With the exception of Utah, which has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.05%, every state in the United States prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents still occur far too often, causing serious injuries and claiming the lives of innocent victims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that nearly 30 people die in drunk driving crashes in the United States every day—or one person every 50 minutes.
Responsible drinking includes abiding by alcohol-related legislation such as the legal drinking age, public intoxication laws, and drunk driving restrictions. When people violate these laws, their actions have the potential to lead to serious consequences not only for themselves but for their passengers and others on the road.
If an intoxicated driver caused the collision that led to your injuries or the loss of your loved one, a San Diego drunk driving accident lawyer can help you seek compensation. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Drunk Driving Accidents in California
In 2018, California ranked second among states with the highest number of motor vehicle fatalities and the highest number of fatalities involving drunk driving. Almost 1,000 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in California involving a driver who had a BAC of 0.08% or higher, and more than one-third of fatal collisions involved a driver who had some alcohol in their system but remained under the legal limit.
According to an article in the Antelope Valley Times, San Diego in particular has alarming rates of drunk driving, especially when compared to other U.S. cities. With a 62% higher instance of DUI incidents than the national average, nearly 3% of residents have a DUI, and one of every five adults in San Diego County drinks to excess.
If you or a loved one were the victim of an accident caused by someone who drove under the influence, a San Diego drunk driving accident lawyer can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for the harm they caused you.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving lawyer serving San Diego, call 800-959-1444
How Alcohol Affects the Ability to Drive
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that alcohol interferes with communication pathways in the brain, which can make it difficult to control mood, think clearly, or move with coordination. Alcohol abuse can eventually lead to long-term effects on the heart, liver, pancreas, and other major organs in the body, but the short-term effects can prove to be dangerous as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the effects of a person’s BAC after a certain number of standard drinks and how they can impede driving ability.
- Two drinks (BAC 0.02%) can lead to feelings of relaxation, and the person may experience a decline in visual function and trouble dividing their attention.
- Three drinks (BAC 0.03%) may lead to impaired function, the release of inhibition, and exaggerated behavior, which can make it difficult for the person to use coordination, track objects, and respond to emergency situations while driving.
- Four drinks (BAC 0.08%) makes the person more likely to experience poor muscle coordination and impaired judgment, self-control, and reasoning, which can lead to trouble concentrating and controlling speed on the road.
Beyond these limits, the person may have slurred speech, slowed thinking, severe loss of balance, and even vomiting. Unfortunately, many of those who cause drunk driving accidents in San Diego still get on the road despite the dangers associated with their condition.
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in a collision involving an impaired driver, a San Diego drunk driving accident lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you seek financial compensation. Contact us today to learn more.
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What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
When people become victims in drunk driving accidents, they often feel confused about what next steps to take. They may immediately worry about their injuries, their ability to return to work, and how they will care for themselves and their family. A few simple steps can help victims hold the at-fault driver responsible, restabilize their lives, and move forward.
Seek Medical Attention
Medical care takes priority, regardless of your financial status. You may worry that you do not have the money or the insurance coverage to pay your medical bills, but your health matters most. Once your condition has stabilized, you can then seek compensation from the liable driver for your injuries.
In the state of California, the driver who caused the accident must provide coverage for the victim’s injuries. However, insurance companies typically launch their own investigations into accidents right away to determine fault and will sometimes attempt to pin the blame on the victim. Evidence from your accident can help you prove liability and strengthen your case. Documents, statements, and other items that may help include:
- Police reports
- Medical records and bills
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Cell phone records
- Field sobriety test results
Once you have established liability in your case, you can seek financial awards from the at-fault driver.
File a Claim for Compensation
In California, victims and their families usually have two years from the date of the accident or the date of their loved one’s passing to file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance company. This process will likely take time, as it often involves a series of negotiations before the parties decide on a fair settlement amount. If you cannot achieve adequate compensation, you may choose to take your case to trial.
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Contact a San Diego Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If this sounds like too much to handle on your own, the San Diego drunk driving accident lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC are here to help. We understand the burden associated with pursuing legal action in drunk driving cases, especially as you try to recover.
Our team can help you by investigating your case, filing your claim, dealing with settlement negotiations on your behalf, and taking your case to trial if necessary. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation.
Call or text 800-959-1444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form