If you sustained injuries in an accident involving a drunk driver, you might wonder if you can sue the driver.
North Carolina personal injury laws outline your ability to sue the drunk driver for damages.
Can I sue a drunk driver for my injuries?
You can sue a drunk driver for your injuries, but the strength of your case depends on the role you had to play in the accident. North Carolina adheres to the contributory negligence rule, which means if you share any responsibility for your injuries, your grounds to sue may diminish. For example, if your injury occurred while riding with the drunk driver, the law assumes that you accepted some responsibility by deciding to accompany the drunk driver. If you did not play a role in the drunk driving accident, you could have a better case to sue the driver for damages, but you must present enough supporting evidence to give your claim credibility in court. You can initiate a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver even if the court drops criminal charges against them.
What damages might I recover?
Money is unlikely to return what you lost in the accident, but you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. In a civil suit, you may pursue damages for the following:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical costs
- Decreased quality of life
- Punitive damages
While the details of each drunk driving incident vary, you may have a case to sue the drunk driver you believe is responsible for your injuries.