California Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Drinking and driving is a serious problem in California. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that as of 2019, there were at least 1,000 intoxicated driving accident deaths annually in California. Each and every one of those deaths was preventable.
If you are a drunk driving accident victim, you are not alone. In this blog post, the experienced California drunk driving accident attorneys at Silva Injury Law, Inc. will explain what intoxicated driving means under California law. We will also discuss the elements of a drunk driving lawsuit and how to hold negligent drivers responsible and get the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact us today.
What Is Intoxicated Driving?
Under California law, intoxicated driving includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are over 21 years old, there is a certain small amount of alcohol you can legally have in your blood and still drive without penalty. If you are under 21 years of age, there is no acceptable level of blood alcohol you can have and operate a motor vehicle.
Whether you are over the age of 21 or not, driving with any amount of drugs or alcohol in the system can be incredibly dangerous. If you are a drunk driving accident victim, speak with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Intoxicated Driving Is Negligent Driving
It seems obvious: Intoxicated driving is negligent driving. From the legal perspective, however, California is a fault-based car accident state. You will have to prove that the drunk driver who harmed you acted negligently when you became their drunk driving accident victim. One of the California drunk driving accident attorneys on the Silva Injury Law, Inc. team can help explain this in detail. We can help you build your drunk driving lawsuit.
Holding Intoxicated Drivers Accountable
Unfortunately, holding drunk drivers accountable can be harder than it seems. California is not only a fault state. It is also a “comparative negligence” state. This means each driver can share some responsibility for the accident. In a drunk driving lawsuit, the intoxicated driver may try to reduce their liability by claiming the accident was partly your fault.
Who Is Liable In A Drunk Driving Lawsuit?
Drunk driving lawsuits are unique because people who never drank a drop of liquor or set foot in a car can sometimes be held responsible for a drunk driving crash. Potentially liable parties may include:
- Restaurants and bars,
- Party hosts, and
- Parents of underage drivers.
These are just a few non-driver parties who may be responsible for a drunk driving lawsuit. Typically, bars and restaurants are held liable through something called a dram shop law. These laws hold bars and restaurants accountable for contributing to the negligent acts of intoxicated patrons. Dram shop laws usually apply when an establishment serves alcohol to a person who is already clearly intoxicated or underage. Understanding the right parties to sue may be crucial to your drunk driving lawsuit.
What Is My Potential Recovery?
Your potential recovery in a drunk driving lawsuit depends on the facts of your individual case. Damages that drunk driving victims and their family members typically claim include:
- Past and future medical bills,
- Loss of consortium,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Emotional distress,
- Physical disfigurement and disability, and
- Wrongful death.
Speaking with knowledgeable California drunk driving accident attorneys can help you understand what your potential recovery may be.
How Long Do I Have to File a Drunk Driving Lawsuit?
Drunk driving lawsuits, like all personal injury claims in California, are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Be sure to speak to a drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to avoid missing the opportunity to seek compensation.
SPEAK WITH ONE OF OUR CALIFORNIA DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
Don’t attempt to handle a drunk driving lawsuit on your own. The Silva Injury Law, Inc. team has years of experience representing drunk driving accident victims. We understand the complex nature of these cases and the tactics insurance companies use to keep from paying out any money. Contact us today by phone or through our online form for a free case consultation.
Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases, including: