Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States, as more than 25 percent of all traffic-related accidents occur as a direct result of a drunk driver. Not only is drunk driving illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous, claiming many lives each year.
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg, and Gifford, P.C. is an experienced drunk driving injury law firm. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, it may help your case if the drunk driver was convicted.
What is the Difference Between Criminal and Civil Court in Pennsylvania?
After a drunk driving accident occurs, the at-fault driver may be charged in criminal court and sued in civil court. The criminal court focuses on punishing the person who is convicted of the crime. In Pennsylvania, the state prosecutes drivers accused of driving while drunk and faces a high burden of proof. A high burden of proof means that they must show evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person committed the crime. If the accused driver is convicted, they may face jail time, fines, or both.
The civil court focuses on making sure the victim of a drunk driving accident is fairly compensated for their injuries and any losses they have suffered as a result. Before a criminal case has concluded against the accused driver in criminal court, the victim may make a personal injury claim in civil court.
Does a Conviction Automatically Mean You Will Win Your Case?
Every case is different when it comes to a drunk driving incident. While a conviction in criminal court may be helpful to your civil lawsuit, it does not automatically guarantee you will win the case. This is because you must still prove to a civil court that drunk driving is what caused your injuries. Depending on the details of your case, it may be easy or difficult to prove this, but with the help of an experienced drunk driving injury attorney on your side, they may be able to help.
A Conviction May Grant Victims Better Benefits
After a drunk driving accident leaves you injured, you may seek compensation for the medical expenses you have incurred as you try to heal. For many victims, there are copay fees and deductibles that they cannot get compensation for. However, if the drunk driver is convicted, you may be able to recover copays and other fees and deductibles in the form of restitution in the criminal case. That means that the drunk driver must pay you back for your out-of-pocket expenses as part of his/her punishment in the criminal case.
Additionally, if you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be eligible to receive more compensation in the form of punitive damages in the civil case. Punitive damages are granted to injured victims due to the at-fault party’s outrageous actions, and drunk driving may be considered outrageous by Pennsylvania law.
Partner With Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. If the driver who hit you was convicted, you may want to partner with a Pennsylvania drunk driving attorney who may be able to help you understand how this may benefit your claim.
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg, and Gifford, P.C. is an award-winning law firm with over 65 years of experience helping victims of drunk driving accidents. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries which is why we are proud to provide our clients with the dedicated representation they deserve. For a free consultation, contact us here or call (215) 822-7575.