Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents Have Rights in Connecticut Criminal Courts

Unfortunately, despite the widely known dangers of drunk driving, many irresponsible Connecticut drivers continue to endanger the lives of innocent victims, and accidents often result in catastrophic injuries to people simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

drunk driving personal injury accident

These innocent victims likely have claims in civil court against the drunk driver, but they may also have rights in criminal court that can help obtain fair, just and reasonable compensation, as well as the appropriate consequences for the drunk driver.

Victim’s rights are defined by both Connecticut and federal laws, and include notification of rights, attendance and a voice at court proceedings, access to information, and assistance with some court-based services.

Compensation may also be available through criminal court in two forms:

1. Restitution

Restitution is court –ordered payment by the drunk driver to the victim to cover some or all of the costs associated with the collision. Requests for restitution can be made with the State’s Attorney Office or the Office of Victim Services (OVS) advocate located in the criminal court where the case will be prosecuted.

2. Crime Victim Compensation

The Crime Injuries Compensation Fund is also available for physical injured victims, or their families, to assist in recovering from the financial and emotional impact of the drunk driving accident. Eligible victims can seek reimbursement and financial assistance for up to $15,000 of expenses related to the drunk driving collision such as medical and dental costs, counseling costs, and lost wages. Unfortunately, the program does not provide financial assistance for property loss, property damage, non-economic loss such as pain and suffering, or any expenses that are covered by any other source such as medical insurance. In most circumstances, the drunk driving collision must be reported to the police within five days and an application for compensation should be filed with OVS within two years of the injury.

If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident, serious consideration should be given to not only obtaining an attorney, but choosing one who is familiar with all of the remedies available to you. The personal injury attorneys at Dzialo, Pickett & Allen, P.C. are ready to meet to discuss the circumstances of the accident, injury, and potential legal options.

-Sylvia K. Rutkowska, Esq.

Disclaimer: While this blog provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call one of our lawyers at (860) 316-2741. The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.