Virginia Teenage DUI Accident Injures Six People

Driving under the influence (DUI) is so dangerous that it can lead to both criminal and civil penalties. If a person driving under the influence causes injury, the victim could sue them for negligence, and the state could bring a criminal DUI charge. Virginia accident victims should understand the important differences between a negligence lawsuit and a criminal prosecution. Even if the responsible driver faces a criminal conviction, you can still hold them accountable for damages through a civil negligence lawsuit.

For example, a recent Fairfax County, Virginia DUI accident injured six teenagers. The accident occulted in the early morning hours as an intoxicated teenage driver was speeding in a residential neighborhood. Eventually, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which rammed into a large tree. Witnesses remarked that the vehicle started to spin before rolling over. Multiple passengers were ejected from the car. As a result, six teenagers suffered injuries. Debris from the accident also struck a parked car nearby.

How Do Criminal and Civil DUI Accident Cases Differ?

When an intoxicated driver’s negligence causes severe injury, they may face criminal and civil penalties. A criminal conviction does not preclude an accident victim from suing the driver for negligence. On the other hand, a jury may find the responsible driver not guilty in a criminal case, but the driver could still be liable for damages in a civil case. This is because the burden of proof is much lower in civil cases than criminal cases. Because a criminal defendant could face prison time, the burden to convict someone of a crime is uniquely high. To convict a defendant of a DUI offense, the jury must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard means that all twelve members of a jury were completely certain that the defendant committed the charged offense. Only then has the prosecution proved its burden under the law.

On the other hand, a plaintiff in a civil case only needs to prove liability by the preponderance of the evidence. Under this standard, the plaintiff must show it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, violated that duty through their negligent act or failure to act, caused the accident, and that the plaintiff suffered harm. If the plaintiff can prove these elements of a negligence claim, they can recover damages against the defendant. An experienced Virginia personal injury attorney can help develop an argument to overcome the burden of proof and hold the defendant accountable for your harm.

Have You Been Injured in a Virginia DUI Accident?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a DUI accident, the personal injury attorneys at The Schupak Law Firm can help you understand your options for recovery. Our attorneys understand the severe injury, financial stress, and mental anguish that DUI accidents can cause. Through our skilled and zealous representation, we can help gather evidence, consult experts, and form the strongest possible case to hold the defendant liable for damages. To discuss your case with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney today, call 240-833-3914.

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