There is a big difference between criminal law and civil law. Criminal law deals with the prosecution of individuals by the government, with prison time possible if the person is convicted of the charges. Civil law, on the other hand, allows a private Pennsylvania resident to obtain an award of damages against another in a lawsuit between the parties.
In some circumstances, however, there can be some overlap between criminal law and civil law. For example, as discussed recently in this blog, a person who engages in drunk driving not only can be prosecuted in the criminal law system, he or she can also be sued in a civil suit by those who have been hit by a drunk driver in a car accident.
In the civil suit, the consumption of alcohol can be used as evidence of the driver’s negligence. This is true whether the person was over the legal limit or not, as legal liability looks at whether the person was operating under the standard of care they were bound to follow. Clearly, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a violation of the standard of care, which can lead to legal liability for that driver.
Our firm helps those who have suffered serious injuries as a result of drunk drivers. We can examine each case to determine whether alcohol played a part in the crash, and we can then put in place an effective strategy to show how the other driver’s alcohol consumption caused the crash and injured our clients. For more information on our firm’s services, please visit our drunk driving accident webpage.