A recent drunk driving accident sent a Connecticut police officer to the hospital and landed a 31-year-old Massachusetts man in handcuffs on DUI charges. The accident occured when the 31-year-old plowed into the officer, who had pulled over to try and help the driver of a tractor trailer that was disabled.
The man's blood alcohol content was not released; but he was charged with driving under the influence, driving without insurance and striking a police officer, in addition to drug paraphernalia charges. Obviously, his actions constitute some very negligent behavior. He will face a criminal case, but the injured officer may also consider a civil lawsuit against the 31-year-old drunk driver.
When a drunk driving accident happens, there can be a lot of legal moving parts. The police will launch an investigation into the accident, looking into the background of the intoxicated driver. They will also gather evidence at the scene of the collision so that they can reconstruct the buildup to the crash. This investigation may take some time, but it will go a long way in establishing fault. Even with a BAC that proves the driver was over the legal limit, having extra evidence to substantiate the drunk driver's fault is beneficial.
It's especially important when you consider civil litigation against the drunk driver. A civil lawsuit often results in the victim of the incident in question receiving compensatory damages. This compensation covers things like medical bills and property damage. But if the incident is severe enough, it may warrant punitive damages too. This is applied, as the name implies, to punish the negligent driver for his or her actions.
Source: WTNH, "Granby police say officer struck by drunk driver," Aug. 5, 2013