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The drunk driver who caused my crash is in jail. Can I sue them?


Drunk driving accidents are horrific examples of incidents that should be preventable through responsible conduct and the absence of avoidable negligence. However, as too many Tennessee victims can attest, drunk drivers cause a number of vehicle accidents each and every year and those accidents can result in victims' injuries and deaths. In many cases a person who causes a drunk driving accident will face a criminal charge based on DUI and, as a result a victim may not be sure if they also may pursue litigation against the drunk driver for their losses as well.

In the United States a victim generally may sue the person who caused their harm even if that negligent or reckless party faced liability for the same conduct in the criminal court system. Criminal cases generally address the harm that the wrongdoer inflicted upon society: as such, many criminal cases are titled "State/County/City vs. Defendant" instead of the name of the injured party against that of the defendant.

A civil lawsuit is the vehicle through which a victim may pursue the civil liability of the wrongdoer. By alleging that a wrongdoer owed the victim a duty of care, that they acted negligently and that they caused harm and loss to that victim the victim may be able to collect their individual damages from the drunk driving crash.

Readers of this post are cautioned that its contents are offered as information only. The brief descriptions of civil liability and criminal prosecution should not be used as legal advice. Rather, a reader who wishes to better understand how their civil case may be affected by pending criminal matters against a drunk driver are asked to consult with their personal injury and vehicle accident legal professionals.

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