Can You Sue A Drunk Driver Even If They Were Not Charged With DUI In Nevada?
If you have been injured in a car accident that involves a drunk driver, you may be wondering whether it is possible to sue the driver for damages. The answer depends on the laws of the state where the accident occurred. In Nevada, it is possible to sue a drunk driver for your injuries even if they were not charged with DUI or found not guilty.
Our compassionate and results-driven attorney at Cameron Law provides legal counsel to victims of drunk driving accidents in Las Vegas and other parts of the state, including Henderson, Spring Valley, and Paradise. Contact our office today to discuss whether or not you can sue a drunk driver if he/she was not charged with DUI or was found “not guilty” in their criminal case.
The Implied Consent Law and Negligence Per Se in Nevada
In Nevada, all drivers are subject to an implied consent law. This means that when you get behind the wheel of a car, you agree by law to take chemical tests (i.e., breathalyzer or blood test) if asked to do so by police officers who suspect that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse these tests, your license can be suspended, and this refusal can be used as evidence against you in court if you are charged with DUI or DWI.
In Nevada, more than 1,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents involving a drunk driver between 2003 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Can a Driver Be Held Liable for Damages if They Weren’t Charged with DUI?
Even if a drunk driver is not charged with DUI or found not guilty, this does not mean they cannot be held liable for damages resulting from their actions. Under Nevada’s negligence per se law, if someone causes an injury due to their violation of another law (such as driving while intoxicated), then they may be held liable for any damages caused by their actions. This means that even though a drunk driver may escape criminal charges for their actions, they can still be held accountable in civil court for any harm caused by those actions.
Dram Shop Liability Law in Nevada
In addition, victims of drunk driving accidents can also bring civil claims against dram shops (bars and restaurants) that served alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons who went on to cause an accident due to their intoxication. Victims can also hold social hosts accountable in certain circumstances where they provided alcohol at social gatherings and parties, which resulted in harm or injury caused by someone who was overserved at the event.
However, the dram shop liability law in Nevada is limited to social hosts who supply alcohol to minors, which means accident victims generally cannot sue alcohol-serving establishments that overserve intoxicated adult patrons.
Cameron Law: The Legal Guidance You Can Trust
If you have been injured due to an accident involving a drunk driver in Nevada, there may still be options available for seeking legal recourse despite criminal charges being dropped or the defendant being found not guilty in court. Each case is unique, so it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with Nevada’s laws regarding negligence per se so that you understand your rights and potential options moving forward after the drunk driving accident.
At Cameron Law, we help victims of drunk driving accidents seek justice and fight for the compensation to which they are entitled. Contact our Las Vegas drunk driving accident lawyers today and schedule a free consultation by calling 702-745-4545.