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In the United States each year over forty-thousand people are killed and more than two million are injured in motor vehicle collisions including a sizeable percentage caused by drug and alcohol impaired (DUI) drivers. Victims of serious accidents and DUI crashes are left with permanent injuries, mental trauma and huge financial burdens. All too often fatal auto accidents and DUI crashes leave families with a lifetime of heartbreak and pain from the loss of a loved one.
Choosing a lawyer necessarily involves placing all your trust in that person to represent you to the utmost of their ability.
The level of a DUI crash investigation is particularly thorough. It often includes obtaining past criminal records of DUI and evidence of other past misconduct involving alcohol or drugs. Attorney Gail Cheatwood makes it routine in his practice to work within the criminal system as well. While many civil lawyers do not consider their representation to include attending criminal court hearings or presenting restitution claims in the criminal court, Attorney, Gail Cheatwood does.
Even if the DUI driver is not charged or is not convicted of DUI, you can still bring a civil lawsuit for compensatory and punitive damages if you have some proof of the DUI driving. The burden of proof is less in civil court than in criminal court. Also the DUI driver will not have the right to refuse to testify. Cases against DUI drivers have been successfully brought in civil court even when the DUI driver left the scene of the crash and there was no arrest, no blood alcohol and no DUI conviction. But it is very important to have a skilled lawyer review your case.
Call Central Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Gail Cheatwood today at 863.686.0975.
If the DUI driver has bodily injury liability insurance coverage (BI), this will cover the DUI crash and your claim for compensatory damages. However, it will not cover punitive damages. Such a policy may also be subject to policy limits (the maximum amount of BI coverage available). Sometimes more than one policy of bodily injury liability insurance can apply. This is why it is very important to always consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement from a bodily injury insurer on a DUI crash case. Insurance companies look out for their best interest, NOT YOURS! Any settlement an insurance company may offer, may not be in your best interests. You need to know the full value of both the compensatory damages and the punitive damages. These depend on the circumstances of each case, the type of insurance available and the assets of each of the person or companies who might be liable.
Immediate family members can also seek justice when carelessness results in wrongful death of a loved one. The wrongful death does not have to be the result of a crime. Such damages can include loss of support and services as well as the mental pain and anguish of losing the loved one. However, the time limits to pursue such claims are short (most wrongful death claims must be brought in 2 year or less depending on the circumstances).
Gail Cheatwood is deeply committed to helping victims of auto accidents and DUI crashes recover full damages.