Drunk drivers are hazards to themselves, their passengers and others who must be on the roads with them. In North Carolina too many individuals are hurt and killed each year when drunk drivers cause dangerous and preventable accidents. A driver who causes an accident due to intoxication may be arrested for their conduct, but they may also face a civil lawsuit if their victims choose to sue them.
Criminal cases based on drunk driving accidents are brought by public attorneys who prosecute the breaking of criminal laws. The penalties that apply in these cases may be punitive, such as fines and periods of incarceration. Civil cases, however, are based on the negligent or reckless conduct of the drunk drivers and the losses their victims sustained due to their involvement in the crashes.
For example, a drunk driver may be criminally charged with DUI and other crimes for their conduct. A victim who suffered personal injuries and property losses may also sue them in civil court and claim their losses in their pleading. Therefore, the drunk driver may be held both civilly and criminally liable for their actions and be forced to face difference consequences from the different courts.
The victim of a drunk driving accident may face a long road to recovery and may require support as they fight to regain some normalcy in their lives. They should be aware of their rights, however, and may wish to talk to a personal injury attorney about their options. The civil courts of North Carolina may be open to them to pursue their losses and recover their damages.