Can You Use Proof of the Defendant’s DUI in Your Buffalo Car Accident Case?

Most car accidents are just that – accidents. People make mistakes and it ends up causing a car accident. In other cases, an accident is the result of someone’s reckless behavior. For example, if someone is drinking and driving, they can’t say it was an accident. They intentionally got behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. If they end up crashing into your car and hurting you, then you’ll want them to pay. You shouldn’t be left holding the bag if the other driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs.

The thing is, in any car accident case, your Buffalo accident lawyer will have to prove two things. First, they’ll have to prove the other driver was negligent. Second, they’ll have to prove your damages. If they can’t do these two things, you won’t receive a dime.

One way your lawyer can prove that the other driver was at fault is by showing that they were drunk. The best way to do this is to submit evidence of their DUI charge. By the time you file your car accident lawsuit in New York, you should already know if they were convicted. However, this may not be the case. Your attorney will have to make a decision on how quickly to show their cards when it comes to the DUI charge.

The Best Evidence of Negligence is a DUI Conviction

When car accident victims in Buffalo ask if they can submit proof of DUI, the answer can be complicated. Of course, your New York car accident lawyer is going to submit proof of a DUI charge. If they were convicted, it helps your case even more. However, if their charges were dropped, you may not want to submit a copy of their charges. If they proved that they weren’t drunk at the time of the accident, it can actually hurt your case. Your Buffalo accident lawyer will talk to you about this decision when the time comes.

Overall, it makes perfect sense to submit proof of a DUI charge. Whether your case is settled or goes to court, it can help. If the police thought the other driver was under the influence, chances are there was a good reason. Maybe they had a blood alcohol concentration of just under the legal limit. That may not result in a DUI conviction, but it still shows they were negligent. 

A DUI Charge Doesn’t Guarantee You’ll Win Your Case

If you get into any sort of crash in New York, you need a lawyer. This is especially true if the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. If someone decided to drink and get behind the wheel, they should be held at fault. However, there are situations in which their being drunk had absolutely nothing to do with the crash. Maybe they were parked at a red light and you slammed into the back of them. In this case, it won’t really matter so much that they were drunk.

There are other times when the defendant’s being charged with DUI won’t necessarily prove your case:

  • If you were clearly driving recklessly or negligently
  • Your accident was caused by a mechanical failure, not negligence
  • You actually caused the crash
  • The accident would’ve happened regardless of their being drunk or high

If this happens, your attorney will have a hard time proving the defendant was at fault. However, that doesn’t mean the other driver’s insurance company won’t still be eager to settle your case. If the case goes to trial, a jury will be swayed by a DUI charge or conviction. This is true whether the defendant was convicted or not. Juries are very sympathetic to victims in a DUI crash. This can help your case and your Buffalo accident lawyer knows it.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in New York

If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident in New York, call our office right away. It’s really important that you have someone there to handle the legal side of things for you. This way, you can focus on getting better and recovering from your injuries. Call and schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Buffalo, New York. The consultation is free and you won’t pay a dime until you settle your case. The other driver will have lawyers working for them and you should too. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this on your own. 

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