Utah Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney

This video features Kevin Swenson, a Personal Injury attorney based in Utah.

Will an Injured Person Need Their Own Lawyer?

Video Transcript:

Kevin Swenson: 

If you've been injured, if it wasn't your fault, if you have serious injuries, and quite honestly, the last part of that is if there's insurance that's going to cover that or a way to collect on it.

Molly Hendrickson: 

If you're hit by a drunk driver, does the criminal prosecutor help you recover compensation or do you need other representation? We're gonna find out right now on this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest is Utah attorney Kevin Swenson. I wanna remind you, if you wanna ask Kevin questions about your situation, it's easy, go to AskTheLawyers.com, click the button up top that says "Ask a lawyer", or you can always call the phone number you'll see at the top of your screen. Kevin, thanks for joining us today.

Kevin Swenson: 

You're welcome, thank you.

Molly Hendrickson: 

We've all seen the devastating consequences of drunk driving. If someone is hit by a driver who they suspect or know was under the influence, what should they do?

Kevin Swenson: 

If you suspect it, tell the officer investigating why you suspect it and what you know. There's really not a lot else you can do with the scene other than give the information to the police officer and let them do their job.

Molly Hendrickson: 

If the other driver is being charged with a DUI, does a prosecuting attorney represent you as a victim of an accident?

Kevin Swenson: 

They don't. The prosecuting attorney represents the city or the county or the state that's bringing the criminal charges, they may seek restitution to pay for some of your medical bills, but that's as much as they would ever do, and then that becomes part of the restitution for the individual who had the drunk driving citation, but they would pay that off as they could a little bit here and there, and so it's not a good system for recovery for somebody who's injured.

Molly Hendrickson: 

Kevin, can you explain the difference between a criminal prosecution and a civil case with a personal injury lawyer?

Kevin Swenson: 

Sure. In a criminal prosecution, it's the government bringing charges against the individual who was driving drunk for violating the law, and so the remedy there is jail time or fines, something like that. In a civil case, the personal injury attorney is bringing a claim on behalf of the injured person directly against the drunk driver, and there the only remedy is monetary damages.

Molly Hendrickson: 

So do you have to wait until a criminal case is finished before you can file a civil case?

Kevin Swenson: 

You don't. The fact that a criminal case is ongoing doesn't prevent you from going forward with a civil case.

Molly Hendrickson: 

So what if a person was not charged for drunk driving or maybe they were found not guilty, or the charges were later dismissed, can you still file a civil case in a situation like that?

Kevin Swenson: 

You can. Again, the criminal case really has very little to do with the civil case, and so it may have been dismissed because they improperly collected evidence, it may have been dismissed for all kinds of different reasons, there may have been a plea bargain, something like that. And so the fact that it gets dismissed doesn't affect at all the civil case.

Molly Hendrickson: 

And what should somebody take into account when thinking about filing a civil case? How do you know if you really have a strong case?

Kevin Swenson: 

Well, you have a strong case if you've been injured, if it wasn't your fault, if you have serious injuries, and quite honestly, the last part of that is if there's insurance that's going to cover that or a way to collect on it. So if you can meet those three requirements, you have a good, strong case.

Molly Hendrickson: 

Kevin, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Always nice to see you.

Kevin Swenson: 

Thank you.

Molly Hendrickson:

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest has been lawyer Kevin Swenson. I wanna remind you, if you'd like to ask Kevin questions about your situation, go to AskTheLawyers.com, click the button at the top of this page that says "Ask a Lawyer", and they'll walk you through the very simple process. Thanks for watching. I'm Molly Hendrickson for Ask The Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

AskTheLawyers

© 1999-2022 AskTheLawyers.com™

Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy /
Report an Issue

Legal Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Information entered on this website is not confidential. This website has paid attorney advertising. Anyone choosing a lawyer must do their own independent research. By using this website, you agree to our additional Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.