With the holidays just around the corner, The Heat Is On Campaign in Colorado promises enhanced enforcement of drunk driving laws by the Colorado State Patrol to keep our highways safe during this period. The CSP proactively encourages motorists to choose designated drivers and alternative transportation, as well as to watch out for friends and family who should not be driving
Unfortunately, not all drunk drivers will be stopped, and a number of people will become their victims; through automobile crashes, pedestrian accidents and other DUI related incidents. In fact, the latest statistics available from the Colorado State Patrol show that in 2007, there were 554 fatalities, of which 199 were alcohol related. So despite the fine job the CSP has done in getting drunk drivers off the roads, over a third of all highway fatalities are still alcohol related.
Colorado is not alone in facing this problem. Nearly 500,000 Americans are injured annually in DUI accidents and approximately 17,000 are killed. The legal issues involved in DUI cases are extremely complex. So how can the victim of a drunk driving accident or a grieving family member know what to do when seeking justice? "Your first concern must be your own health or security, of course," says a Denver car accident lawyer. "You should also talk with legal counsel as soon as possible, and never settle the case before you know your rights!"
While most people know that driving under the influence is illegal, not everyone realizes that there are typically two different types of court cases involved in DUI accidents. Prosecution may be pursued in criminal court, where the state will present society's case against the driver. The result may be jail time, a fine, community service, other punishment or rehabilitation ordered for the driver.
But for a victim or the family to receive any compensation for their injuries or losses, the victim must file his or her own civil suit against the defendant, to cover injuries caused by the driver's negligence. Even if the accused driver is found innocent of DUI charges in the criminal case, the victim may still be able to secure damages in civil court. In fact, the DUI driver does not even need to be tried in a criminal court for the victim to seek damages. But in any of these circumstances, the victim will need an experienced Denver auto accident attorney to represent his or her interests in civil court.
A Denver car accident lawyer knows the most advantageous actions to take for his clients; to help them reduce any medical bills while simultaneously pursuing the victim's rights with the defendant's attorneys and insurance company.