Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in the State of California and if injuries, damages or wrongful death occurred as a result, a DUI personal injury attorney can help with a claim for damages and a wrongful death action.

DUI responsible for Calfornia roadway deaths.

According to the most recent California DUI statistics, there were 1197 alcohol-involved fatalities in 2013 representing almost 40% of fatal crashes in California leading to the need for legal professionals. Driver’s need to take DUI activities more seriously to avoid death to innocent drivers on California roadways.

In the case for DUI, responsibility in a personal injury case will be determined by the judge or jury after it is proven that: the plaintiff was negligent; and the plaintiff’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the injuries and damages after an accident involving DUI.  The total percentage of fault must equal 100% but can be divided between parties and that is how they will be compensated for losses.

Damages award.

If the personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the claim will address the losses to the surviving family including funeral expenses, lost and future wages, and compensation for the loss of companionship, comfort and affection.  Car Insurance and liability covers some payment of awards. California law requires that you have a way to cover costs related to damages or injuries you may have caused in a car accident. Purchasing liability car insurance is the simplest and most common way people choose to meet this requirement.

The minimum amount of liability insurance you must have on your policy is:

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
  • $5,000 for damage to property.

Compensation.

Damages include compensation for replacement or repair of property, costs incurred from medical professionals treating injuries, loss of wages, changes in lifestyle, pain and suffering and wrongful death claims including funeral expenses and future financial losses to family members as pain and suffering due to loss. Because the compensation will be based on the award set by a court of law, it is important for you to keep good records of all costs incurred from the accident.

Comparative Negligence. 

Under California law, “everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person…” meaning that if you were responsible for any part of activities that led to injury, the compensation you will receive will be adjusted in accordance with a percentage of fault assigned to you.  If the accident was caused due to drunk driving, a DUI criminal conviction may have some bearing on the outcome of the personal injury or wrongful death case.

DUI attorneys

Hire a DUI lawyer.

Seek legal counsel immediately after a car crash involving a DUI charge that takes your loved one’s life. It is in your best interests to consult with a lawyer to help sort through a wrongful death claim after the state has resolved DUI-related charges.  Hire an experienced attorney who is familiar with DUI laws in California by contacting the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, who can assist with a personal injury case against the negligent driver.

Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, P.L.C.

501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-233-8021
Fax: 619-233-3730

Sources:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/a299397a-aad1-4022-a3b2-cedc548339d9/DUI_Fact_Sheet_2003-2013.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

https://www.dmv.org/ca-california/automotive-law/dui.php

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-negligence-laws.html