Legal

Consequences of a DUI-Related Car Accident

Almost anywhere in North America, you will get your licence suspended on your first DUI conviction. That is why you need a really good DUI lawyer in Alberta to try to get your charges dropped.

When you get your licence back, you’re not off the hook yet. There are other problems you’ll need to deal with, such as higher insurance premiums, and that’s if you can find an insurance provider that is willing to cover you. Typically, car insurance providers do not like insuring people with an impaired driving conviction, as they are considered high risk.

DUI-Related Car Accident

DUI-related Vehicular Accident

But a DUI conviction gets even worse in a DUI-related vehicular accident. The drunk driver may be charged with an array of criminal offences including reckless driving, assault, or even homicide.

If a person who was under the influence of alcohol causes an accident while driving, criminal charges may result. These include:

  1. DUI Charge

Even if wasn’t your fault – being caught drunk driving after an accident will result in a DUI charge.

  1. Reckless Driving

Driving a vehicle without consideration for the safety of others will result in a reckless driving charge. So even if no one was injured, if you hit someone’s property, you could still be penalized.

  1. Driving to Endanger

If you endangered someone’s life purposely, you could lose your driver’s licence and pay a hefty fine. This is a very serious criminal charge and may include jail time up to 2 years.

  1. Assault

If you hit another person or car while driving under the influence, you could be charged with assault.

  1. Negligent Homicide

If you caused an accident while driving under the influence and a person dies as a result, you stand to face negligent homicide charges which could land you in jail for as long as 10 years.

A second or third DUI conviction has grimmer criminal consequences and will likely involve jail time. The driver could also lose his or her licence for several years, and sometimes even permanently.

Civil Consequences of a DUI-Related Car Accident

When a drunk driver gets into a car accident, they will have to face a handful of civil consequences. To begin with, his or her car insurance premium will go up significantly. The convicted driver may also not be able to drive for some time. Licence suspensions can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years.

Furthermore, if the drunk driver hits a vehicle or person, the injured person will file a lawsuit against him or her. This kind of lawsuit is very difficult to win on the part of the drunk driver. If the other driver is seriously injured, the claim might be a lot bigger than the insurance coverage of the drunk driver. As a result, the drunk driver will need to pay with his or her own money.

To illustrate, let’s say the drunk driver has an insurance coverage of $100,000. If the injured person files a claim worth $1,000,000, the insurance company will only pay $100,000. The injured person will most likely refuse to accept this amount. The lawyer of the injured person will assess the assets of the drunk driver and if found that he or she can afford to put more money into the settlement then it’s highly possible that the injured person will take the case to court.

Keep in mind that drunk drivers found to be at fault in a car accident will often lose civil lawsuits. So do everything you can to avoid drinking and driving, but if it does happen and you’re involved in an accident, you better have a good lawyer by your side. An experienced lawyer can help you receive the best possible outcome for your case.