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Civil damages for drunk driving accidents

Even the most responsible driver can still end up in a car accident because of a reckless or negligent driver. One of the most common causes of a car accident is drunk driving. Every year, the government releases startling statistics regarding drunk drivers, and every year, it seems to be a recurring problem.

When we speak of drunk driving, we often focus on the criminal law issues, but the civil law aspect is just as important. When people are injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver, the injured may be compensated for their damages through a civil lawsuit.

Colorado residents may have read recent news reports about a man who was sentenced to 24 years in prison in connection with a car accident that killed an 18-year-old high school student in Colorado Springs. According to reports the man was intoxicated this past April when he tried to make a left turn in front of approaching traffic. His car collided with another vehicle driven by a young man who was set to graduate from high school the following month. The student died at the scene. The drunk driver pleaded guilty and received the lengthy sentence this month.

The role of the criminal justice system is important in such cases to punish wrongdoers, discourage others from destructive acts and to show the public that the state takes their safety seriously. However, the criminal justice system doesn’t always take into account the more mundane needs of victims and their families.

After a drunk driver causes an accident, the injured are often left with medicial expenses, lost wages and other damages. In the case of a fatal accident, the victim’s family may be left without their loved one’s companionship and income. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are designed to help victims and their families to cope with these terrible losses.

Source:, “Driver in DUI crash that killed Colorado Springs teen sentenced to 24 years,” Alexa Mae Asperin, Oct. 10, 2017