If you sustained a serious injury in a collision with a driver who may have been driving while impaired (DWI) you might be wondering how it might affect you. DWI drivers account for a high percentage of accidents every year. In this way, many innocent victims are hurt or killed. However, not every DWI driver is rightfully identified as such. It may be because they leave the scene of the accident before law enforcement arrives, or the responding officer did not choose to test the driver for intoxication. If you feel you were severely injured due to the actions of the driver, call a DWI lawyer State College, PA trusts to make sure your rights are protected.
Criminal Charges Stemming from DWI
A DWI is a criminal charge, and is a serious one at that. When convicted, a DWI driver is subject to a prison sentence, fines, the loss of their driver’s license, and other penalties depending on their DWI history and other variables. Though you were the victim of their actions and suffered an injury as well, you cannot charge them with a DWI or any other criminal charge. This must be done by a law enforcement officer, and once charged, it is up to the district attorney’s office to decide if they want to pursue the charge, agree to a plea bargain, or dismiss the charges. If the DWI charge goes to trial, it will be up to the court to decide if the person was indeed impaired. Your DWI lawyer can tell you if it may be necessary for you to provide testimony during the driver’s trial.
When a Driver Is Charged with a DWI
If a driver is not tested at the time of the accident for being impaired or under the influence, and they are not tested at the police station, then it is unlikely that they will be charged with a DWI. You have the right to provide your information and witness testimony to the responding law enforcement officer regarding the other driver. Your DWI lawyer may tell you that this is true even though you were the victim in the accident and were injured because of the other driver’s actions. However, even if they do not charge the driver with a DWI, that does not mean you cannot pursue compensation from them to pay for your injury related damages through a personal injury claim. If the driver is charged and convicted of a DWI, you can still file a claim at any time until the statute of limitations expires. Your DWI lawyer can provide you with more information on this.
Personal Injury Claim
Regardless of whether or not the driver who hurt you was charged with a DWI, with the help of a DWI lawyer you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against them. A successful claim can result in receiving a settlement for all of your injury related costs.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at De Boef Lucchesi, P.C. for their insight into DWI injuries.