California Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
The consequences of drunk driving accidents can be devastating for victims and their families. If you need help, you can contact a local California drunk driving accident attorney for free 24/7.
Drunk driving accidents should not happen. There is no excuse—none—for someone getting drunk and then getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many people make the poor decision to drive drunk, and they often do so with devastating consequences. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one, you should speak with a local California drunk driving accident lawyer about your legal rights.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people die every day in drunk driving accidents in the United States. This is a startling statistic. Far more drivers and passengers suffer non-fatal injuries, and many of these victims experience negative effects for the rest of their lives.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a collision caused by an impaired driver, a California drunk driving accident lawyer can help you seek just compensation. Keep reading to learn more, then schedule a free consultation with a local attorney.
- What are Your Legal Rights After a Drunk Driving Accident?
- How Do You Seek Just Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident?
- FAQs: Working with a California Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Victims and families of victims have the legal right to receive just compensation after drunk driving accidents. When a drunk driver causes an accident, the drunk driver is legally responsible, and his or her insurance company has to pay.
In many cases, drunk driving victims and families of victims will have other legal rights as well. For example, in many states, victims and families can hold bars, restaurants, and even social hosts legally responsible for serving individuals who are too drunk to drive. If a drunk driver is on the clock at the time he or she causes a crash, then the drunk driver’s employer could also be legally responsible.
Regardless of what company ultimately has to pay, you and your family have the same right to just compensation. In non-fatal drunk driving accident cases, victims can recover financial compensation for their:
- Medical bills
- Other out-of-pocket costs (i.e. repair bills, prescriptions, and vehicle and home modifications)
- Loss of income and benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress
- Loss of companionship, consortium, society, and enjoyment of life
Fatal drunk driving accident cases are a little bit different. Here, there is more variation between states with regard to what constitutes “just compensation” for aggrieved family members. A local California drunk driving accident attorney will be able to clearly explain your family’s legal rights and seek the maximum compensation available on your family’s behalf. Generally speaking, the types of financial compensation that are available in fatal drunk driving accident cases include:
- Medical bills (for any treatment rendered prior to their loved one’s death)
- Compensation for their loved one’s pain and suffering prior to death
- Funeral, burial, and cremation costs
- Loss of their loved one’s future earnings
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of companionship, consortium, services, society, and support
Again, each state’s laws are different, and you will need to work with a California drunk driving accident attorney who knows the law in your state. Whether you need a lawyer for California drunk driving victims or a lawyer for victims in any other state, you can get the legal help you need through CarAccidentSource.com.
In order to seek just compensation for a drunk driving accident, there are several steps you will need to take as soon as possible. While the statute of limitations for drunk driving accident claims is at least a couple of years in most states, it is extremely important that you not wait any longer than necessary. Following a serious, non-fatal drunk driving accident, you should:
1. Seek Medical Treatment
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to see a doctor right away. Tell your doctor what happened, and explain your symptoms to the best of your ability. This will be important to your claim for financial compensation (in addition to being important for your health), and if you wait to seek treatment this could make it more difficult to prove how you got injured.
2. Gather Everything You Have about the Accident
Once you are stable, you should gather everything you have about the accident. This includes any information you were able to collect at the scene, any photos or videos you were able to take with your phone, and any records you have from your trip to the doctor’s office or the hospital. You should also sit down and take 15 minutes to write out everything you can remember from before and after the collision.
3. Contact a Local Lawyer for a Free Consultation
In order to collect just compensation, you will need experienced legal representation. You will also need a legal practitioner to conduct an investigation and gather any additional evidence that may be available. It costs nothing out-of-pocket to hire a lawyer, and an experienced lawyer can help make sure you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
If you have lost a loved one in collision involving a drunk driver, you should contact a California drunk driving accident attorney right away. You can get started with a free consultation online 24/7.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Drunk Driving Accidents?
Yes, auto insurance covers drunk driving accidents. If the drunk driver has auto insurance, a local attorney can help you file a claim under his or her policy. This will involve proving that the other driver was drunk, proving the financial and non-financial costs of your injuries, and negotiating for a fair settlement on your behalf. If the drunk driver’s insurance company refuses to settle for just compensation, you will need an attorney to take your claim to court.
What if the Drunk Driver Doesn’t Have Auto Insurance?
If the drunk driver doesn’t have auto insurance, you may still have options available. For example, one option may be to seek coverage under your own insurance policy. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, now is the time to use it; and, if you have multiple vehicles in your household, you may be able to “stack” your coverage to seek additional compensation. These are difficult claims to file, so you will want to hire an experienced California drunk driving accident attorney to handle your claim for you.
How Much Do Attorneys Charge for Drunk Driving Accidents?
Attorneys generally charge the same fees for all types of auto accident claims. These are “contingency” fees, which means you only pay if you win. Most attorneys charge contingency fees in the range of 33 percent, though fees can range from 25 percent to 40 percent. Even taking these fees into account, you can still expect to take home more with an experienced attorney representing you.