DUI in Las Vegas often qualifies as a victimless case; that is, the driver in question is the only party involved and the only people are inconvenienced are said driver, the local law enforcement, and probably fellow drivers if they happen to be at a checkpoint. The worst thing a suspected DUI driver will have to deal with would be a possible revocation of their driver’s license, some jail time, and a trudge through DUI school to minimize the chances of a repeat offense in the future. Majority of cases handled by Las Vegas DUI attorneys on a regular basis fall under this type.
However, there are instances when a suspected drunk driver would blunder onto another vehicle or a busy sidestreet, leading to serious injuries and possible deaths. DUI cases that involve physical injuries or those that may be classified as manslaughter, homicide, or murder can be punished with harsher penalties and may involve life imprisonment, permanent revocation of driving privileges, and compensation towards victims.
If you are facing a Las Vegas DUI charge that involves injury or death for the first time, you may be a little confused as to how compensations work. Let’s look closer into compensation for DUI in Las Vegas.
Legal Compensation in a Nutshell
Compensation is one of the common financial penalties that a defendant is legally bound to comply with after conviction in Las Vegas. With compensation, a defendant will pay for any damages incurred by the victim during the act of the crime. For example, a theft victim may be entitled for financial recompense equivalent to the amount or value of items and goods stolen.
Financial compensation is the most common form of legal damages that plaintiffs are entitled to after a legal hearing in their favor. There are at least six different types of damages recognized by law, each applying to a different type of legal case. Compensatory damages are just more commonly referred to in most written material, but it is not unheard of that a defendant may have to deal with all six types at once.
Determining The Compensation
As is the case with any other criminal charge, courts follow several factors to determine how much financial compensation a plaintiff is eligible to. These factors may include:
- The level of driver negligence, which is often a critical factor when DUI cases are involved
- The victim’s medical needs, which can evolve into long-term or permanent care if the incident led to the plaintiff suffering a disability
- The effect on the plaintiff’s ability to work, which may involve having diminished capacity to work properly instead of being permanently being unable to his or her original job before the incident
- Dram shop laws, or holding an establishment responsible for selling liquor to the defendant immediately prior to the incident
- Pain and suffering, usually involving psychological trauma and emotional trouble
- The possibility that the incident may have been premeditated, whether or not alcohol was involved
- Wrongful death for cases involving fatalities
Nevada Law and DUI Compensation
Compensation for criminal cases, DUI in particular, vary from state to state. Some state laws may prevent a plaintiff from gaining financial compensation entirely if they contributed to the incident in any way, a situation legally described as contributory negligence. Other jurisdictions may require a compensatory sum of such value that the defendant will be convinced to avoid committing the crime in the future, usually enough to put the defendant in dire financial straits after the fact.
Nevada’s legal framework for legal compensation are officially listed in Chapter 42 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. NRS 42.010 focuses on DUI-related compensation in particular, covering all of the DUI-related cases that may involve injury or death. Take note that, according to Nevada law, a plaintiff in a DUI case involving injury or death is not only entitled to the standard financial reparations for physical and mental damages; they are also eligible to receive punitive damages from the plaintiff as a means of discouraging a future repeat of the criminal act. People facing DUI charges in Las Vegas for the first time should take note of this part, as punitive damages can sometimes be worse than other penalties you can face.
Legal compensation for DUI in Las Vegas is meant to both help the plaintiff recover from the incident and to discourage the defendant from being involved in similar situations in the future. If you are charged with DUI in Las Vegas for the first time, you must never overlook the severe consequences of DUI compensation. Never forget to discuss the situation closely with your DUI defense attorney.