Can I file charges for injuries sustained (as passenger) after driver found Not Guilty for OUI c. 90 sec. 24(1)(a)(1)?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Boston, MA

Driver was charged & prosecuted for: + OUI Liqour c. 90 sec. 24(1)(a)(1) -- Not Guilty + Marked Lanes Violation c. 89 sec. 4A -- Not Responsible, Speeding in Violation of Special Regulation c. 89 sec. 18 -- Not Responsible.
I was / am very seriously injured (as passenger) from the crash & named in police report/narrative. I was excluded as victim from charges / prosecution (perhaps due to assumed negligence of passenger to an accused drunk driver?), and I did not take any action to cause either the auto crash / my injuries. With Not Guilty by Jury verdict, can I have law enforcement file new charges for reckless / negligent operation w. serious injury, or is that double jeopardy? Thanks!
(Driver does not have funds for civil suit & have taken underinsurance / driver's max auto insurance.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Michael D. Kelly

    Contributor Level 6

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Simply because someone is found not guilty / not responsible in criminal proceedings does not preclude a finding of liability in civil proceedings.

    The state has a higher burden in proving guilt in criminal proceedings and many times an individual found not guilty in criminal proceedings will be found liable on the same facts in a civil proceeding. If you have been seriously injured, which it appears you have, you should get in touch with a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and possible claim.

    Give me a call if you would like to discuss on the phone.

    Best of luck.

  2. Terri D. Leary

    Contributor Level 16

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    Lawyers agree

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The Commonwealth cannot now charge the person with additional charges that are similar to/related to the same incident. Civil claim is your only recourse at this point.

    Providing users with information is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. However, if in... more
  3. Brynn Sullivan Zawada

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Speak with a personal injury attorney immediately.

    The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and is expressly not legal advice. This information... more
  4. David B Pittman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You should hire a personal injury ASAP and do not speak to anyone about this expect. Your lawyer.

  5. Benjamin Urbelis

    Contributor Level 11

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, the Commonwealth cannot file charges based on that incident. I'm not sure why you'd want that anyways, if the driver doesn't have any money for you. You could still file a civil suit, but if he doesn't have any assets you might be out of luck. Speak to a personal injury lawyer.

  6. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes



    henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- attorneylebensbaum@verizon.net (978) 749-3606.
    Criminal Law (all courts), Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, theft, SORB, Divorce Child Custody Alimony Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity Juveniles Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury, Guardianship, Conservatorship & Estate Administration & Legal Malpractice. For these & other areas, contact me. Email sent may be copied intercepted or held by computers.

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  7. D. Robin Gouveia

    Contributor Level 7

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A case for personal injury is a civil case. As a passenger in a vehicle, you have the right to bring a claim for your injuries against any other person who was negligent and contributed to the accident which caused your injury. A driver who was found Not Guilty for OUI, can still be found negligent in a civil case for your injuries. The insurance carrier for his vehicle would be placed on notice of your claim and ultimately a settlement for medical bills, lost wages and your pain and suffering would be negotiated. Do not delay. Call or meet with an experienced personal injury attorney right away. All your questions can be answered, your rights should be discussed, and a strategy to protect these rights should be developed.

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