If you’ve been in an auto accident with a drunk driver, there are two types of claims that typically arise. One is a criminal claim, and one is a civil claim.
The criminal claim is handled by the local district attorney’s office. That claim is important because it will help prosecute that person criminally, and it’s important to you because you may be called upon as a witness in that case.
A conviction in a criminal case can also impact your civil claim. That criminal conviction can help give rise to additional damages in your civil claim that are not normally there.
A typical car accident case has compensatory damages, damages for pain and suffering, out‑of‑pocket expenses, and medical expenses. When there is egregious conduct such as drinking and driving, that also gives rise to claims such as punitive dames to punish and deter that wrongful conduct.