Were You Hit By A Drunk Driver? Your Legal Options in California

Find A California Personal Injury Lawyer for Drunk Driver Accidents


Drivers under the influence pose dangers on the road. They can also pose hazards to other drivers and passing pedestrians. If you've been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you might need a Personal Injury Attorney in California to help you sue them.


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What's Being Done About Drunk Drivers in California?

Sobriety tests are performed to determine whether or not someone is drunk. In rare cases, police officers would make traffic arrests based on the suspicion that a driver is intoxicated (the officer can sometimes tell by the suspect's poor driving). The officer may ask the motorist to do a field sobriety test to see if they are intoxicated.


In most cases, an officer will request permission to conduct the tests in question. Examples include:

  • Walking in a straight line (heel-toe).

  • Standing on one foot while counting aloud.

  • Allowing the suspect to follow a pen with their eyes.

In rare situations, the officer may employ a Breathalyzer or transport the suspected driver to a hospital for a urinalysis.


While the drunk driver will have to face a case of their own, you can still sue them for the injuries and damages they caused you. Vehicular crashes can cost you a lot in medical bills, lost wages, and psychological harm, so consult a California Personal Injury Lawyer to assist you.

What Happens If You Get Hurt By A Drunk Driver?

If you were hurt due to someone driving inebriated, you might have a strong Personal Injury Claim in California.


A personal injury claim can be filed when one party injures or physically harms another, most typically owing to a failure to act with reasonable care or caution in a specific situation. Any personal injury claim will have its own set of circumstances, and it can be challenging to predict how each individual will approach a claim.


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The majority of DUI-related injuries, on the other hand, are relatively straightforward. If the defendant is determined to be driving while intoxicated under California law, and their negligence caused any of your injuries, you may have a case.

In such a scenario, you've already made a compelling case. However, the forms of compensation you are entitled to are exclusively determined by the outcome of your case in court.


In this context, negligence is defined as one party's failure to uphold a duty of care in a certain circumstance. It is an integral part of any personal injury lawsuit in California. The victim's pain and suffering, medical bills, and ongoing medical expenses are typically covered by the negligent party's insurance coverage.


What Does a California Personal Injury Claim Entail?


The most common definition of "negligence" is the inability to exercise proper caution. Along with their California Personal Injury Lawyer, a plaintiff or survivor must show that the defendant in the claim was indirectly responsible for the plaintiff's injuries to win the case.


It's critical to pinpoint the duty of care violation and offer a detailed analysis of all costs incurred due to the offense. Proving the opposing party's liability in the case is one of the most important parts of obtaining full compensation in your claim. The bulk of accident and injury lawsuits will rest on proving the defendant's carelessness.

On the other hand, a DUI is already regarded as a negligent act if established following an investigation. Therefore, the next stage is to determine and quantify the damages you need to pay.

As you construct your personal injury claim, your California Personal Injury Lawyer will alert you to any situations in your case that could complicate the legal process. In California, personal injury litigants face several challenges, including the unpredictability of liability among numerous parties and comparative negligence.


What Damages Are Payable When You Sue A Drunk Driver?

Under California law, there are two types of damages awarded in personal injury cases: economic and non-economic damages.

  • The term 'tangible losses' is used to describe economic damages. A financial specialist can quickly itemize and summarize these. This comprises any monetary losses incurred as a result of the incident. Future losses can usually be calculated as long as your California Personal Injury Attorney can show it in court.

  • Non-economic damages are damages that are "more intangible." This covers anything that cannot be clearly quantifiable, such as Economic Damages, which are frequently referred to as "Human Damages." These could include mental and psychological issues that you wouldn't have had if you hadn't been injured.

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How Do You Measure Pain and Suffering Damages in California?


Even the most catastrophic injuries necessitate documentation of suffering and anguish. You and your legal team can accomplish this in a variety of ways:

  • The injured party will still testify about the extent and duration of their discomfort.

  • The doctor and relatives, and friends will attest to the injured party's pain.

  • Evidence that the injured party sought medical help for their pain and suffering is crucial in court and throughout mediation sessions.

The amount of pain and suffering damages granted must be fair or reasonable as a prerequisite, but there are no set restrictions on how much you can sue for. The jury is instructed in Jury Instruction CACI 3905A that there is no set criterion and that they must calculate a "fair sum" based on their "common sense."


The California legislature has agreed that the residents of the state should decide what constitutes "fairness." This means that no complicated legal criteria are required; all required is that it be fair and reasonable. Unfortunately, while specific tactics have been employed in the past, there is still a lot of room for confusion due to the lack of a proper guideline.


In the end, determining a "fair sum" is highly subjective. It is in the hands of your California Personal Injury Attorney and the jury, who happens to be there when your case is heard.


Find A Drunk Driver Accidents Attorney in California


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