Have you ever wondered what happens in the aftermath of a car accident involving drunk driving? 

Facing this kind of situation can be overwhelming, and we understand the concern it raises. Nevertheless, being well-informed about the legal process can help ease some of the uncertainties, whether you or a loved one has experienced this unfortunate event.

We aim to provide you with a clear and informative understanding of the timeline involved in a drunk driving case. 

Throughout this guide, we will break down the steps involved in a drunk driving case without any complicated jargon. Our goal is to support you throughout this challenging journey, offering valuable insights and guidance. 

By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge you need to navigate the driving accident claims process confidently. You will also be aware of the potential timelines, so you can know what to expect when you pursue a claim with our attorneys by your side. 

Understanding Civil and Court Cases Involving Drunk Driving: What You Need to Know

For many, pursuing any settlement following a car accident can seem like a daunting process. However, this does not need to be the case for you. Cases involving drunk driving and car accidents are straightforward once you understand a few key concepts. 

Let’s begin with the kinds of charges you can bring against the at-fault party after a drunk driving accident. When a car accident involves drunk driving, it can lead to both criminal charges and civil lawsuits. The process usually starts with the police investigating the accident scene and determining if the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

If the investigation finds the at-fault driver impaired, the driver may face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

On the civil side, victims of the accident — including injured parties and their families — have the right to seek compensation for damages caused by the drunk driver’s actions. These damages can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you’re looking to recover compensation, a skilled attorney who specializes in handling drunk driving cases can help you. Your lawyer can guide you through the process, advocate for your rights, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

How Long Does It Take for a Car Accident Case to Resolve?

You might be wondering just how long it takes for a car accident case, especially one involving drunk driving, to reach a resolution. The truth is that it can vary widely depending on numerous factors.

First off, each car accident case is unique. This makes it challenging to pinpoint an exact timeline. The complexity of the case, the extent of injuries and damages, the cooperation of the involved parties, and even the court’s caseload can all influence how long it takes.

In some cases, straightforward car accident claims with minimal disputes might be resolved relatively quickly. These cases can settle within a few months — especially if the insurance companies cooperate and agree on fair compensation.

However, when a car accident case involves drunk driving or serious injuries, things can get more complex. Investigations, gathering evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies can extend the timeline.

If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, the case might proceed to trial. Court schedules, the complexity of the trial, and any potential appeals can all contribute to a longer wait for resolution.

In short, a car accident case is essentially like playing the waiting game. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue the compensation you deserve.

While we can’t predict the exact timeline of your car accident case, we can assure you that having the right support and expertise can help you navigate the process with greater ease. Remember, we’re here for you every step of the way.  

Drunk Driving Cases Resulting in Death

To date, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recorded more than 13,500 car crash mortalities across the country. With these numbers, it’s safe to say that a car crash death can happen to anyone. When it does, the aftermath can be nothing short of devastating.  

A DUI resulting in death is always a tragic event, and the legal consequences for the at-fault driver can be severe.

When a driver causes the death of another while intoxicated, it can lead to serious charges, involving years or even decades in prison. However, the specific charges and penalties can vary based on several factors, including the jurisdiction, circumstances of the accident, and the discretion of prosecutors and judges.

In many states, there are specific laws for driving-related killings, known as vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. In some cases, a driver may be charged with vehicular homicide simply due to being intoxicated while driving and causing a death. Other states may require proof of negligence in addition to intoxication to establish a vehicular homicide charge.

Certain jurisdictions may also impose more severe charges based on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A higher BAC can result in elevated charges, leading to longer potential prison sentences.

Penalties for DUI-related deaths vary significantly across states and depend on several factors, including the driver’s level of carelessness, awareness of the risks, and the degree of intoxication. Fines, prison sentences, probation, license suspension, mandatory community service, and substance abuse counseling can all be potential consequences.

Apart from criminal charges and penalties, families of victims killed by a drunk driver may pursue civil wrongful death lawsuits against the driver, seeking compensation for their loss.

If you’re the victim of a car accident or lost a loved one to a drunk driver, help is available. With an attorney, you can recover compensation and even wrongful death damages for the loss of a loved one. 

Can You Sue Someone for Drunk Driving?

Yes. When a car accident occurs due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you have the right to seek compensation for the damages and injuries you’ve suffered. While criminal charges may be brought against the intoxicated driver, a civil lawsuit allows you to pursue financial recovery for their losses.

Filing a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver involves holding negligent drivers legally responsible for the harm caused to you. As the victim (or plaintiff), you can seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

However, keep in mind that the statute of limitations — which sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit — varies by jurisdiction. Therefore, act promptly to protect your right to seek compensation.

Drunk Driving Court Cases

Drunk driving or car accident claims are typically civil claims when victims pursue compensation caused by at-fault drivers.

So what happens when the insurer or the at-fault driver refuses to offer fair compensation after negotiations? This is when a drunk driving case escalates into litigation 

Drunk driving court cases can be complex, involving a series of steps and legal strategies. If you’re a victim seeking justice, your attorney will work tirelessly to build a strong case on your behalf. 

Your attorney will gather evidence — including police reports, eyewitness testimonies, medical records, and any other relevant documentation — to establish the drunk driver’s negligence and responsibility for the accident. From here, court proceedings will begin.  

During the trial, both sides present their evidence, and a judge or jury makes a final determination of liability and compensation.

The duration of a drunk driving court case can vary, depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the court’s schedule, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate. Cases of this magnitude can take months or even years to reach a resolution.

Because of how long it takes for drunk driving court cases to resolve, most lawyers, victims, defendants, and even judges would rather not have things go to trial. Nevertheless, as the victim, it never hurts to be prepared. 

At the end of the day, remember that the pursuit of justice is worth the effort. Our team is committed to helping you navigate through the legal complexities and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Let’s work together to bring your drunk driving case to a just and fair conclusion.

Share Your Car Accident Story With Us

Whether you’re facing the legal complexities of a drunk driving case, seeking compensation, or sharing your car accident story, you’re not alone. Our team is here to provide you with guidance, support, and expert advice every step of the way.

If you were involved in a car accident and need advice or representation, view our car accident lawyers page here.

Let’s work together to bring your car accident case to a just, fair, and swift conclusion.


What Damages Can I Claim From a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Besides compensation for out-of-pocket medical expenses, you can claim lost wages, rehabilitative therapy costs, and property damage to your vehicle. You can also recover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. If you lost someone to a drunk driver, you can also claim wrongful death damages like loss of companionship or consortium. 

What’s the Number 1 Accident in the U.S.?

Car accidents are the number one kind of accident in the U.S., and it’s also responsible for the most number of deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of any motor vehicular accident, rear-end collisions are the most common.  

What Was the Worst Car Accident in the U.S.?

If you ask many lawyers, many will say that it’s the 2002 LA Car Pileup — and we agree. In 2002, a semitrailer crashed into a road divider along the I-710. The crash created debris that led to other crashes on the road. In total, about 216 vehicles crashed into each other. Luckily, there were no fatalities, but the accident left 46 motorists and pedestrians severely injured.