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Injured in a drunk driving accident? Farahi Law Firm’s Los Angeles drunk driving accident lawyers are committed to protect your rights and get your life back on track by pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve.
According to NHTSA’s report, each day nearly 30 people die in drunk-driving crashes in the United States-which means one person every 48 minutes. Even though these deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades, drunk-driving crashes claim over 10,000 lives a year. In Year 2018, 36,560 motor vehicle accidents fatalities were reported, 10,511 of which were due to drunk driving.
With a high percentage of traffic crashes in the U.S. each year triggered by driving while drinking, drivers in Los Angeles run the risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident by using busy roads in the city.
One cannot control the behavior of other motorists with whom they share the road , and can still get involved in traffic crashes. But one thing accident victims can surely control is the outcome of their personal injury lawsuit. A skilled and competent drunk driving accident attorney can hold the negligent driver accountable for the losses and help you recover compensation for your losses.
Key Drunk Driving Accident Stats in Los Angeles, California
- 29 percent of single/multiple vehicle fatal crashes in California were due to alcohol impaired driving.
- 198 lives were lost in Los Angeles because of alcohol-impaired driving (2018).
- 5 year (2014-2018) average of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Los Angeles is 193.
- The highest Percent of Alcohol-Impaired Driving accidents occur between midnight to 3 a.m.
- California’s percentage of surviving drivers in fatal crashes with Blood Alcohol Concentration(BAC) between .01-.07 g/dl was only 3% in 2018.
- Alcohol involvement was seen in 33% of fatal motor crashes in Los Angeles with BAC .01+ g/dl (year 2018).
- In 2018, 628 Fatal crashes occurred in LA and 29% were due to alcohol-impaired driving, where BAC was >.08+ g/dl.
- In LA the highest percentage of alcohol impaired fatal crashes was noticed in April and July Month with 39%.
What is Considered as Drunk Driving or DUI
Driving under the influence (DUI) commonly referred to as “drunk driving” means driving a motor vehicle while the alcohol content of one’s blood is above the statutory limit, which is supposed to be the level at which a person cannot drive safely. Generally, as compared to the intoxication level of the driver — a BAC (Blood alcohol concentration) based drunk driving offense — is known as a “per se” DUI. In every jurisdiction, driving with a BAC of .08 g/dl or higher is illegal, still in 2018 one person was killed in a drunk-driving accident every 50 minutes in the US.
- The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) 0.08+ g/dl:
- TYPICAL EFFECTS – Muscle function is impaired (e.g., posture, voice, vision, response speed, and hearing), more difficult to identify hazard; perception, self-control, thinking, and cognitive impairments.
- PREDICTABLE EFFECTS ON DRIVING – Concentration and memory loss, speed modulation, reduced ability to interpret information ( e.g., signal recognition, visual search), poor vision, reduced ability to monitor correctly the lane direction and brake
- Los Angeles City’s Drunk Driving Laws:
In Los Angeles, people may be charged with a DUI if their BAC exceeds the statutory limits set by the state. To operate a vehicle legally you have to keep your BAC:
- Below 0.08% if you are over 21
- Below 0.04% if you are a commercial driver
- Below 0.01% if you are under 21
Establishing Liability in Drunk Driving Accident in Los Angeles
Drunk driving accident claims are similar to other personal injury lawsuits. You will have to be able to determine fault, causes and damages in order for the case to have a favorable outcome. The difference lies in the type of evidence you need to establish the liability.
Accident victims will first be required to prove that the at-fault driver was intoxicated and his/her BAC levels were above the state’s standard limits. Remember it’s not the intoxication but the driver’s negligent actions caused the collision. So how can you use intoxication in claim negotiations.
If the at-fault driver was arrested for DWI/DUI is usually enough to establish the negligence and convince the claim adjuster their insured was liable for the accident. Following ways can help you establish drunk driving liability:
- A formal police report at site showing DUI
- Arrest and conviction reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Any dash cam or CCTV footage
- Video footage or receipts from businesses that sold the driver alcoholic beverages before the crash
- Social media posts showing at-fault driver drinking before crash
Collecting evidence of accountability is just a part of the struggle. You would also need to demonstrate the sorts of damages you’ve incurred and assess their economic value to achieve full financial benefit. These include your hospital and other medical bills, your pay stubs to show loss of income, estimate for your car repair, invoices of any expense related to the accident like rental car, home health care etc.
The aftermath of a drunk driving crash is often devastating. Thus, it is vital to seek counsel from an expert drunk driving accident lawyer in Los Angeles immediately after the accident to protect your legal rights and secure your financial status. An expert personal injury attorney would be able to access facts that may be impossible for you to collect on your own, such as drug or alcohol test reports of the drunk driver from the hospital, driving history of the at-fault driver and other relevant details.
