Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk or impaired driver in Indiana requires a thorough understanding of the state’s OWI/DUI laws and the nuances of civil litigation. By leveraging evidence of alcohol consumption, proving causation, and navigating the complexities of comparative fault, victims can seek the compensation they deserve.
Indiana’s OWI law establishes strict guidelines for alcohol consumption while operating a motor vehicle. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 percent or above can face a Class C misdemeanor, while a BAC exceeding 0.15 percent results in a Class A misdemeanor. Multiple convictions within a five-year period escalate the offense to a felony, indicating the severity with which the law treats repeat offenders.
Even if the driver was not arrested or convicted of OWI, evidence of alcohol consumption can still play a pivotal role in your personal injury case. Unlike criminal cases, where prosecutors face a higher burden of proof, in civil cases, the burden of proof is comparatively lower. Establishing that a driver consumed alcohol becomes critical evidence in your pursuit of damages, irrespective of criminal charges. Other factors to consider include potential dram shop liability, whereby bars, venues, and even private homeowners can be held accountable if an intoxicated person causes harm or injury stemming from the over-serving of alcohol.
While evidence of the driver’s impairment is significant, it is not sufficient to prove causation. To secure compensation, it is imperative to demonstrate that the drunk or impaired driver was responsible for the collision resulting in your injury. Merely proving intoxication does not automatically guarantee a successful claim; causation must be established to build a strong case.
Indiana operates under a comparative fault system, allowing victims to seek compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident. In cases involving drunk or impaired driving, this principle remains applicable. Damages are reduced proportionally based on the percentage of blame attributed to the plaintiff. Courts recognize the gravity of drunk driving incidents while also acknowledging other dangerous driving behaviors such as distracted driving.
Insurance companies representing the drunk or impaired driver might attempt to deny or minimize your injury claim to avoid substantial payouts. It is essential to work with experienced legal professionals who can counter these tactics, presenting a compelling case that establishes causation and the extent of damages incurred.
If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of an intoxicated or impaired driver, contact Hurst Limontes to discuss your options. We have over a century of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict award on your behalf.
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