Drunk drivers make the road unsafe for everyone. Sadly, despite the fact that the risks and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances are well-known, drunk driving accidents in California remain a problem.
Crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities rose sharply in 2020 and 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency identified impairment, speeding, and lack of seat belt use as the primary factors driving this disturbing and deadly trend.
Were you hurt—or did you lose a loved one—in an accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of an impairing substance? You may be entitled to compensation for your related injuries and damages. Our skilled and experienced Riverside injury lawyer at Inland Empire Law Group can help you understand your legal rights and options, and fight for the fair recovery you deserve. Keep reading for key information on drunk driving accidents in California.
How Alcohol and Drugs Affect Driving Performance
Consuming alcohol or illegal drugs—as well as certain prescription or over-the-counter meds—can impact judgment and alertness, making drivers slower to react to hazards and less likely to make good choices when they do. In addition to making it difficult for drivers to differentiate between behavior that is right or wrong, safe or unsafe, drug or alcohol impairment can also cause reduced visibility that makes it particularly hard to see things at a distance, as well as blurred or double vision.
Getting Help After Drunk Driving Accidents in California
Injured, temporarily or permanently unable to work, and watching your accident-related medical bills and other expenses mount? Struggling to cope financially (or emotionally) after losing a loved one in drunk driving accidents in California that they didn't cause? There's far too much at stake to go it alone. Reach out to our exceptional Riverside injury lawyer and team for help. After we review and accept your case, we will thoroughly investigate the collision, gather vital evidence, interview witnesses, consult experts, and more—all to build the strongest possible claim for damages.
What You Could Recover and What You Have to Prove
Potential personal injury damages in a drunk driving accidents or wrongful death cases in California depend heavily on the availability and quality of evidence, as well as the knowledge, experience, and skill of the attorneys representing you and the defendant(s). Here's what you should know.
Personal Injury Cases
Damages in a drunk driving personal injury case may include compensation for related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. A judge or jury may also award punitive damages under limited circumstances, which damages are intended to punish defendants for particularly heinous conduct. To secure damages in a personal injury case, you and our Riverside injury lawyer must prove:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care (to operate their vehicle safely)
- The defendant breached that duty (by driving under the influence)
- The defendant's breach of duty caused or contributed to the crash in question
- You suffered injuries and damages as a result
Wrongful Death Cases
Recovery in a California wrongful death case may include compensation for the income, gifts, and benefits the deceased would have likely provided in the remainder of their life, as well as the value of lost household services, and funeral and burial expenses. Surviving family members can also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as loss of the decedent's love, companionship, protection, training, and guidance. You and our Riverside injury lawyer must show:
- The defendant failed to exercise reasonable care
- Your loved one died
- The death was the result of the defendant's negligent or malicious action
- You and your family have suffered a substantial loss because of the death
Criminal Prosecution vs. Civil Litigation
Was the driver who caused your accident charged with—or convicted of—a DUI? If so, this could serve as valuable evidence in your case. Talk to our experienced Riverside injury lawyer and our legal team to learn more.
Schedule a Complimentary Case Review With Our Riverside Injury Lawyer
Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation review of our Riverside injury lawyer with years of experience with drunk driving accidents in California.