Drunk drivers are a danger to themselves and all other road users. Unfortunately, alcohol-related accidents have been on the rise in California in recent years. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, over a thousand people died in alcohol-related car accidents in California in 2016 alone, an increase of 16.2 percent from 2015.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. California’s driving under the influence laws are some of the strictest in the country, and an offense can result in fines as well as jail time.
If you suffered extensive injuries and property damage in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consult with a San Francisco drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as you can.
If you or a loved one got hurt by someone else’s recklessness, you could qualify to recover compensation. Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help. Call us today for a free evaluation of your accident case by dialing 800-959-1444.
Proving Negligence in a Drunk Driving Accident
While drunk driving is a criminal offense, a drunk driver is not automatically liable for your damages. The issue in a car accident is typically who was at fault for the accident, as this determines liability for any damages. If one driver was intoxicated, they usually fall under the suspicion of having caused the accident; however, in order to have a case, you will generally need to prove that:
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer serving San Francisco, call 800-959-1444
The At-Fault Driver Owed You Duty of Care
Generally, all road users have a duty of care towards each other, which means that all should take reasonable care to avoid causing bodily harm or property damage to others in traffic.
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The Other Driver Breached That Duty
In a car accident, the at-fault party breached the duty of care when they did not operate their car with reasonable care. You could argue that by driving intoxicated, the other driver is already breaching that duty.
The Breach Caused the Accident
In order to receive compensation, you must prove that the driver’s intoxication caused or contributed to the accident and your damages.
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There Are Damages
In order to receive compensation and have a case against an intoxicated driver, you must have damages, for example, serious injuries, medical bills, property damage, and others.
While intoxication may play a part in proving negligence, in order to recover compensation, you might still need evidence that the car accident was the fault of the intoxicated driver.
A San Francisco drunk driving accident lawyer can stand by your side and help you prove negligence and fault.
Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
Suffering injuries in a crash with a drunk driver can be painful and disabling. Serious injuries can also come with enormous costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidents involving alcohol cause $44 billion in annual costs in the U.S. Some of the injuries suffered in drunk driving accidents can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Lacerations and burns
- Psychological effects
Some of the injuries suffered in a serious accident with a drunk driver can be devastating and disabling, or cause permanent disfigurement. Victims may need prolonged and expensive treatment.
A victim may be unable to work for some time or may not ever be able to return to the career they had before the accident. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you have the choice to work with a San Francisco drunk driving accident lawyer who can handle your legal case while you focus on your recovery.
Drunk Driving Accident Compensation
If you are able to prove that a drunk driver is responsible for your accident and losses, you could receive the following types of compensation, among others:
- Costs of hospital stays
- Medical treatment costs
- Medical devices and accessories
- Rehabilitation treatment
- Any future medical expenses relating to your injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of life quality
- Loss of a limb or a sense
A San Francisco drunk driving accident lawyer can advise you on compensation that may be available to you, as well as help you assess and calculate your damages.
California Statute of Limitations on Drunk Driving Accidents
Under California law, you can bring a civil action against the party responsible for causing the drunk driving accident. We encourage you to take time to think through your decision to pursue legal action, but we also want you to know your window of time to do so is limited.
In California, you generally have two years from the date of your accident to file your action in civil court, per the statute of limitations under California Code Civil Procedure § 335.1.
It can benefit you and your attorney in several ways to start on your case as soon as possible. Your lawyer will need time to review your claims and evidence and take care of other important matters and documents in addition to filing your lawsuit in court on time.
Missing this statute of limitations has grave consequences. If your case is not filed by the end of the two-year period, it will be dismissed along with your chance to recover financial awards.
The legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, will ensure that your lawsuit is filed with the court on time.
Call a member of our team at 800-959-1444 today to set up a free consultation today. We are ready to hear the details of the drunk driving accident that left you with injuries and help you explore your legal options.
Call Us Today
If you suffered extensive injuries and property damage in an accident with a drunk driver, do not waste any time and contact us today for help. We understand that you may still be healing from your injuries and might be hesitant to take on the at-fault party.
We can work on your case while you concentrate on your health and recovery. We can help you by:
- Offering professional legal advice and guidance.
- Gathering the necessary evidence for your case.
- Identifying and supplying expert witnesses for your case.
- Negotiating with insurances on your behalf.
- Fighting for your rights and compensation in court.
- Working for you on a contingency fee basis.
We believe that when a reckless drunk driver causes an accident, you should not have to pay for any of the financial losses incurred and deserve fair compensation for your losses. Your San Francisco drunk driving accident lawyer can provide guidance and representation for your case.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today and learn how you could hold a drunk driver accountable. You can reach us at 800-959-1444.