If you are involved in a car accident where the other person was intoxicated behind the wheel, you might make the assumption that the other driver is always at fault. However, do not underestimate the complexities of this type of car accident case.
Although driving while under the influence is a criminal offense and does carry with it certain responsibilities and inherent liability, there are situations where a drunk driver may try to push some of the blame onto the other driver. With some car accidents, it isn’t always apparently clear who is at fault, even if someone was driving while intoxicated.
It is possible that both parties may be liable for a car accident that involves a driver who is drinking and one who is sober. Both parties might have contributed to the accident. Something called proximate cause of injuries needs to be determined to decide if a person’s reckless actions were the cause of the accident or if there were other factors at play. Even if one driver is accused of a DUI, it might be the case that both parties are at fault.
How liability and fault are determined
Even if an accident involves a person who is driving under the influence, there are factors to determine who is negligent. The accident must be linked to the intoxication for the one being charged with a DUI to be at fault. Factors of negligence depend on:
Duty: when you are driving you have a duty to follow the rules of the road, which means to yield, follow traffic signs, and look out for the safety of others.
Breach of duty: Driving recklessly, impaired driving, and speeding, are all breaches of duty when behind the wheel.
Proximate cause: Was the accident outside of the scope of what an impaired driver could have reasonably avoided even if they weren’t intoxicated?
Damages: Any plaintiff must prove that they suffered damages either bodily or property
If you are hit by an intoxicated driver, you still must prove proximate cause for them to be responsible for your injuries. Even if you are injured, you have to prove that them being impaired was the proximate cause of your injuries for them to be at fault. Even if they are arrested for a DUI, it might be possible for you to be at fault, or at least partially at fault.
That is why, if you are hit by a drunk driver, it is imperative that you consult a St. Louis car injury attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protecting. Proving negligence is still necessary, even if it is found that the opposing driver was over the legal limit for intoxication when driving.
Contact a St. Louis Car Crash Lawyer
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, do not assume that you won’t be found partially liable. A drunk driver may try anything to get off the hook for causing an accident. Do not underestimate the complexities of this type of car accident case. To ensure that your legal rights are protected, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. by calling (314) 361-4242.