Being involved in an automobile crash that was caused by a drunk driver can be devastating. Your family life, professional life and individual well-being can all be greatly affected. It may feel like your life has been turned upside down by another person’s bad choice, but you’re not powerless in this situation. As a victim of drunk driving, you do have a recourse through certain rights and processes to help you recover normalcy and stability in your life.
The Right to Crime Victim Compensation
The Crime Victim Compensation Program is funded by the federal government and is available in every state in the country. This fund was established to help victims and their families recoup many out of pocket expenses that have been incurred due to suffering from victimization of a violent crime. This fund can help you with the following expenses:
- Medical costs
- Counseling fees
- Burial and funeral costs
- Lost wages
The Right to a Civil Case Trial
As a victim of drunk driving, you have the right to a civil trial. This is heard separately from the criminal proceedings that the drunk driver must undergo for breaking the law. Civil cases help you to recover losses, win restitution for damages and will send a further emphasized message that drunk driving is not tolerated or accepted. It is important to stand up for yourself and your family in a civil case, and a seasoned, experienced and compassionate attorney such as Bryan Caulfield can help you to pursue justice for the wrongs you have endured.
The Right to Knowledge of Legal Proceedings
Whether or not you choose to pursue a civil case, you have the right to be notified of all information, hearings, pleadings and trial dates concerning the criminal and/or civil case regarding your situation. Law enforcement must collect a written or spoken statement from you to be considered during the drunk driver’s case, and also must provide you with any requested and necessary paperwork needed to prove circumstances arising from the crash that may affect your employment or other obligations.
As a victim of a drunk driver, it is important to be aware of your rights. Contacting an experienced and trusted attorney is the best way to ensure that you exercise your rights to the fullest and most beneficial extent possible.