How Will a Truck Drivers Criminal Trial Affect my Injury Claim?

Truck Drivers Criminal Trial

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 7, 2023

Will a Criminal Trial in a Truck Accident Affect Your Civil Case?

Many people engaged in a semi-truck collision may suffer serious injuries. When it comes to cars that might cause a collision, a truck’s vast size combined with its tremendous weight makes for a particularly deadly mix.

Those who have been injured or have incurred losses as a result of a semi-truck accident may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries and damages via a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

These legal measures are usually justified by the at-fault party’s carelessness, which renders them accountable. The trucking firm, truck manufacturer, and, most crucially, the driver are all potential at-fault parties.

However, some claimants may find themselves in a scenario where their accident involves a motorist who caused the accident on purpose and is now facing criminal charges or has been charged with a felony for another component of the event. This may happen often and can have an impact on the outcome of a case.

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Colorado Accident Claims involving Semi-Trucks

A person who has been badly harmed as a result of a truck driver’s carelessness or the fault of another party may claim compensation for the damages they have incurred under civil law. Civil law is distinct from criminal law, which is focused with prosecuting and punishing people who are suspected of committing a crime.

Instead, civil law focuses on legal disputes between two parties involving a negligently inflicted damage. Both of these systems have very different proof loads, protocols, regulations, and so forth.

A semi-truck accident claim is based on the claimant’s injuries and damages, as well as the carelessness of the at-fault party, which contributed to the accident that resulted in the injuries and losses.

A claimant files a lawsuit and seeks to make an out-of-court settlement with the person responsible for their injuries, covering the losses they have experienced. This will normally entail the liability insurance of the culpable party, who will be the key actor on the other side of the negotiation table and will be accountable for paying out the settlement. All of this is accomplished via civil law.

When a driver is charged with a crime, may I file a lawsuit?

Even if a truck driver is charged with a criminal in connection with the accident, you may still file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against them. The Constitution has a provision known as “double jeopardy.” You can’t be charged with the same offence twice, according to the regulation.

For example, if a truck driver is accused with driving while intoxicated and is found not guilty, he or she cannot be prosecuted with the same offence again in the future, even if new evidence is discovered. This provision was intended to prevent prosecutors from gaining an unfair advantage by allowing them to learn a defendant’s strategy via many trials for the same offence.

Fortunately, in a civil lawsuit, the emphasis is on culpability and carelessness rather than the defendant’s criminal guilt. This implies that double jeopardy does not apply to a claim, thus even if a truck driver is prosecuted criminally, you may still seek compensation.

How Will a Criminal Case Against a Truck Driver Affect My Claim?

If a truck driver is charged with a felony as a result of an accident that they caused, it does not indicate that you will obtain compensation for your injuries if they are convicted.

As previously said, there are many distinctions between criminal and civil law, and just because one trial is successful in one of these areas of law does not guarantee it will be successful in the other.

You could think that since a truck driver lost their criminal case, they’ll lose their case with you as well. Because you are seeking compensation for your injuries, it is unlikely that the money will come straight from the wallets of a semi-truck driver.

When it comes to personal injury claims, semi-truck accident injuries and losses are usually among the most expensive. Instead, the recompense will come from the insurance company of the semi-truck driver.

The insurance company will have nothing to do with the criminal case but everything to do with a civil case seeking money for accident damages, so a truck driver who may not have as strong a defense attorney in a criminal case will have a significantly stronger defense in a civil case because the insurance company will be providing the legal resources and they will have very powerful lawyers with a lot of experience dealing with these types of cases.

The Advantages of a Criminal Trial for a Truck Driver

A truck driver’s criminal trial will almost always take place before a civil trial, which might result in various advantages for your case. If a truck driver gets convicted, it does not always indicate that they are at blame.

For example, a motorist may be convicted of DUI, but it does not indicate that an accident was their fault if a driver falls asleep at the wheel and skips a signal, t-boning an intoxicated truck driver who was otherwise following all traffic regulations.

Convictions, on the other hand, are 100 percent true, thus knowing the specifics of one might aid your case. If a truck driver is convicted of drunk driving, there is no denying that they were driving while inebriated in a civil action.

In addition, a criminal trial offers a variety of evidence that might be beneficial in a civil lawsuit. Because civil and criminal law are so dissimilar, the evidence that may be acquired in each case is also somewhat different.

