What is Restitution and What Does it Have to Do With DUIs?

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you probably have several questions about what your options are and what your next steps should be. At McAleer Law, our experienced DUI injury attorneys handle cases like this all the time, and are ready to answer any of your questions. First, check out this guide to the types of compensation you may be eligible to collect. Call us today at 404.MCALEER if you have more questions or to schedule a free review of your case.

Monetary Costs of DUI Cases

What types of fines are associated with DUIs?

There are two types of fines that can be imposed on individuals who have been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Criminal fines are used as a deterrent to prevent the defendant from committing similar crimes and can vary depending on state law, the circumstances of the event, and the appointed judge. Criminal fines are typically issued during criminal proceedings.
  • Restitution, on the other hand, is frequently sought during a civil proceeding. For DUI cases, restitution involves any economic damage that stemmed from the incident.

What are economic damages?

Victims of DUIs can sue for any economic damages they incur from the incident. These damages can include medical bills, car replacement and repairs, property damage, loss of income, rental fees, and attorney fees. While the court will not consider restitution related to pain and suffering, any tangible economic losses can be considered for restitution.

Who decides how much restitution must be paid?

In DUI cases, the judge (not a jury) decides how much restitution will be paid by the defendant. While they often make this decision based on evidence presented by the defendant, they can consider everything from victim testimony to financial documents when making this decision.

Will the defendant’s insurance cover restitution?

While insurance can certainly be helpful, it is possible too that the judge will order the defendant to pay more than the insurance will cover. Even after your insurance company settles the victim’s claim, the judge can still issue fines for the defendant.

What about their insurance?

Even if the plaintiff has insurance and has been compensated for medical costs or repairs, you might still be responsible for covering their cost, depending on the judge’s ruling.

What if the defendant can’t afford to pay?

Even in situations where the defendant does not have the means to pay the restitution fines, the judge can take measures to make sure the plaintiff is collecting money. These fines can follow the defendant through probation and beyond, and they will not be expunged, even if the defendant declares bankruptcy.

Still have questions? Contact McAleer Law Today

The experienced attorneys at McAleer Law in Atlanta can help you navigate the ins and outs of the financial costs of a DUI case. Contact us today if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver and our Atlanta DUI lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve.