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What level of recovery can be expected after DUI accident?

Victims of crashes caused by drunk drivers may suffer the consequences for the remainder of their lives. In fact, there have been cases in which children or infants suffer life-changing traumatic brain injuries in such accident. Questions are sometimes asked by people in Wisconsin about the level of compensation a victim of a drunk driving accident can expect to be awarded by a civil court.

The court will look at different aspects when a monetary award is considered. Wisconsin supports the modified comparative negligence rules, meaning that the percentage of the victim's negligence -- if any -- will be deducted from any compensation that is awarded. Victims with injuries that will need long-term or life-long care may be awarded compensation to cover that care. This will be along with past medical expenses for the time between the accident and the court case.

If the accident occurred in a state in which dram shop laws exist, recovery might also be sought from a bar, restaurant or another establishment if it played a part in providing alcohol to the at-fault driver. Injuries that jeopardize the victim's earning ability may also add to the amount of a monetary award. If such an accident caused the death of the victim, the surviving family could file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Personal injury and wrongful death claims are typically based on the degree of negligence by the various parties in a car accident, whether it involved drunk driving or not. The most appropriate first step might be to consult with an experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney who can assess the viability of a claim. If grounds for a lawsuit exist, the lawyer can help with establishing negligence and determining whom to name as defendants. The attorney can also present the case to the court while working to obtain recovery of damages.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Crashes: 5 Factors for Victim Compensation", Brett Snider, Accessed on Feb. 16, 2018

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