Although there is a common perception that a DUI conviction is proof of fault in the event of an accident, this is not necessarily the case. As a matter of fact, negligence on the part of a driver must be proved beyond reasonable doubt in order for them to be held liable by law.
Unsurprisingly, a driver can be slapped with a DUI conviction for an accident that was caused by someone else. The role of a car accident attorney, therefore, is to carefully scrutinize the facts to determine who is at fault.
How is Liability for a Car Accident Determined?
Just because an individual is careless or reckless at driving doesn’t automatically mean they are at fault in the event of a collision. A car crash can be caused by a number of reasons. Therefore, in order to hold someone liable for an accident and claim compensation for an injury, there are several key factors that need to be proved by a car accident attorney.
Duty of Care Owed
There needs to be proof that the driver owed the duty of care to the other party. Fortunately, this is quite easy to prove since every motorist who drives on public roads is required to drive cautiously and observe all traffic rules and regulations.
Violation of Duty of Care
The car accident attorney must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care that is owed to other motorists.When an individual drives under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, it is assumed that they have failed to uphold their responsibility to drive cautiously and can, therefore, be accused of negligence.
Negligence Caused the Accident
You must prove that the negligence on the part of a driver directly caused or contributed to the accident which led to injury. For instance, if an intoxicated driver passes out behind the wheel and ends up crashing into you (your vehicle) and causing injury, then it is assumed that their negligence is the cause of the collision.
The plaintiff is also put to task to quantify the damage caused by the negligence of the defendant. This essentially implies that if you get a near-miss with another driver without an actual collision, you do not have losses that are measurable and consequently cannot claim damages. On the other hand, if there is a collision and you suffer physical injury, you are eligible to file a compensation claim.
Once all of these factors have been established and supported by evidence, you can go ahead to seek legal redress and compensation from the faulted driver.
Can a Driver be at Fault without a DUI Conviction?
It is possible for a drunk driver to be held liable for a crash even if they fail to get a DUI conviction. This is because a person’s judgment can still be impaired even if the amount of alcohol in their blood does not meet the threshold required for a DUI conviction.
If you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence of a driver, give us a call today. Our highly qualified and experienced car accident attorneys will be happy to walk you through the process of seeking compensation for any injuries incurred.