Damage Recovery from a Drunk Driver after a Crash
Recovery from serious injury and car collisions can be both complex and expensive. If you or a loved one have been involved in a drunk driving accident in Los Angeles, the following damages may be recoverable:
- Compensatory Damages – This covers past and future medical costs, damage to property, lost earnings and earning ability as well as compensation for the pain and suffering.
- Punitive Damages – If the driver that caused the crash has a BAC of 0.08 per cent or more, these awards are meant to prosecute the reckless actions of the driver financially. To seek punitive damages you must prove that the other driver behaved with deliberate contempt towards your rights and safety.
Wrongful Death – Surviving family members of the victim killed in a drunk driving crash can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for hospital bills incurred prior to the death, funeral expenses, lost future income, property damages, emotional suffering, and for loss of care and services
Role of Comparative Negligence Rule
Under California’s Comparative Negligence Rule, a person involved in an accident will still seek damages even if he or she is partly to blame. However the compensation amount is reduced by the percentage to which he or she contributed to the crash.
At-fault driver insurance adjusters will try to blame the plaintiff, if not all, but partly to lower the claim value. Involved in a DUI collision? We encourage you to call a professional vehicle injury solicitor in Los Angeles to get counsel on the right course of legal action for your case.
Steps Drunk Driving Accident Victims should take
- Call the police – Police reports are also helpful for plaintiffs who file lawsuits against the drunk driver. The police will probably conduct a breathalyzer test. If the test shows that the driver was driving drunk, this information will be helpful for the victim to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault drunk driver.
- Gather Information- Gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. From at fault driver’s details to witness information. Take photographs of the accident scene from different angles. Ask the police officers for the claim number on your accident report so you can request a copy of your police report after it is ready.
- See the doctors – Seek medical attention , even if you don’t feel like you have been injured. It is common for accident victims to be unaware of the extent of their injuries. The adrenaline that begins pumping after an accident can make it difficult to feel one’s injuries.
- Speak to an attorney – Seek the help of skilled Los Angeles drunk driving accident lawyers if injured by a drunk driver. Farahi Law Firm’s experienced personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the process of claiming insurance benefits and filing a lawsuit on your behalf.
How Farahi Law Firm’s Attorney is going to help you:
Following a serious injury or a loved one’s devastating loss, your focus should be on healing — not fighting insurance companies. Your attorney will keep your mind off these things, so you can relax and focus on your recovery.
Farahi Law Firm’s experienced Los Angeles drunk driving accident lawyers, California can help accident victims and their families to navigate the complexities of the legal process with ease. They’ll help you gather vital evidence and information to build a strong case to recover maximum compensation. Here’s how our attorneys can help you:
- Carry out a comprehensive, unbiased, crash and crime scene investigation.
- Press the at-fault drunk driver’s insurance provider to pay maximum compensation.
- Identify all insurance options to increase the amount you will receive including punitive penalties to the drunk driver.
- Seek the most favorable possible settlement but also prepare for trial .
- Bring expert witnesses to bring justice on your behalf if a trial is required .
- Put you in close touch with professional doctors and experts to help you heal.
- If the case involves the most horrific circumstance – a drunk driver whose acts culminated in the wrongful death – we will aggressively pursue justice on behalf of the loved one.
Drunk driving crash attorneys at Farahi Law Firm, APC will diligently seek all possible avenues of compensation that will better compensate you and your loved ones for all the injuries and damages caused by a drunk driver. Contact us at (310) 601-4925 to schedule a free consultation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there is an overwhelming possibility that a settlement will occur before the trial. Insurance firms are afraid of trying cases where their insured was driving under the influence, and there is a potential for a sizable amount verdict. Even the high demands for compensation will be accepted, if the plaintiff is seriously injured.
California follows a comparative negligence rule, which means – your monetary award would be reduced by the amount of fault you had in the accident, once the fault is determined. For example, if the payout awarded was $100,000 and you were found to be 30 percent at fault, then you would get $70,000 instead of $100,000.
Yes, an intoxicated driver’s passenger who is injured in a crash can have civil lawsuits against the driver, to recover damages for your losses.
Drunk driving in California is a criminal offense. If you’ve been hit anywhere in Los Angeles by a drunk driver, you have the right to claim punitive damages where the conduct of the defendant was absolutely reprehensible.
Many drunk driving accident victims hesitate to file an injury claim because of fear of having to go to trial. The good news is not all cases go to trial, or even require a lawsuit to be filed. Most cases are in fact settled outside court. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver in Los Angeles you need to speak with an experienced drunk driver injury attorney as soon as possible.