California drunk driving accidents remain a serious and dangerous problem for drivers across the state. Those who drive while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs put every other driver on the road of injury. In an instant, a drunk driver can destroy the lives of innocent victims by causing severe personal injuries that last a lifetime, or even death.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident in Southern California, our law firm can help. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we have a record of winning significant damage awards for clients throughout Southern California. Contact our law firm today to learn how we can help you seek damages for your injuries caused by a drunk driver.
Drunk Driving Accidents Are a Serious Problem In Southern California
California law imposes strict penalties for drunk driving, yet drivers continue to drive while intoxicated every day. Alcohol consumption causes a driver’s reaction time to slow down, and it impairs judgment. When a person drives after consuming alcohol, he or she is much more likely to cause an accident than sober drivers. Drunk drivers commonly cause the following dangerous accidents:
- Head-On Accidents
- Rear-End Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Wrong-Way Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Multiple Vehicle Pile-Up Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
In the United States, one out of three deaths from car accidents involves a drunk driver. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 470,000 California drivers reported driving while intoxicated in 2016. That year, 1,059 people died in drunk driving accidents in California. In addition to causing tragic deaths, drunk driving accidents also cause lasting personal injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Recovering Compensation from the Drunk Driver’s Insurance Policy
If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you can seek compensation by filing an insurance claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, many drivers do not carry motor vehicle insurance. When the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance, you might need to file an underinsured or uninsured driver claim with your own insurance company.
We recommend hiring an experienced attorney to advocate on your behalf. Insurance companies typically try to pay as little as possible. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we negotiate with insurance companies to help our clients recover the full compensation you deserve. We understand how insurance companies operate and are prepared to negotiate with them on your behalf.
Who Is Legally Responsible for Drunk Driving Accidents in Southern California?
When we meet with a potential client, we sit down and carefully listen to their story. After reviewing the facts of their case, we determine which personal or company is legally responsible for their injuries. In some cases, several parties could be liable. For example, when a drunk teen driver causes an accident, the plaintiff may be able to hold the teen and the parents jointly and severally liable for their injuries.
Drunk Drivers Are Legally Responsible For The Injuries They Cause
Every person who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle is legally responsible for his or her actions. Being intoxicated is not a valid defense for causing a car accident. On the contrary, being drunk is evidence of negligence. Under California law, drivers owe other drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists a duty of reasonable care.
When a person drives while intoxicated, he or she breaches the duty of care and becomes legally responsible for all of the damages. Victims of drunk driving accidents will need to prove that the driver who caused the accident was drunk to recover damages. Police reports from the accident should state whether the driver took a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test. Witness testimony can also prove that the driver was drunk when the accident happened.
Bar and Restaurant Owners And Staff
Restaurants and bars can be liable for the injuries caused by drunk driving accidents. Under California’s dram shop laws, victims of drunk driving accidents can bring lawsuits against restaurants, bars, and social hosts who serve alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated. When a restaurant serves alcohol to an intoxicated person who leaves and causes a fatal car accident, the victim’s family can hold the restaurant liable for their loved one’s wrongful death.
Common Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving Accidents
The severity of injuries caused by drunk driving accidents depends on multiple factors. Typically, the faster the speed, the more serious the injuries. Head-on collisions are often the most dangerous in terms of injuries. Injuries caused by drunk driving accidents include:
- Broken ribs
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and bruises
- Internal bleeding
- Knee trauma
- Back injuries, including herniated discs
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Traumatic brain injuries
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
The most important thing to do after a drunk driving accident is to seek medical treatment immediately. Keeping a well-documented record of all of your medical treatment will help you as you pursue a personal injury claim. If you have not yet undergone a comprehensive medical evaluation, our law firm can help you arrange to complete one.
Following all of your doctor’s instructions and orders is extremely important. If your doctor recommends that you follow up with a specialist, you should do so as soon as possible. Defendants in lawsuits often claim that the injured person didn’t suffer an injury, or made his or her injury worse by not following the doctor’s recommendations.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today
The sooner you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, the better. The best way to recover compensation for your injuries is to work with a skilled lawyer. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we will investigate the facts of your case and advocate for you to recover the compensation you deserve. Successful plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain, and suffering. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.