If you were seriously injured or lost someone you love in a motorcycle accident, you may have grounds for a claim against all liable parties. In addition to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, you may also be awarded punitive damages.
In the state of Minnesota, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s conduct demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the rights of others, or if the defendant had knowledge that his or her behavior was likely to cause an injury. Drunk driving meets these criteria because a reasonable person would be well aware that driving while impaired has a high probability of causing injury.
Even if you are certain that you are entitled to compensation, though, you will need strong evidence to prove liability and damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather this evidence, which may include chemical test results, the police report, photos of the accident scene, footage from nearby surveillance cameras, and eyewitness testimony.
Your attorney can also answer your questions regarding the claims process. Below are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents caused by drunk drivers:
- What Are My Options for Recovering Compensation?
Motorcycle accident victims may have several options for recovering compensation following a wreck with an impaired driver. Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to pursue a payout from:
- The driver who caused the accident;
- The driver’s insurance provider;
- Your own insurance provider;
- The impaired driver’s employer, if he or she caused the accident while performing duties within the scope of his or her employment;
- The owner of the vehicle, if it is not the drunk driver; or
- The person or dram shop that served the impaired motorist.
- Will the Outcome of the Criminal Case Affect My Civil Case?
The outcome of your civil case will not depend on the outcome of any criminal proceedings against the drunk driver. Although a conviction could theoretically strengthen your claim, you have a limited amount of time in which to bring the case to court. Because criminal proceedings can take months or even years to resolve, it is wise to proceed with your claim as soon as possible.
- Will I Have to Testify?
If the prosecutor has sufficient evidence against the drunk driver, which is likely since police probably conducted chemical tests at the scene, your testimony might not be needed to convict the suspect. You will not have to testify unless you receive a subpoena. If you do receive a subpoena, refusing to testify could place you in contempt of court, which can result in charges of your own.
Call 800-770-7008 to Speak with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Minneapolis
If you want to sue a drunk driver following a motorcycle accident, contact a personal injury attorney at Bradshaw & Bryant. Call 320-259-5414 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a motorcycle accident attorney in Minneapolis
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.