Drunk driving accidents lead to criminal charges as well collateral consequences associated with personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death suits. These consequences can outstrip even the criminal consequences associated with a DWI-related accident. Raleigh’s extremely tough DWI laws notwithstanding, if you are the victim or the defendant in a DWI-related accidents, it’s important to hire competent and aggressive criminals defense and civil lawyers with knowledge of all aspects related to a wrongful death or accident related claim.
While all personal injury lawsuits involve claims related to injury, death, pain, illness, and medical bills, where the accident is the result of wrongful conduct, punitive damages may be awarded by a jury. These damages may be awarded by the jury to the victim of a DUI-related accident, or to the victim’s family if the victim has died as a result of the accident. The punitive recovery or punitive award is related to how bad the defendant acted.
Where the defendant has never committed a DWI-related offense before, the damages are likely to not be very high. However, where the defendant has committed multiple DWI offenses in the past, the jury may award as much as $250,000 or three times the victim’s or victim’s estate’s actual damages. For instance, where the victim has sustained $500,000 in damages from medical bills, pain and suffering, the permanent loss of mobility or some permanent impairment or death where the person’s earning potential now has been ended, the victim or the victim’s family’s may recover $1.5 million.
Of course, whether the victim or his or her family can recover that much money will depend on the amount of assets the DWI offender has. For instance, if the person who committed the DWI that lead to the accident has a very modest income or savings, the person may be judgment proof.
If you believe you have been the victim of someone who was impaired at the time of driving (or if you are accused of a DWI where an accident has occurred), it is important for you to hire an aggressive Raleigh accident lawyer or Raleigh personal injury lawyer to help defend you or litigate on your behalf for the maximum recovery.