Getting hit by a drunk driver is a traumatic experience that can have long-lasting effects on both the victim and their loved ones. In Colorado, the consequences of a drunk driving accident can be severe for both the perpetrator and the victim. Here is what you need to know if you get hit by a drunk driver in Colorado.
Reporting the Accident
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to contact the police. This is especially important in cases involving drunk driving, as the police will need to conduct a sobriety test on the driver. If the driver is found to be over the legal limit, they will face criminal charges.
It is also important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel injured. Injuries from car accidents can take time to manifest, and seeking medical attention will ensure that any injuries are properly documented.
Compensation for Damages
In Colorado, victims of drunk driving accidents have the right to seek compensation for damages. This can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. To seek compensation, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver.
Colorado is an at-fault state, which means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying damages. However, if the drunk driver is uninsured or underinsured, it may be necessary to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Criminal Charges for the Drunk Driver
In addition to facing civil liability for damages, a drunk driver in Colorado can also face criminal charges. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in Colorado, and a driver who causes an accident while under the influence can face felony charges.
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Colorado can include fines, jail time, community service, and license suspension. If the drunk driver caused serious injury or death, they may face even harsher penalties, including significant prison time.
Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents
The best way to prevent drunk driving accidents is to avoid driving while under the influence. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or use a ridesharing service. If you see someone who appears to be driving under the influence, call the police immediately.
In Colorado, there are also several programs aimed at preventing drunk driving accidents. These include increased police patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and public awareness campaigns.
Getting hit by a drunk driver in Colorado can be a traumatic experience with long-lasting consequences. However, victims have the right to seek compensation for damages, and drunk drivers can face both civil and criminal penalties. By taking steps to prevent drunk driving, we can work together to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents on Colorado's roads.