If you're hit by a drunk driver you obviously have a claim against the drunk driver for personal injuries, but there are some unique issues in a drunk driver case that are not present in your typical automobile accident case. Number one is you may have a punitive damages claim against the drunk driver. Punitive damages is a separate category of damages that you're entitled to that are designed to punish the defendant for what they did. In your typical automobile accident case you don't get a separate category of damages to punish. Now whether or not you can get punitive damages depends on the particulars of the case. One of the things you need to find out is how intoxicated the drunk driver was, but finding out their blood alcohol level is key. Additionally, it's helpful to find out whether they've had prior DUIs or prior alcohol-related incidents because those factors all play into whether you can get punitive damages. The idea is you have to show that the drunk driver was not only being negligent, but that they were being reckless.
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