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A Person Injured in a DUI Crash May Sue in Civil Court

Posted by Russell West | Sep 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

According to KHQ's July 2017 report, five people were injured in a Spokane Valley DUI crash.

They were sent to local hospitals shortly after midnight on a Saturday. An alleged drunk driver ran a red light at the intersection of Sullivan and Sprague in Spokane Valley.

According to Washington State Patrol, a 22-year-old woman was operating a motor vehicle while allegedly under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. She allegedly sped through a red light and hit a 1994 Ford Explorer and injured the driver and four passengers.

The driver, a 25-year-old female, was taken to the hospital along with her passengers. The intersection was blocked for hours after the crash. The drunk driver was not hurt and was charged with DUI and vehicular assault.

The medical conditions of the driver and four passengers are not known. The article did not indicate whether any of the accident victims would sue in civil court to recover damages related to the car accident injuries.

DUI is a Crime, but an Injury Victim can Sue in Civil Court

DUI is typically thought of as a crime punishable by jail or prison time. It is a crime. To operate a motor vehicle under the influence or alcohol and/or drugs is illegal. The state of Washington typically handles the criminal aspect of the crime.

However, an accident victim injured by a drunk driver can sue in civil court for the damages incurred because of the DUI car crash. Damages is used to describe any of the accident-related bills like:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages

An Accident Victim in Spokane Must Prove the DUI Crash Caused Their Injuries

A criminal conviction makes it easier for an accident victim to prove they were injured by the drunk driver. However, with or without a conviction, the accident victim must still prove the defendant owes him or her money. Proving negligence in a DUI crash is the same as in any type of accident. The accident victim must show:

  • Legal duty. The defendant had a responsibility to protect the accident victim from harm by not drinking and driving.
  • Violation of legal duty. The defendant violated their responsibility to protect the accident victim by drinking, driving and causing an accident with injuries.
  • The accident was caused by the defendant's drinking and driving.
  • The defendant owes the accident victim money because he or she caused the injuries.

West Law Office is Committed to Representing Your Legal Rights in a Spokane Accident

You were injured by a drunk driver. You have suffered injuries that have caused you to miss work and/or endure serious pain and suffering. You have the legal right to sue for your injuries. Contact West Law Office regarding your legal rights and pursing a claim. We are dedicated to getting you the money needed to financially recover from the accident. Contact us immediately for help.

(image courtesy of Esther Tuttle)

About the Author

Russell West

Russell West from West Law Office, located in Spokane, Washington represents clients in areas of criminal traffic, misdemeanors, and personal injury. DUI’s, Reckless Driving, Negligent driving, Hit and Run, and Driving with Suspended license are the majority of criminal traffic violations. Drug Charges, Theft, and Domestic Violence account for most of the other criminal cases Russell handles.


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West Law Office - Russell West Attorney

Spokane Attorney Russell West practice areas include: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Falls, DUIs, DOL Hearings, Criminal Traffic, Expungement/Vacating Records, and Insurance Bad Faith

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