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Were You A Victim of A Drunk Driver?

Updated: Apr 22

Filing Civil Claims Against Negligent Drunk Drivers

Are you a survivor of a drunk driver's irresponsibility? Have you been injured as a result of a drunk driver's negligence? You have legal rights, and you can file a lawsuit and recover substantial damages from an accident with the assistance of an experienced and committed solicitor. Drunk driving injuries occur daily, and the consequences can be catastrophic. It's important that your rights are secured if you're in a drunk driving accident.

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In Los Angeles, drinking and driving are illegal.

According to California Vehicle Code 23152, a driver is considered intoxicated on the road if her blood alcohol content reaches the legal limit of 0.08 percent. If the person in question is driving a commercial vehicle while inebriated, the BAC (blood alcohol level) limit is even lower, at 0.04 percent. Underage drivers must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than 0.05 percent to prevent being charged with drunk driving.

Following an accident, police officers or legal authorities on the scene must measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of all involved parties to ascertain whether they are intoxicated and to what extent they are intoxicated. If the appropriate parties fail to submit to tests, they can be charged with both negligence on the road and drunk driving under California Vehicle Code 23612.

Even if the person who caused your crash cannot be found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), you can always speak with one of our prescreened Personal Injury Lawyers about your legal options. Depending on the damages our team decides you will get, an applicable party may also be subject to civil liability suits.

Statistics on Drunk Driving

According to data from the California Highway Patrol, the following happened in 2017:

  • More than 10,300 people were killed in California drunk driving crashes between 2003 and 2012.

  • The most likely to drive drunk are drivers between the ages of 21 and 34.

  • 1.8 percent of California drivers confess to driving under the influence of alcohol on occasion. The national average is 1.9 percent, so this figure is slightly lower.

  • Between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., almost half of all drunk driving deaths in California occur.

  • While the total number of drunk driving deaths in the United States decreased between 2009 and 2018, the rate of drunk driving deaths in California rose by more than 8%.

  • A driver with a blood-alcohol level of.15 or higher was involved in nearly 70% of all drunk driving deaths.

  • In California, over 127,000 people were arrested for drunk driving in 2018.

  • More than 22% of drunk drivers who cause fatal car accidents have been convicted of drunk driving in the past.

  • In California, alcohol-related traffic fatalities account for 30% of all traffic deaths.

In California, the following are the most common forms of drunk driving accidents:

  1. colliding with something

  2. crashing into another car from behind

  3. Accidents on the broadside

  4. Rollovers are when something unexpected happens.

  5. Collisions that occur head-on

Civil vs. Criminal Claims

Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics is illegal in California, as it is in most other states, and those who commit DUI crimes face a variety of penalties, including fines, prison time, and driver's license suspensions. Drivers who are convicted and found guilty of drinking and driving can face criminal charges and penalties. In California, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is.08 percent means that any driver caught with a higher BAC will be charged with a DUI. Any driver under the age of 21 who has any detectable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream will be arrested if their BAC is.01 or higher.

However, it's important to remember that victims of drunk driving incidents are unlikely to obtain monetary compensation if the driver is convicted. Individuals and families should instead file a civil lawsuit known as a personal injury claim to recover costs such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage in a civil claim known as a personal injury claim. When a person is killed in a drunk driving accident, their surviving family members will file a wrongful death lawsuit to cover funeral expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship. Individuals must prove that the at-fault driver was negligent (driving while intoxicated) and that this negligence caused their injury and damages.

The Risks of Drinking and Driving

Anyone who has had a drink at a party or even a glass of wine with dinner has seen the effects of alcohol on their body and mind. Alcohol impairs your motor functions, impairs your reasoning, and impairs your ability to make judgments – all of which are critical attributes for driving a car—as a consequence, driving while inebriated significantly increases the chances of being involved in an accident and hurting yourself or others. Even though California's BAC limit is.08, driving with any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream is risky.

Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.

What Effect Does Alcohol Have on Driving Ability?

The harmful effects on a person's central nervous system increase as the amount of alcohol in their system rises. Alcohol is ingested directly into the stomach and small intestine walls. It then travels to the bloodstream, where it gathers until the liver processes it.

