California Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm
A drunk-driving accident is a tragic event that can lead to years of medical expenses, lost wages, debt, and regret. Due to the high density of vehicles in the Los Angeles area, drunken-driving accidents are an unfortunate occurrence. Drunk driving and driving while under the influence is a criminal offense that can cause serious injuries and puts many people at risk of catastrophic injury or wrongful death.
Due to the wild nature of a DUI crash, a drunk driving accident victim’s injury may be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Possible medical and legal expenses can accumulate quickly.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm understand the suffering and costs that result from drunk driving accidents. Our attorneys will aggressively fight for full compensation and the recovery of your health.
What Are the Differences Between Criminal and Civil Proceedings?
Each DUI/DWI offense can have two cases attached; these are called the Criminal DUI and Civil DUI implied consent cases. There are critical differences between the two kinds of cases, but the two proceedings typically overlap each other.
The criminal DUI case consists of a stop, arrest, gathering of evidence, and a presentation of rights at all stages of the process. The officer must have had a reasonable suspicion that the driver of the vehicle was doing something illegal before the stop, such as drinking and driving.
For the officer to make an arrest, there must be reasonable suspicion that the driver cannot control the vehicle due to driving under the influence and is a danger to themselves and others.
Lastly, the officer must gather evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was driving under the influence. The most common way to prove driving under the influence of alcohol “beyond a reasonable doubt” is to check the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If this number is 0.08 or higher, the officer can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was driving under the influence.
The civil claim begins when the offender is arrested and taken to the police station. This is the implied consent proceeding and consists of checking the driver’s blood alcohol content and preservation of rights at all stages of the DUI proceedings.
During an arrest, the officer reads Miranda Rights to the offender as part of the protocol. After the civil case begins, the offender’s rights become much more limited. Only an experienced DUI accident lawyer can explain to you, after case evaluation, whether or not your rights were preserved.
Penalties for a DUI
Consequences after a DUI depends on whether the offender has previously committed a DUI offense. The penalties become more severe with each additional DUI/DWI offense.
A first-time DUI is a misdemeanor in California, and usually results in the following penalties:
- License restriction or suspension, usually for six months.
- Three years of informal probation.
- A $390 fine, plus any penalty assessments (totaling up to $2000).
- A first-offender alcohol program consisting of a costly 30-hour class.
A second-time DUI usually results in the following penalties:
- Minimum of 96 hours in jail
- Suspension of license for two years
- A $390 fine, plus any penalty assessments (totaling up to $2000)
- Longer probationary period
A third-time DUI usually results in the following penalties:
- Minimum of 120 days in jail
- Fines between $1000 – $1800
- Suspension of license for three or more years
California DUI Defined
Per California’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages:
- 08% or higher – 21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
- 04% or higher – operating a commercial vehicle.
- 01% or higher – younger than 21 years old.
Liability for Drunk Driving Injuries: Are Drunk Drivers Always at Fault?
In the state of California, an intoxicated driver may not be at fault or liable in a drunk driving accident. Though it may seem intuitive for an impaired driver to be the responsible party in a car accident, this is not always the case.
Consult with the most qualified drunk driving accident attorney Los Angeles has to offer at Wilshire law firm. We assess liability in your personal injury claim and seek justice and compensation for your drunk driving lawsuit. You don’t have to face this problem alone – let an experienced DUI accident lawyer handle your drunk driving accident case on a no-win, no basis.
In California, the liability clause is as follows:
- The offender must have been driving a motor vehicle;
- The offender must have committed an illegal act or failure to perform a legal duty while driving;
- This action directly resulted in a physical injury or property damage to another person.
A negligent or illegal act while driving can be any of the following:
- Failure to stop or yield
- Failure to signal
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
When observing the facts of your personal injury claim, the most knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer Los Angeles can provide will accurately assess if the drunk driver is liable. In the state of California, comparative negligence laws allow for more than one party to be at fault for a motor vehicle accident. If this is the case, compensatory damages and recovery may be affected. Contact a DUI accident attorney today to learn more about the comparative negligence laws in California, and if your injury claim will be affected. We prioritize the attorney-client relationship to serve your disability needs.
Compensation for a DUI Accident in Los Angeles
The law office’s counselors are available to answer any questions regarding your compensation and the other legalities that regard your drunk driving case. To ensure the proper recovery to our clients, we will travel to and from your home or hospital at your convenience, allowing our clients to rest and recover comfortably.
