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What if the Drunk Driver Who Hit Me Did Not Get Charged?

Posted on in Car Accident

mount-prospect-il-car-crash-lawyer.jpgIntoxicated drivers are famous for causing truly terrible car accidents like head-on collisions and even rollover accidents. When a drunk driver caused your accident, it is very likely that either you or a bystander called the police and they responded to the scene. Most of the time, an intoxicated driver who has caused a crash will be arrested promptly and charged with a DUI. If that is the case, proving your case against them in civil court is likely to be fairly easy. However, if the driver was not criminally charged, this does not mean that you will not be able to prove in civil court that they were intoxicated for the purposes of winning your case against them. If you were hit by a drunk or high driver who escaped criminal liability, it is important that you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to file a claim against them. 

Why Would an Intoxicated Driver Who Caused an Accident Not be Charged?

The reasons that a driver who causes a car crash due to intoxication may not be arrested vary. It could be that the police did not notice intoxication caused by drugs other than alcohol, as the signs of impairment can be more subtle. Or, the police may not believe that they have enough evidence to be able to prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. For example, if it took the police some time to respond, the responsible driver may have had time between the accident and the officer’s arrival to consume more drugs or alcohol. In other cases, corruption is to blame - the drunk driver may be related to or friends with someone on the force. 

How Can I Prove Intoxication in My Case When There Was No Arrest?

The level of proof needed to hold someone criminally responsible is much higher than the level of proof needed to show civil liability. Even if there is not enough evidence to charge the driver in criminal court and prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were intoxicated, a jury in civil court may still find that it is more likely than not that they were intoxicated. Witness testimony is often important.

Even if showing intoxication would be difficult or impossible, you can still win your case just by proving that the other driver caused your accident, no matter if they were drunk, high, or sober. While showing intoxication can provide a shortcut and make winning your case easier, it is not necessary. 

Contact a Cook County Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured by an intoxicated driver, Adler Law Offices, LTD may be able to help you recover compensation. Our dedicated Arlington Heights car accident lawyers will do everything in our power to help prove your case. Call 312-236-2700 for a free consultation. 

Source: https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/6/2/158

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