  • Drunk driving is generally determined by the weight of alcohol in one deciliter of blood, which is known as blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A Breathalyzer system or a blood test may be used to determine BAC.

  • Driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent is illegal in all states, including California. The legal limit for commercial vehicle drivers, such as big trucks, vans, and rideshare vehicles like Uber and Lyft, is 0.04 percent. In other words, commercial drivers who have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher can be charged with DUI and lose their driver's license.

This is due to the fact that your blood alcohol content does not have to be 0.08 percent to have an effect on your driving ability. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair a person's ability to drive. In 2016, 2,017 people died in traffic crashes involving drivers who had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01 percent to 0.07 percent.

Drunk driving can cause fatal collisions in the following ways:

  • Reduced concentration: Drivers must keep their eyes and ears on the road at all times, but alcohol decreases a person's attention span significantly. Drunk drivers are more likely to have trouble controlling their pace, remaining in their path, and becoming mindful of other vehicles on the road as a result of this.

  • Alcohol slows a person's reaction rate, which means an intoxicated driver would have less time to brake or swerve to avoid a road danger, increasing the risk of an accident. Alcohol may also impair a driver's balance, making it difficult to locate their car's brakes, switch, or change lanes.

  • Reduced vision: When a person drinks excessively, their vision may begin to blur, or they may see double. As a result, a drunk driver operating a vehicle on the road can be extremely dangerous. Drivers may have difficulty measuring distance and may miss certain hazards or items that are ahead of them.

  • Inhibited judgment: Intoxicated people's judgment is impaired, and as a consequence, they're more likely to make risky decisions. Drunk drivers are more likely to make abrupt turns or lane changes without thought, and they are more likely to drive faster than the speed limit.

Is it true that drunk drivers are still liable for damages?

In the vast majority of drunk driving collisions, the driver would be held legally liable for the damages. However, determining liability in an accident can be difficult, and it's likely that others are to blame in your case. If the drunk driver who caused the injury was on the job at the time of the crash, for example, their employer might be held responsible.

Dram shop laws can keep bars, restaurants, and other establishments liable for drunk driving accidents, but they are uncommon in California. A survivor will file a negligence lawsuit against a waiter or bartender if it is discovered that they served the driver when they were still inebriated.

Since each case is unique, it is important to have an experienced Drunk Driver Accident Attorney by your side.

Delegating Fault and Establishing Your Responsibilities

Though drinking and driving is still a serious crime in California, the state still assigns percentages to all parties involved in accidents. According to California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) Section 405, you can be responsible for costs after an accident even if you are not at fault. Our prescreened Drunk Driver Accident Attorneys will assist you in determining where you stand in the eyes of the law, what expenses you can incur, and whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your losses.

It's also worth noting that DUIs and negligence civil cases often overlap. If a driver is convicted of a DUI in California, this acts as sufficient evidence of negligence, potentially expanding the compensation options. Similarly, regardless of what car you were driving at the time of the crash, whether it was a motorcycle or a truck, you might discuss a case against a person suspected of being intoxicated. If you were a pedestrian and were injured due to a drunk driver's negligence, you have similar privileges.

Have You Been Injured in a DUI Accident in Los Angeles?

There are some steps you should take to protect your legal rights and choices if you have been involved in a Los Angeles DUI accident.

Call the cops. Stop at the scene or somewhere nearby that is secure, and stay there until authorities arrive. Officers will assist by assisting at the accident scene and determining how the accident happened. Inform the responding officer if you believe the other driver was under the influence or was behaving erratically at the time of the accident. If the victims or relatives of deceased DUI victims file a complaint, this knowledge may be crucial.

Get medical help as soon as possible. If you've been hurt, it's important to seek medical attention, medication, and care as soon as possible. Do not refuse care if medical services arrive on the scene. If you have any signs of injury, such as pain or bleeding, go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. And if you don't have any symptoms right away, see the doctor and make sure you haven't had any internal trauma or other injuries that don't show signs right away.

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