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Is Drunk Driving A Civil Or Criminal Case In California?

Answering Questions Of Drunk Driving Victims In California

A civil claim is made to financially compensate victims for the harm they suffered because of a drunk driver. But in most drunk driving injury cases, a related criminal case is also ongoing.

A felony crime under California Vehicle Code Section 23153(b) is causing injury to another person while driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or above.

If you've been in a drunk driving accident, you should consider contacting a prescreened California personal injury attorney to help you sort the case. A California drunk driving accident lawyer knows how difficult it is for victims, financially and emotionally.

That said, here are other crucial things you need to consider should you run into a drunk driver in California:

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What Should You Do After A Drunk Driving Accident In California?

If you get in an accident, the first thing you need to do is get help. The second is to preserve all possible evidence for a potential car accident claim or pedestrian accident claim in California.

If you've been hurt in a car accident, the first thing you should do is dial 911. Both law enforcement and medical assistance should be on hand.

Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, if you can. If the other driver seems intoxicated, watch for any odd behavior, and record a video if you can. That said, if tensions are high or you can't gather evidence at the scene for any reason, your Los Angeles drunk driving injury lawyer can conduct their own investigations and help you solidify your claim.

More importantly, seek a complete medical checkup. Even if you feel good at the moment, an injury could develop later. For example, you could have a concussion, bruising, or other injuries that don't present immediate symptoms.

Your medical records will also prove the extent of physical damages you suffer from the accident. The police report will also be publicly available a few days later, so request a copy to be used as evidence in a California personal injury claim.

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Who Can You Sue For Personal Injury Damages In A Drunk Driving Accident In California?

Multiple people may be held liable under Californian law for accidents caused by drunk drivers. This includes:

  • The owner or employees of the bar or restaurant

  • The party's host

  • Anyone who gave alcohol

  • The driver who was operating a vehicle while intoxicated

Anyone whose negligence led to the accident can be considered liable for personal injury damages in California. As long as you and your California drunk driving accident lawyer can prove that:

  1. The party was negligent

  2. The party had the duty of care

  3. The party breached its duty of care

  4. The breach lead to the victim's accident and injuries

In short, it doesn't have to be just the driver. There could be several people or organizations that could have contributed to your accident. The key to California personal injury claims is negligence. So, whoever has been negligent or careless despite their duty of care can be held liable for car accident claims in Los Angeles.

A skilled California personal injury attorney can:

  • Assess your particular circumstances

  • Decide who should be held accountable for your injuries

  • Suggest the best action to pursue your claims for injuries and other losses

Is There A Deadline For California Drunk Driving Injury Claims?


The injured party in a DUI accident in California has two years from the accident to initiate a lawsuit. This is why it is advisable to submit your claim right away. If your time is over, you can be in a situation where you can't recover awards and damages.

california drunk driving injury lawyer

Find Top-Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles offers a referral service that will match you with an attorney who can best handle your case. If you are unsure about proceeding with your Car Accident Claims in California, we also have a 24/7 live chat for a team to review your case's details.

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