Our services ensure you swift compensation for any expenses due to injury, which includes:
- Spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis
- Brain Injury
- Head Injury
- Neck Injury
- Internal hemorrhaging
- Damage to internal organs
Wilshire Law Firm employs professional personal injury attorneys, who understand legal policies and terms, and procedures of insurance companies. Their expertise in personal injury law means you will receive the proper compensation for your suffering, medical costs, and damage to personal property from all negligent parties.
Our experienced attorneys can handle all the negotiations with liable parties so that you don’t have to. Legal representation is available through a contingent fee process that requires no upfront payment by the client. Clients only make payments to the firm after a settlement is reached in their favor.
Any injury victim lacking health insurance is encouraged to contact Wilshire Law Firm to receive a free consultation about proper medical care and treatment. Health insurance is not required, and any necessary medical care or therapy services can be obtained through our law office at no cost to the fullest extent. You shouldn’t be opposed to contacting a qualified personal injury lawyer just because you fear possible legal or medical expenses.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident?
The average settlement for a drunk driving accident in the United States is about $125,000. Since every car accident is different, compensation can be settled for less than $10,000, and sometimes for more than $1,000,000. Settlements vary greatly, but with an award-winning drunk driving accident attorney from Wilshire Law Firm, you are guaranteed a fight for the maximum compensation you may deserve.
What Should I Do After an Accident with a Drunk Driver?
In the event of a drunk driving accident, the steps you take are critical and can affect your recovery.
If possible, you should attempt to do the following after a drunk driving accident:
- Remain calm, and encourage others around you to stay calm. After an accident, stress levels can be high, but this is the time to remain calm, focused, and aware.
- Attempt to get to safety. Remove yourself and others away from the path of any other motor vehicle, fires, or destroyed property.
- Check your body for injuries. Don’t assume you don’t have injuries just because you feel fine – an adrenaline rush can temporarily override symptoms of an internal injury after the accident.
- Call 911 and Emergency Medical Services. If you or anyone involved in the accident is injured, immediately call 9-1-1. Ask the police to create an official accident report and to provide you with an exact copy. The accident report will be an essential piece of evidence for your drunk driving accident claim.
- Get documentation of the accident. Exchange insurance and contact information with the involved parties. If there were any witnesses around, ask for their contact, as well. Take photos and videos of the accident, including any damaged property and your injuries.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney-The insurance companies are going to do everything in their power to lower the value of your claim. You need a law firm in your corner that isn’t afraid to throw a punch—that’s where Wilshire Law Firm comes in. Our Los Angeles drunk driving accident attorneys can shorten the timeline of your personal injury case and help you get your life back on track.
Winning Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim in California
Private investigators are employed to obtain the facts that strengthen a case against the liable parties. A history of drunk or irresponsible driving can support a claim for personal damages. Testimonies from witnesses, such as a bar patron, bouncer, or waitress, reinforce your point of view of events leading up to the accident.
Statements from medical staff determine the severity and extent of the accident victim’s injuries. The conclusion of the settlement will accurately surround all the aspects of the car accident.
Wilshire Law Firm has maintained moral and ethical professional standards while earning a reputation for aggressive, client-focused representation. Our attorneys attempt to achieve the most favorable compensation for every client and have helped many victims of drunk driving accidents recover from negligent drivers.
When you choose Wilshire Law Firm, you choose an award-winning, best drunk driving accident lawyer. You select a hand-picked staff of highly trained investigators, negotiators, paralegals, and support staff who all share one goal: to maximize your recovery. We have the experience, the resources, and proven track record of helping in the fight against the insurance company – and winning.
Contact Los Angeles DUI Injury Attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm for Free Consultation
If you or someone you know was injured in an auto accident involving a collision with a DUI driver, please contact Wilshire Law Firm at (844) 979-0933. FREE 24/7 consultation.
Drunk Driving Accident FAQs
1. The drunk driver’s insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
There is no need to take a settlement offer from an insurance company without consulting with an expert accident attorney first. The drunk driver’s insurance company will do their best to low-ball your settlement amount because they are trying to save money. Typically, the settlement offer from an insurance company will not even cover the full cost of the economic and non-economic damages.
2. How long do I have to bring my case against a person who was driving under the influence?
In California, the statute of limitations is one year. This means you have one year after the date of the drunk driving crash to bring your case against a person who was driving under the influence. Consult with an experienced DUI accident attorney at Wilshire Law Firm. We will carry out legal proceedings and will process your case expeditiously.
3. I was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver, and I was injured. Can I sue?
If you were a passenger in a drunk driving accident, the driver of the other car was under the influence; you can sue for punitive damages. This is also the case if your driver was drunk at the time of the DWI accident that caused your injury.