Orange County Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Alcohol-impaired drivers are not only breaking the law, they are putting the lives of others on the roadways at risk. While a person convicted of DUI may be subject to severe penalties in California, that does not help their victims recover from their injuries and get their lives back. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a traffic accident caused by a drunk driver, you are entitled to pursue compensation for your losses.
We at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have seen firsthand just how devastating car accidents, especially those caused by drunk drivers, can be. They leave injury, pain and suffering, and psychological trauma in their wake. If you or a loved one have been a victim in a drunk driving accident, you are likely feeling frightened, confused, and stressed. Filing a claim and facing a legal battle may be the last thing on your mind. But our attorneys have years of experience, and have gone to bat for our clients countless times before. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- In a single recent year in California, 141,372 drivers were arrested for DUI, as reported by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- The DUI arrest rate was 546 per 100,000 licensed drivers.
- 1,144 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents.
- 25,152 crash injuries occurred in accidents involving alcohol.
- 10,327 people died in drunk driving crashes in California in a recent ten-year period, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The death rate per 100,000 population for the 21-34 age group was 4.5 in California in a recent year, as compared to 6.7 for the nation.
Under state law, motorists are prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. For underage drivers, the “zero tolerance” BAC limit is .02%. DUI is aggravated, with enhanced penalties, for drivers with a BAC of .16%. California has implied consent laws that require anyone arrested for driving under the influence to submit to BAC testing, which may be done as a blood or a breath test. Penalties for a first-offense DUI may include jail time, fines, license suspension, and an ignition interlock device.
DUI is a criminal offense. A person who is arrested and charged may be tried in criminal court and sentenced to jail time and other penalties upon conviction. The purpose of the prosecution is to punish the drunk driver for breaking the law.
In addition to any criminal penalties imposed on a drunk driver who causes an accident, victims have a right to pursue compensation in civil court. A criminal trial for DUI and a civil trial to recover damages for injuries caused by a drunk are two completely separate actions. However, it will help your civil claim for compensation if the driver who caused your injuries has been convicted of driving under the influence at the time of the crash. To prevail in a civil drunk driving accident claim, you must show that: the driver had a legal duty to exercise care, the driver breached that duty (by driving alcohol impaired), the driver’s breach of duty was the cause of your accident and injuries, and you suffered damages as a result.
Car accidents are devastating. When two 3,000 pound objects slam into each other, catastrophe ensues. This means anyone in or around the vehicles during an accident are at risk for serious bodily harm. Any part of the body can be injured in a drunk driving accident. Common injuries include:
- Broken leg
- Shattered knee
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Cracked sternum
- Broken ribs
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
If you have been injured in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver, damages you are entitled to claim will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case, including the nature and severity of your injuries. Your damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages or earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Psychological distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, designed to punish the drunk driver for wrongdoing, and to deter similar actions in the future
After a serious accident caused by a drunk driver, the best way to hold that driver accountable is to file a claim with an experienced attorney by your side. Our Orange County auto acdident lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have more than four decades of experience. Our firm was officially founded in 1974. We have a successful track record, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We offer a free initial consultation with no time limits or restrictions, and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us no fees until we win a recovery for you. Contact us at (949) 752-7474 if you have been hurt in a drunk driving accident.
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