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Los Angeles Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

if you or a loved one were injured or killed by a drunk driver, it is your right to sue and you could receive significant compensation

Despite the public’s awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, people continue to drink and drive every day in California. These irresponsible drivers put innocent lives in peril every time they get behind the wheel. In fact, thousands of Californians are seriously injured or killed in alcohol and drug-related auto accidents each year.

If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed, due to the actions of a drunk driver in California, you have the right to sue. At J&Y Law Firm, our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys routinely represent drunk driving accident victims throughout the state of California.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you have the right to sue and may be entitled to significant compensation. The legal team at J&Y Law Firm has a well-deserved reputation for aggressively fighting for the rights of our clients and we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation.

What is a DUI in the state of California?

In California, a person can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher while the BAC limit for drivers of commercial vehicles is 0.04 percent. Additionally, there is zero tolerance for driving under the influence for those under the age of 21. If any amount of alcohol is detectable in the blood system of a driver under 21, he or she can be charged with DUI. Finally, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by illegal drugs, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications.

What is the difference between a criminal and civil drunk driving case?

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges in California, like in many other places, often involve two separate cases: a criminal case and a civil case. They differ in terms of their purpose, the burden of proof required, the possible consequences, and the rights of the accused.

  1. Criminal Case: This is the aspect that most people think of when they hear about a DUI charge. It involves potential jail time, fines, and other criminal penalties. This case is handled in a criminal court. The state, represented by a prosecutor, must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant drove under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The accused has a right to a trial by jury, the right to legal counsel, and the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses.
  2. Civil Case: In California, other parties that were injured as a result of a drunk driver can sue the drunk driver for injuries or wrongful death caused by a drunk driving accident. The only thing required for a successful civil lawsuit against a drunk driver is to show that the actions of the drunk driver led to the injury or death of another person. Victims can be awarded compensatory and punitive damages as a result of a civil case against a drunk driver.

In most cases, someone charged with a DUI in California that led to the injury or death of another has to deal with a criminal case in the courts and a civil case with the victims they harmed (and many other consequences such as potentially losing their driver’s license, income or being seriously injured themselves), each with different procedures and potential outcomes. Due to the complexity of the civil court system, it is highly recommended that you consult with a qualified drunk driving accident attorney to guide you through the process of successfully suing a drunk driver.

Drunk Driving Civil Lawsuits

In California, drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care not to injure others while operating a motor vehicle. Although individuals who drive under the influence may face criminal charges, a drunk driver need not be convicted for you to pursue a civil claim because the burden of proof is lower in a civil proceeding than in a criminal proceeding. If the drunk driver is convicted, you may be awarded restitution by the court. If the driver is not convicted or pleads to a lesser charge, it is still possible to obtain compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Recovering Damages in a Drunk Driving Accident

If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident in California, you may be able to recover the following damages:

  • Compensatory Damages – This includes past and future medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and earning capacity as well as an award for your pain and suffering.
  • Punitive Damages – If the motorist who caused the accident has a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, these damages are designed to financially punish that driver’s irresponsible behavior. There are limits to punitive damages, however. In order to be awarded punitive damages you must demonstrate that the other driver acted with conscious disregard of your rights and safety.
  • Wrongful Death – If a family member is killed in a drunk driving accident, the closest surviving relative of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for medical bills incurred prior to the death, funeral expenses, lost future income, property damages, mental anguish, and for loss of care and services.

DUI Statistics

To learn more about the latest data and statistics surrounding DUI accidents, you can view our new page at https://jnylaw.com/practice-areas/car-accident/causes-los-angeles/drunk-driving-accidents/dui-accidents-statistics/. The page will be updated whenever new research and reports are made available.

Why You Should Call J&Y Law Firm for Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim

Our experienced attorneys are keenly aware that drunk driving accident victims are often left with significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens. We are here to help lift that burden by offering you knowledge, compassion, and a superior level of personal service.

Because these claims typically involve intricate and detailed negotiations with insurance companies, many accident victims never receive the full value of their claims. Driven by profits, insurers typically offer quick settlements for as little money as possible. We will vigorously fight for your right to the maximum compensation, including unexpected expenses such as those for future surgeries and treatments. If the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement, we will litigate the case in court.

At J&Y Law Firm, all accident cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means you will not pay any attorneys fees unless your claim is successful. It is important to note that the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit in California is two years from the date of the accident. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident, call our office today for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.

J&Y Law Firm represents drunk driving accident victims in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, San Francisco County, and Sacramento Counties.