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Beyond Criminal Penalties, Drunk Drivers May Face Civil Lawsuits

Drunk driving is usually thought of in the realm of criminal consequences: Will there be jail time? How long is the license suspension? Is there a fine? There is another side to drunk driving, however. A very personal and often tragic side, should an injury-accident occur. Just ask the parents of Abdullah Khader.

For his protection, Abdullah, like all two-year-old children, was buckled into his car seat while riding in his family’s vehicle. His car seat, however, wasn’t able to protect him from the suspected drunk driver that slammed into family vehicle at a red light. The accident left little Abdullah severely brain-damaged.

The alleged drunk driver is a seven time offender whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was triple the legal limit at the time of the accident. The criminal process isn’t the only way that the alleged drunk driver may have to account for his actions; he may have to answer to Abdullah’s family in a personal injury lawsuit.

Civil Penalties

When a drunk driver injures or kills someone, he or she may face more than just criminal penalties. The drunk driver may also have to answer to the injured or the family of the injured or killed in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit allows the injured or the family of the injured to seek to recover money for damage done by recovering compensation for medical bills, life-long rehabilitation or care, repair bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against many different parties, including the driver and/or insurance company.

In response to the accident, Abdullah’s family has been asking the Texas legislature to pass “Abdullah’s Law.” This law would increase penalties on repeat drunk drivers who injure others.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your situation.