If the drunk driver is successful in doing so and not apprehended until later, it may have some impact on any personal injury case brought by an injured party.
How it impacts the case will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
Most drunk drivers flee with the idea that even if they do not escape entirely, at least they will have time to sober up before the police find them.
In cases where the police are able to track down the driver shortly after the collision, the police still may be able to conduct a full investigation into the driver’s intoxication, and the only impact on the evidence in the personal injury case will be that the drunk driver will appear in an even more negative light for having left the scene of accident.
Where enough time has passed before the driver is caught that the police are unable to meaningfully investigate the condition of the driver at the time of the collision, proving he or she was intoxicated at the time of the accident may be more difficult.
Fortunately, in a personal injury case, it is not necessary to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt as is the case for criminal charges.
Because the legal standard of proof is lower, a jury may still conclude that a driver was intoxicated based on eyewitness accounts of the driver’s actions and appearance prior to the collision or at the accident scene, evidence of having consumed alcohol prior to driving, and the fact that the driver chose to flee rather than wait for law enforcement.
Juries tend not to give the benefit of the doubt to drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which also may be helpful when bringing a personal injury claim.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, we are experienced personal injury lawyers who can help you.
Call us at 716-542-5444 for a legal consultation.