Certain types of evidence that a truck accident injury attorney may get are not available to criminal prosecutors, and vice versa. As a result, a smart lawyer who knows how to deal with prosecutors may obtain their hands on material that can be used to establish the defendant’s carelessness.

A personal injury claim may result in a criminal prosecution being filed against the person who caused the harm in certain situations. A car collision involving a drunk driver is a frequent illustration of this predicament. Accidents involving a drunk driver might result in criminal penalties as well as civil claims.

You may be eligible to compensation for your injuries regardless of whether a person is charged with DUI after an accident if that person caused the accident. The criminal accusations and any civil claims you may have are, however, distinct. Different courts handle the cases, and different evidence is required to substantiate the claims against the driver.

What Is The Difference Between A Criminal Case And A Civil Case?

In order for a court to declare someone guilty of a crime, the state must establish all of the components of the offence. Evidence in a drunk driving prosecution may include the arresting officer’s testimony, the findings of chemical testing, and evidence acquired during field sobriety tests. The prosecution is responsible for demonstrating that the driver was in violation of the law.

If a person is found guilty of a crime, the court will sentence them to prison. The penalties may include jail time and fines. Alcohol treatment, probation, ignition interlock device, probation, license suspension, and other punishments may be imposed in drunk driving accident cases.

When a drunk driver causes an accident, he or she may be held accountable for any injuries or damages sustained as a result of the collision. Drunk driving accidents cause serious injuries and sometimes death. Victims of these accidents have the right to pursue a legal claim against the motorist for a range of damages.

Medical bills, lost wages and benefits, physical pain and suffering, personal care costs, emotional suffering and distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, loss of quality of life, and permanent disability and impairment are all included in DUI car accident claims.

The accident victim, on the other hand, has the burden of showing that the intoxicated driver was to blame for the collision. The victim cannot rely only on the DUI accusations as evidence of negligence in the accident.

Is a Criminal Conviction Beneficial to My Personal Injury Case?

In New York, car accidents and other personal injury lawsuits are fault-based claims. You must show that another party’s carelessness, mistake, or misconduct caused your damage in a direct and proximate manner. You must also show that the other person owed you a duty of care and that a violation of that obligation caused you harm.

It’s vital to remember that a criminal case’s conclusion has no bearing on the outcome of a civil action. In criminal court, the individual who caused your injuries may be found not guilty, or the accusations against him or her may be dropped. However, you may still be successful in your civil case.

Evidence used to condemn a person in criminal court may be used to demonstrate culpability in civil cases. Being inebriated is not evidence of causing a collision in the instance of an car accident. While it’s conceivable that a drunk driver contributed to the collision, it’s also possible that the intoxicated driver was the victim of the accident.

Will a DUI Accident Be Covered by Insurance?

If a drunk driver causes an accident, the insurance company of the driver is responsible for the damages. The insurance company should pay the injury claim after the victim establishes that the intoxicated driver caused the collision.

Insurance companies, like other car accident claims, try to reduce their exposure for car accidents. The firm may reject culpability, contest injuries and damages, or blame the victim for contributing to the crash’s cause. The objective is to settle your injury claim for as little money as feasible.

The best method to fight for a fair payment for a DUI accident claim is to build a solid case with evidence demonstrating culpability. By collecting evidence and recording damages, an attorney can assist you in building your case. The attorney develops a demand package for the insurance company after compiling all proof and information.

You may file a civil lawsuit if talks do not result in a fair settlement.

Seek the advice of a knowledgeable Colorado Springs semi-truck accident lawyer.

We routinely help clients who have been involved in major car accidents involving semis at Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers We provide a free consultation in which you may discuss your case with one of our expert lawyers and assess whether or not you have a viable claim.

There is no commitment to become a customer after our free consultation. Before we begin working on your case, you must sign a retainer agreement if we accept to represent you.

We cannot promise a successful outcome since each situation is unique and recovery is dependent on the facts of each case. However, we make every effort to guarantee that our clients get full compensation for their injuries.

Many circumstances may hinder complete recovery, and a truck accident attorney certified to practice law in Colorado can best explain these problems. Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers may be reached online or by phone at 719-300-1100 to speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.

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