What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need After a Drunk Driving Accident?

Being involved in a drunk-driving accident can be overwhelming, frightening, and painful. After you complete the police reports and obtain medical treatment for your injuries, you should consider protecting your legal rights. Seeking advice from an experienced DUI attorney is crucial after a car accident.

However, what kind of lawyer do you need after a drunk driving accident? The type of lawyer you need depends on whether you were injured in a DUI accident or you were the drunk driver who may have caused the crash.

Personal Injury Lawyers for Drunk Driving Accidents

For example, Indiana applies a fault-based system for car accident cases, including DUI accidents. You can sue a negligent driver for damages caused by an accident that is their fault. Accident victims can recover compensation for their medical bills, property damages, lost wages, and other economic damages. They can also receive compensation for their pain, suffering, and non-economic damages.

Typically, your personal injury claim begins by filing a claim with the drunk driver’s liability insurance company. Drivers are required to have minimum automobile insurance coverage. Liability insurance coverage compensates accident victims for injuries and damages caused by the accident.

However, insurance companies do not make it easy for accident victims to receive the compensation they deserve, regardless of what their ads claim. Therefore, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.

Reasons you need a personal injury after a drunk driving accident include:

  • You sustained injuries that require medical treatment
  • You missed work because of your injuries
  • The insurance company is trying to shift some of the blame for the DUI accident to you
  • The drunk driver and their insurance company deny liability for the claim (i.e., they dispute whether the drunk driver caused the accident)
  • You sustained permanent injuries that will result in ongoing loss of income, medical treatment, personal care, and/or diminished quality of life
  • The accident involves a driver for a commercial trucking company, rideshare company, government agency, or other employer
  • Your children were injured in a DUI accident

Even though the other driver was intoxicated when the accident occurred, you have the burden of proving your case. Therefore, you must have evidence proving the legal elements of a negligence claim. It is not sufficient to prove the other driver was drunk. Instead, you must prove they “caused” the crash.

Furthermore, you must prove you sustained injuries and damages and the value of those damages. Valuing damages in a DUI accident case can be challenging.

A personal injury lawyer has the resources, knowledge, skills, and experience to investigate the case and pursue a claim against the drunk driver for maximum compensation for damages.

Criminal Defense Lawyers for Drunk Driving Accidents

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal charge. If you are charged with and convicted of DUI in Indiana, you could face one or more criminal penalties, including:

  • Fines, court costs, and fees
  • Jail or prison sentence
  • Suspended or revoked driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol safety program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

There could be other penalties depending on your case. The severity of the punishment for a DUI accident depends on the factors involved and your criminal history.

Because your freedom and your future are at stake, you should consult an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest for a drunk driving accident. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you in many ways, including:

  • Investigate the cause of the DUI accident to determine if you were at fault
  • Gather evidence proving you did not cause the crash and/or the other driver contributed to the cause of the crash
  • Hire expert witnesses and professionals, including accident reconstructionists, forensic toxicologists, and private investigators, to refute the testimony by the other driver, eyewitnesses, and the prosecutor
  • Present mitigating evidence to argue for a reduced charge and a lesser sentence
  • Determine if law enforcement officers violated your rights
  • Challenge the results of field sobriety tests and chemical tests for BAC
  • Analyze evidence the state has against you proving you were intoxicated and you caused the accident
  • Protect your rights throughout the criminal case

Criminal charges for driving under the influence resulting in injury or death, are complex criminal cases. You need an attorney with substantial experience defending drunk drivers charged with crimes related to DUI accidents. An attorney understands the law and how to build a solid case with persuasive defenses.

Depending on the severity of the person’s injuries, you could face years in prison for a conviction related to a DUI accident. The cost of hiring a DUI lawyer could be far less than facing the consequences of fighting DUI charges alone.

Legal Advice Is Always Beneficial After a DUI Accident in Indiana

Whether you are a victim or you were driving under the influence, you can benefit from hiring a lawyer after a drunk driving accident. Choose the type of lawyer best suited to your situation.