Have You Been Injured by a Drunk Driver?
When somebody is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are breaking the law in every state. DUIs make it so that a driver cannot operate their vehicle safely, and in some of the most serious cases, an accident could occur. But what happens when you are on the other side of the accident? What if you were inside a vehicle or on a motorcycle when a drunk driver came crashing into you? (1)
What Options do I Have?
When you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may wonder if it is possible to receive damages for your injuries. The truth is, yes, there is a very good chance that you will be able to recover compensation from injuries stemming from the crash. California is not a no-fault state, which means that bringing a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver will not be as difficult in states that are no-fault. In many of these cases, however, the best thing to do is start with the insurance companies and attempt to work out the best settlement possible.
California Vehicle Code 23152a states that it is a misdemeanor to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and the state court takes the law very seriously. As a result, in some cases you may even be able to receive punitive damages. In order to justify punitive damages in your case, you must be able to prove that the "defendant was aware of the probable dangerous consequences of his conduct, and that he willfully and deliberately failed to avoid the consequences." If somebody willfully drives while under the influence, they may have chosen a conscious disregard of the safety of others.
It is important to understand your rights when you have been injured by a drunk driver. Many of these accidents cause the life-changing injuries and deaths of vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders every year. Contact an attorney you can trust today for more.