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We all know the dangers of getting behind the wheel impaired, but some people do it anyway. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes each year. Nationwide, alcohol plays a role in about 1/3 of all car crashes. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you’re likely wondering about your legal options. Let’s see how a drunk driving accident may play out in court in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s no-fault laws affect your ability to file a lawsuit, even if it’s against a drunk driver. In other words, drunk drivers in no-fault states like Minnesota aren’t automatically open to a civil lawsuit, even though the drunk driver is clearly at fault. Even though a drunk driver was negligent and their negligence led to your injuries, you may only file a lawsuit when your injuries meet certain conditions. In Minnesota, these are:
If either of the above conditions apply, you’re free to pursue a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver.
A car accident involving a drunk driver is different than most types of car accidents because there’s little question as to who’s at fault. If you sustain serious injuries in an accident involving a drunk driver, you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries, even if the driver is facing criminal charges. It’s important to know that civil cases and criminal charges are different. In other words, you won’t receive compensation from a criminal case – you’ll have to file civil charges on top of any criminal proceeding.
A civil case against a drunk driver is essentially a financial price tag on your injuries and the cost of your physical and emotional recovery. These are lumped into damage categories:
If you’re eligible to pursue a civil claim against a drunk driver, the next question most people have is, “How much is my claim worth?” We calculate a fair settlement by adding up your special damages and general damages, as well as any applicable punitive damages. For example:
Being involved in an accident with a drunk driver can be devastating. At the Law Offices of Knutson and Casey, we’re here to help. We’ve been helping victims and their families for over 25 years. To start on your road to recovery, contact us for a free case evaluation.