Our Attorneys Take a Stand Against DUI Car Accidents in Iowa
Building a case when a drunk driver runs into you
The Hope Law Firm, PLC supports efforts to reduce drunk driving in Iowa. Our lawyers have witnessed firsthand the devastation that impaired drivers inflict upon injury victims and families who lose a loved one in a drunk driving accident. We are proud to seek justice for these victims in Des Moines and the surrounding communities.
At your free case evaluation, our attorneys explain what you should do to preserve your claim and develop an action plan designed for you. Our team thoroughly reviews police reports, Breathalyzer results, field sobriety tests, police video, bar receipts and witness testimony to put together a clear picture of the hours leading up to and the moments immediately before the automobile accident.
Understanding the legal process
Driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is illegal in Iowa. A drunk driver charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) faces steep penalties in the criminal courts. The OWI sentence increases if the driver caused an accident resulting in serious injuries or property damage.
If the driver who ran into you is found guilty of the OWI offense, a criminal court judge is likely to order victim restitution. Unfortunately, that amount of compensation will probably only be a small portion of your total damages. However, you can pursue financial compensation from the insurance companies and through a personal injury lawsuit. These civil actions are separate from the criminal case. Even if the driver is acquitted on DUI, you may still have a strong argument that the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time of the car crash. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was drunk to win a conviction. The standard for civil court is lower — your attorney must only prove that it was more likely than not that the driver was intoxicated.
Iowa dram shop laws
Iowa statutes impose liability on bars that over-serve drunk patrons who consequently cause injuries to others. Thus, you may have a claim against both the intoxicated driver and the drinking establishment under the dram shop provisions.
Our personal injury lawyers develop a timeline to establish the liability of the club or restaurant and gather evidence, such as bar tabs and witness testimony. The third-party complaint may be your best opportunity to recover maximum damages, especially if the drunk driver is uninsured or carries only the minimum liability insurance.
Recover from the drunk driver who injured you
The Hope Law Firm, PLC can seek justice against the drunk driver who recklessly caused your injuries. Call us at 515.255.3559 or contact our firm online to schedule your free consultation with someone from our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers. If you are unable to come to our Des Moines or Ankeny law office, an attorney can come to you at your home or hospital room. Weekend and evening appointments are available.