LOS ANGELES DRUNK DRIVING & CAR ACCIDENTS LAWYER
Drunk Driving & Auto Accidents
A collision with a driver who was impaired by alcohol is one of the most heart-breaking ways a person can be injured in an accident. Drunk driving accidents are preventable, and yet nationally a person is killed about once per hour in a crash with an impaired driver, and someone is injured about once every two minutes.
The California Department of Transportation reports that three out of 10 Americans — that’s nearly 100 million people — will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives.
Auto accidents involving intoxicated drivers can be worse than accidents involving non-impaired drivers. Intoxicated drivers may be experiencing blurred vision and slowed reaction time. A sober driver who is negligent still may be able to react in a collision in a way that may lessen the impact.
An intoxicated driver is less likely to be able to try to swerve out of the way or step on the brakes simply because his or her thought processes and ability to react are not working at full capacity.
If you’ve been injured in a collision with an intoxicated driver, you may be feeling overwhelmed since there are criminal processes involved as well as the potential for a civil case.
You may not be aware that you have the right to pursue civil action for recovery of your medical expenses and other damages if the impaired driver who caused your crash is going to jail for DUI. A consultation with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you better understand your rights and the possibility for recovery in your case.
CALIFORNIA DRUNK DRIVING CIVIL LAWSUITS
In addition to pressing criminal charges, the victims of drunk driving accidents and their families have the right to pursue claims in civil court to recover monetary damages. If a drunk driver is arrested for, or convicted of, DUI or DWI in California, you have the right to file a civil claim immediately. You do not have to wait for the criminal trial to conclude before you pursue civil legal action.
The procedures and verdicts in your civil case will be separate from the criminal case. While a conviction in criminal court may help your civil case, the drunk driver does not have to be convicted in criminal court for you to file a civil claim.
The level of proof required to win a civil claim is lower than the level required to obtain a conviction in criminal court. There may be many reasons why a drunk driver is not convicted in criminal court that do not apply to civil cases, so even if the drunk driver is not convicted, you may still seek compensation through a civil claim.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS?
A number of parties may be held responsible for drunk driving accidents, including drivers, hosts, bartenders and owners of restaurants etc.