If you get hit by a drunk driver, you’re going to presume that they’ll be held liable. And this makes sense. When someone decides to drink and drive, they should be responsible for any damage they cause. It’s hard to imagine how the innocent victim would be deemed at fault.
Whether it seems fair or not, there are times when a drunk driver is not considered at fault for their crash. Obviously, these cases will be few and far between. It would require pretty unique circumstances for you to be held more responsible than the person who was driving drunk.
Your Boston accident lawyer is going to do what they can to prove you were not at fault. The defendant is going to face an uphill battle. It’s not going to be easy for them to convince a court that they were not at fault.
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, you’re going to want to call an experienced car accident lawyer in Boston. They’ll review your case and help identify any potential issues you may encounter.
What if the Other Driver is Convicted of DUI?
Typically, if the other driver is convicted of DUI, it serves as per se evidence of fault. Once a judge or jury hears that the other driver was drunk at the time of the crash, they’re going to find for the plaintiff.
The same is true for the insurance company. If the insurance adjuster was thinking about denying your claim, they may change their mind if they learn their driver was convicted of DUI. They know that they’re going to face an uphill battle trying to prove that you were at fault.
If your attorney learns that the defendant was charged and convicted of DUI, they’re going to use this as evidence of fault. They’ll submit proof that they were found guilty. If the defendant plead guilty, this can be submitted as proof of fault. However, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to win your case.
You May be Found Partially at Fault
If the defendant is found guilty of DUI, you should be able to use it to prove they were at fault. And, for the most part, you can. Your Boston auto accident attorney will submit proof of their conviction in court.
The problem is, even if the defendant was DUI, that doesn’t mean you weren’t partially at fault. You may have done something that caused the accident, despite the fact that the other driver had been drinking.
Let’s consider the following example:
You are driving 25 miles over the speed limit. You lose control of your car and cross into oncoming traffic. You hit an SUV head on. Both drivers suffer very serious injuries.
At the scene, the police notice a strong smell of alcohol coming from the SUV. They do a breathalyzer and determine that the other driver was drunk at the time of the crash. However, they also conclude that the drunk driver was not speeding or driving recklessly.
Depending on the evidence, the court may find that you were at fault. Even though the defendant was above the legal limit, it seems as if they didn’t do anything to cause the crash. It was caused by the fact that you were speeding and lost control of your car.
In a situation like this, it may be best for everyone involved to settle the case out of court. Even if you think it’s wrong, you could end up paying damages to the defendant instead of the other way around.
Can the Defendant Sue You?
Even if the other driver was drunk at the time of the crash, they can sue you for damages. If you were clearly at fault, you may be liable for their injuries. The only good news is that, if your case goes to court, a jury will be hard pressed to reward a drunk driver.
In cases like this, your Boston accident lawyer will still try to settle the matter out of court. They aren’t going to want to take the risk of your losing at trial. Since 95% of all car accident cases settle anyway, it’s not a bad idea to consider am out of court settlement.
Contact a Boston Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, it seems only fair that they be held liable. However, this isn’t always the case. You need to call and meet with an experienced Boston accident lawyer. They can review your case and discuss your options.
Call Soto Law, P.C. today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.