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What factors do courts consider in a DUI crash?

A personal injury lawsuit stemming from a drunk driving crash is the most important avenue for victims to pay for the medical care they need to heal. It could also be a way for them to finance living expenses after suffering a disabling injury that prevents them from holding down a job. However, this is only the case if the personal injury action results in a favorable monetary settlement. In order for a personal injury lawsuit to be successful, Connecticut courts will review several important factors -- several of which will be discussed below.

First, Connecticut courts will look a the DUI driver's level of fault. For example, just because someone was drunk when an injurious crash occurred does not mean that the drunk driver was actually at fault for the crash and resulting injuries suffered by the plaintiff. Perhaps the injured sober driver failed to stop at a stop sign, which caused the crash and it was not the drunk driver's fault. If a causal relationship between the plaintiff's injuries and the DUI driver's actions cannot be proved, then the plaintiff may not be able to prevail in his or her action.

Secondly, if the DUI driver's fault is proven, then the plaintiff will need to show whether his injuries require long-term medical care. Courts will want to know what the projected future costs of that medical care will be in order to better determine the plaintiff's damages.

Thirdly, courts will consider the extent of disabilities. A serious disability that prevents a plaintiff from working any job -- like brain damage for example -- would necessitate a sizable financial recovery to fairly compensate the victim for his or her future earning capacity that has been lost.

Connecticut courts will consider a lot more issues when evaluating a personal injury action stemming from a DUI crash, but it is also up to the plaintiff to bring these important issues to light before the court -- through sound legal arguments. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer can be very helpful.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Crashes: 5 Factors for Victim Compensation," Brett Snider, accessed April 28, 2016

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