Hillcrest Heights, MD DUI Lawyer
Many people who are involved in accidents with drunk drivers know that they want to take legal action with the help of a Hillcrest Heights, MD DUI lawyer. After all, it’s common knowledge that consuming alcohol before driving will increase a person’s chances of causing an accident and injuring themselves or others. Even when you take every precaution to make sure that you don’t make this mistake, there’s no guarantee that others will be as respectful of the laws.
It is unfortunately very common for victims of drunk driving accidents to sustain very serious injuries. Filing a lawsuit against the driver is often the best way to recover financial losses resulting from the accident, but if you’re in the process of recovering, you might be hesitant to file a civil suit simply because it can be very complex. A common concern among accident victims that any experienced Hillcrest Heights, MD DUI lawyer will hear is whether or not they will have to appear in court if they choose to file a lawsuit.
Criminal vs. Civil Consequences of Drunk Driving
First, it’s important to understand that the drunk driver will almost certainly have to appear in court because they will be facing criminal charges. As the victim of their actions, you are not responsible for preparing a lawsuit for criminal court. The state will appoint a prosecutor to the case and their team will be responsible for building a case to present in court. The prosecution team may ask you to appear in court as a witness against the driver or they may ask you to give a testimony in a deposition, which can be presented in court as evidence.
According to a good Hillcrest Heights, MD DUI lawyer, if you choose to sue the driver for financial damages, you’ll be filing a claim in civil court and this will be a completely separate lawsuit. As the plaintiff, you’ll be responsible for preparing a case against the driver (the defendant) and proving that their negligence caused your injuries. The vast majority of personal injury cases don’t go to court because both sides are able to negotiate a settlement before this happens. Once a claim is filed in civil court and the proceedings begin, both sides can engage in mediation or arbitration to decide on a fair settlement. If the driver (or more likely, their insurance) refuses to pay you all the money you deserve, you can choose to take the matter to court and a judge or jury will hear the case. Otherwise, as any Hillcrest Heights, MD DUI lawyer will tell you, a successful pretrial negotiation will eliminate the need to appear in court.
This likely sounds very complicated and stressful, but the good news is that you can hire a DUI injury lawyer to help you through legal proceedings. Your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf, file any necessary paperwork, and even collect witness statements for your case. A good DUI injury lawyer will prepare their client’s case as though it might go to trial, primarily to show the defendant’s insurance and legal teams that their client won’t back down if offered a low settlement. If the only thing keeping you from taking legal action after a DUI accident is the uncertainty of spending time in a courtroom, we urge you to talk to a Hillcrest Heights, MD DUI lawyer about your legal options.
Do not hesitate to contact Cohen & Cohen today to set up your free consultation.