Santa Ana Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities in California, taking hundreds of lives every year. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair a driver’s ability to keep track of their speed, control a vehicle, and make safe decisions. The worst part? Drunk drivers are not the only victims in their crashes, as they can seriously injure and kill other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who were caught by surprise.
If you or someone you love was injured by a drunk driver, then you deserve full compensation for your trauma. These accidents can lead to widespread property damage, costly medical bills, and years of pain and suffering, and you should not have to pay these costs alone. Instead, reach out to an experienced Santa Ana drunk driving accident attorney at HN Injury Lawyers. We are strong advocates for accident victims and can fight for full compensation on your behalf. To discuss your case in a free consultation, call us at (657) 333-5726.
California has strict DUI laws. In our state, any person over the age of 21 who drives with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more can be charged with “driving under the influence” in a criminal court. In addition, drivers under the age of 21 cannot drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. For commercial drivers, such as truck drivers, delivery drivers, and rideshare drivers, the legal limit is 0.04%.
It is important to understand that, whether a driver was legally intoxicated or not, if he caused your injuries, then you can file a car accident claim against his insurance policy. If the at-fault driver is charged with a DUI in an Orange County criminal court, he may be ordered to pay restitution, but this is not a sure thing. Your best bet to receive compensation is through a civil claim.
Over a nine-year period, more than 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in our state, and further research has shown that drunk driving is responsible for 30% of all fatal accidents across California. After a fatal collision, families may be left heartbroken and destitute due to the actions of one negligent individual. While we cannot take away the heartache you are feeling, we can advocate for financial relief through a wrongful death claim.
For survivors of drunk driving accidents, the outcome is not much brighter. Many victims are left in a great deal of pain, physically impaired, or struggling with traumatic memories. Oftentimes, victims have to deal with:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amputated limbs
- Internal trauma
- Fractured bones, including fractured hips
- Soft-tissue damage, including back and neck pain
- Severe lacerations
- PTSD and other mental illnesses
The costs of a drunk driving accident cannot be understated. Not only do victims have to deal with costly medical bills, but their injuries can also impact their ability to make a living. You may need to reduce your work hours or even change careers. In addition, the mental anguish of an accident can be extensive, leading to anxiety and depression. After a crash, it is important to review all of your legal options to ensure you receive proper compensation for your trauma.
The severe loss you have suffered due to the actions of a drunk driver should not be dismissed. There is no excuse for driving while intoxicated, and drivers should be punished to the full extent of the law for their careless behavior. However, it is important to understand the legal differences between a driver being punished in a criminal court and a victim receiving compensation from a civil court.
When someone drinks and drives, it is considered an act of negligence in a civil court. Whether the driver is convicted of a crime or not, the victims can file personal injury claims against his insurance company to recover compensation for their trauma.
Compensation for a DUI accident can include:
- All medical expenses, including emergency room bills, doctor’s visits, surgeries, medical equipment, medication, psychiatric aid, and physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential due to disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, an OC criminal court may also require the drunk driver to pay restitution to victims through the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS). Victims can request restitution in a criminal case, but it is up to the court to issue the order. If a judge does order restitution, then the drunk driver must pay restitution to the OVSRS for a certain duration or amount, which the victim can access through the Office.
The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) can also provide compensation for drunk driving victims. Victims have until seven years after a crime to recover compensation, or seven years after the victim turns 21. You can ask for the same damages as in a personal injury claim, but it is considered a last resort and should be requested after you have tried to get money another way.
It is important to discuss every option with a lawyer before agreeing to any settlement or deal. We understand that you are likely dealing with expensive medical bills after a crash, which is why we offer free consultations to anyone who has questions about their case. Our team of experienced trial lawyers can review the circumstances of your crash, discuss your legal rights, and advocate for your best interests.
Moving forward after being involved in a drunk driving accident is difficult, especially if you have to deal with the burdens of paying for medical treatment, car repairs, and any long-term care you need. But the driver who hit you is responsible for these costs, and you deserve full compensation through their insurance company.
Unfortunately, even after a drunk driving crash, an insurance company may try to diminish or deny your claim. Rather than accepting a lowball offer, let a skilled Santa Ana accident attorney handle your claim for you. HN Injury Lawyers can negotiate a fair settlement from the other driver’s insurance company that includes the full costs of your injuries -- and we can take your case to trial if necessary. We will handle every aspect of your case, from collecting evidence to communicating with the insurance company, while you focus on healing. Call HN Injury Lawyers today at (657) 333-5726 to schedule a free consultation and get started on your case.
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