Being in a car accident is stressful enough, and if you had a
DUI arrest in there, the whole situation gets much worse. If you were in a car crash
that led to you being arrested and charged with
driving under the influence (DUI), you are probably wondering, “Will the other driver sue me
in a personal injury lawsuit?” If the other driver was injured in
the accident and you were at fault, then it is highly likely that you’ll
face a civil lawsuit
in addition to criminal charges for the DUI.
If you were arrested for DUI in connection to the accident and you later
plead guilty or you’re found guilty, anyone injured in the crash
will most likely file a civil lawsuit against you, also known as a personal
injury or car accident lawsuit. In the case of a drunk or
drugged driving accident, typically the innocent parties will file a lawsuit against the
impaired driver within a couple of days or weeks of the crash.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim
In California, injured parties (also known as plaintiffs) have
two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit against
the at-fault party. This is deadline is called the “statute of limitations.”
So, if you cause a
drunk or drugged driving crash and the innocent party decides to file a lawsuit, you will be “served”
notice that you’re being sued, and given a copy of the petition
and the complaint. Someone, such as a process server or a sheriff’s
deputy will approach you in person and hand you the court documents.
Depending on your automobile insurance policy, your insurance company may
hire an attorney to represent you, but if you’re facing DUI charges,
we recommend speaking with a
DUI defense lawyer asap to explore your options.
If you caused a DUI accident, the plaintiff (injured party) may seek what’s
called “punitive damages,” which are meant to penalize you.
While auto insurance generally covers medical bills and property damage,
it does not cover punitive damages. Meaning, if the plaintiff wins the
case and he or she is awarded punitive damages, you would have to pay
those damages out of your pocket, and they
cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy later on.
Were you involved in a DUI accident? To discuss your case for free,
contact our firm to meet with an Orange County DUI defense attorney!