If you have lost a loved one in a car crash with a drunk driver, you know how upsetting and hurtful it is to know that someone would be so reckless. While you don’t need to participate in the criminal case against that person to make a wrongful death claim, you should be aware that one will likely take place if a person is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In the case that the driver had a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or higher, they may be classed differently and as a persistent drunk driver. Their penalties could be higher, too.
You can help keep drunk drivers off the road
While you may not be interested in the criminal case, it may be a good idea to get involved. In these cases, it’s possible that the other party could come up with evidence to try to get out of the penalties. As a witness and victim of the crime, you may want to be involved in the case to ask that they do receive the penalties that they deserve.
Your involvement in a criminal case doesn’t necessarily affect your wrongful death claim
As the family member of someone who died in a drunk driving collision, you should be aware that your right to compensation isn’t tied to the criminal case. The fact that the other driver caused an accident is enough for you and your family members to make a claim. However, if the other party has been convicted of an egregious act, the results from court could help make your claim even stronger.
While the laws for drinking and driving in Colorado may not seem harsh on paper, they can be extremely damaging to the at-fault driver. They may go to jail or prison, could lose their license and may lose their career as well. If you want to participate in making sure they are penalized fairly, then that may be your right as a family member of the deceased.
At the same time, if you’re not comfortable with coming to court for the criminal case, know that there are penalties in place that will help make sure the driver isn’t a risk to others again.