Accidents tend to be very stressful for most people, and when they’re injured as a result, it’s that much worse. Not every accident is preventable, but when it’s caused by a DWI driver, any damages caused by that driver may be recoverable by the victims. Personal injury lawyers St. Paul, MN trusts may be able to help you get compensation from the DWI driver. We have helped thousands of victims receive a fair settlement for their damages. Call us today and we can arrange a no-obligation, no-cost consultation with a DWI lawyer from our firm.
What is a DWI?
When someone is charged with driving while impaired (DWI) by a law enforcement officer, it is a criminal charge. In most states, it’s even more serious than a driving while under the influence (DUI) and a conviction can result in a longer prison term and higher fines. When a law enforcement officer has a reason to believe that a driver may be DWI, they have cause to pull them over and request a field test of the driver.
- Laws vary by state as to whether or not the driver is required to submit to the field test, and what the repercussions will be if they refuse.
- In some states, if the driver refuses, they will automatically be deemed guilty of a DWI or DUI.
- A DWI lawyer can clarify how the laws of your state will affect the driver who injured you if they were DWI. Usually, the repercussions of a conviction will greatly depend on the driver’s criminal history, whether this is their first DWI, and if they seriously injured someone as a result of DWI.
Proof of DWI
Though you may be absolutely certain that a driver who caused an accident with you was DWI, the legal system demands proof in order to convict them of DWI. This process usually begins at the scene of the accident. The responding law enforcement officer must make a determination as to whether or not any of the drivers involved were impaired by drugs or alcohol. Factors that may lead to raising their suspicion include:
- The odor of alcohol or drugs on the driver’s person.
- Physiological symptoms such as glassy eyes or large pupils, poor coordination, etc.
- Slurring words or not making sense when talking, or talking overly rapidly.
- “Nodding off” are acting unnaturally sleepy.
- Drug paraphernalia located on the person or in their vehicle which is visible to the officer without having to conduct a search.
Personal Injury Claim
The good news is that whether or not the at-fault driver is charged and convicted of a DWI, if they were responsible for the accident which subsequently hurt you, you have legal recourse. With the help of a DWI lawyer, you can file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company. The claim should include all of your accident related damages, which may even include future medical treatment and lost wages.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at JOHNSTON | MARTINEAU, PLLP for their knowledge about car accidents and personal injuries.