Did You Get Injured by A Drunk Driver? Reach Out to A Personal Injury Lawyer
In California, driving under the influence is a serious offense. Per California Vehicle Code Section 23152 VC, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated from alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. When drivers hit nearby pedestrians or crash into other vehicles, they risk facing criminal penalties on top of a lawsuit to compensate for personal injuries.
A decade ago, the U.S. saw its highest number of DUI cases. A record number of 1.4 million people got arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.8 or higher in 2010. In this article, we discuss the legalities behind impaired driving and when victims should sue drunk drivers with the help of a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
Is It Always Illegal To Drive After Drinking?
Any personal injury lawyer in LA would recommend you avoid impaired driving to reduce the risk of liability. But California laws do not prohibit drivers from getting behind the wheel if their BAC is below 0.08%.
Most people's BAC rises by 0.02% for every drink consumed, depending on the type of alcohol you're consuming. For most people, it takes around four to reach this level. When you've reached the limit, you may start to experience:
- Weakened judgment
- Less self-control
- Impaired reasoning
- Less muscle coordination (slurred speech, change in balance, blurry vision, slower reaction times)
Remember that drivers with a lower BAC can still get charged for violating the following vehicle codes, especially:
- Underage drunk drivers (younger than 21)
- Drunk drivers on DUI probation
When you get into an accident, these are the factors your auto accident lawyer in LA will consider.
Can Pedestrians Sue the Driver?
Yes! Pedestrians could sue negligent drivers if they sustained minor to severe injuries from the accident. It is easier for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to prove drunk driving cases in most cases. In California, any severe accident must get reported to law enforcement.
If the driver were to speed away, it would be considered a hit-and-run. Therefore, they must remain and provide a statement to the police. An officer may impose DUI charges, but we can assure you it will get mentioned in their official report. You deserve to get compensated for injuries, damages, and any form of emotional trauma.
What If the Drunk Driver Was Uninsured?
Most defendants seldom have $50k readily available to pay pedestrians or other plaintiffs for accident injuries. When the defendant is uninsured, you can still recover damages. In normal circumstances, the money will come directly from their insurance company. Without coverage, you're financially limited. Plaintiffs can only recover up to a policy limit comparable to insurance policies.
How Much Can Victims Recover?
After an accident, California enforces a two-year statute of limitations to take legal action against the negligent party. We're here to help if you are pursuing compensation for your injuries or suing the drunk driver in a wrongful death suit for losing a loved one. Before the defendant(s) can provide monetary repayment, a lawyer for drunk driving accidents will calculate the damages, including:
- Medical expenses (bills, medications, future costs)
- Loss of income (time off work, loss of job)
- Changes in quality of life after the accident
- Emotional trauma, PTSD
- Pain and suffering
At Gutierrez Law, we always try to settle before pursuing a lawsuit in court. The time it takes depends on your case and the extent of your injuries.
About The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez
Our law firm specializes in helping those injured due to an accident or someone else's negligence. Navigating the insurance agencies and legal framework for compensation can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. That's why you should call the bilingual lawyers of The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez to make sure you get compensated for your pain and suffering.
When you meet with one of our English-speaking and Spanish-speaking personal injury attorneys, you can tell them how your accident occurred and who might be responsible. You should contact our law firm if you were injured in a:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bike accident
- Rideshare accident
- Pool accident
- Dog Attack
- Workplace accident
We can also help you with product liability and premises liability suits. Don't leave your medical bills and property damage to chance; instead, hire a law firm that can win you the maximum settlement. Contact our office for a free consultation at 323-999-3500 or email us at email@example.com.