records.
Arrest Records are just the beginning of the trouble that Marchelle Lamaster faces. Visit here to learn more about the tort filed against her.