DUI Accidents Require Special Attention
Nearly 30 people in the United States die every day as a result of accidents caused by drug or alcohol impairment. Tragically, all such accidents are preventable. But despite public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, intoxicated drivers are on San Diego roadways at all times.
Drivers causing crashes while under the influence face not only criminal prosecution but also civil liability to their victims. DUI defendants may be ordered to pay not only compensatory damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and inconvenience but also punitive damages and potentially even their victim’s attorney’s fees. These are potentially complex cases, and it is not always easy to prove DUI, especially when marijuana or drugs are involved. It’s thus critical to seek experienced legal representation.
Some DUI facts:
- More than a quarter (25%) of all traffic-related deaths are the direct result of alcohol impairment. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA)
- As of 2020, nearly 300,000 people per year are injured in DUI accidents. (NHTSA)
- Over 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents in 2018. (NHTSA)
- Drivers with a blood alcohol content of over .10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than sober drivers. (Responsibility.org)
Seek Seasoned Legal Advice
While most injury cases settle, DUI accidents present additional considerations. Sometimes criminal prosecution of the at-fault driver delays the resolution of the injury case. In California, a victim of a drunk driving accident typically has two years to file a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached. But there may be far shorter deadlines that make prompt action essential.
The damages available in an accident case involving alcohol or drugs may be greater than in a non-DUI case. Some attorneys push their clients to accept quick settlements and don’t always consider the long-term implications of doing so. At Coast Law Group LLP, we take great pride in seeking justice for DUI victims and helping strategize so as to maximize our client’s compensation.
Types Of Damages
Victims of accidents are often entitled to compensation, called damages. While the amount of recoverable damages varies case by case and victim by victim, DUI cases may allow for additional damages. Damages sought in a DUI case may include:
- Medical expenses: These include the costs of any medical services associated with the accident, including consultations, surgeries, hospitalization, prescription medications, etc. Future medical expenses may also be recoverable if additional care is expected.
- Lost wages: If a DUI victim misses work because of an accident, he or she may be able to recover lost income, even if their paycheck was not reduced. Victims who suffer long-term injuries may also be eligible to recover future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: Noneconomic damages include not just physical and emotional pain and suffering but also inconvenience, anxiety, humiliation, disfigurement and other types of harm.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages may be awarded against a DUI driver as a form of punishment where it can be shown that the defendant knew of the likelihood their conduct would cause injury.
If You’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver
Always first take care of your health and safety. Call 911 if you sustained an injury and need medical care and get out of the roadway and to a safe place.
If anyone was injured, you are required by law to notify the California Highway Patrol or local police within 24 hours after the accident. You also need to file a report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles if there were injuries, fatalities or any property damage worth more than $1,000.
We Are Here To Help
Contact Coast Law Group LLP at 760-670-4554 to discuss your options for legal action and potential compensation. An attorney on our injury team will thoroughly review your case, independently investigate the accident and interface with insurance adjusters. We will help you navigate the road ahead to ensure that you are treated fairly and that justice is diligently pursued.