Riverside DUI Accident Lawyer
Drunk drivers cause thousands of fatalities each year despite strict penalties for criminal convictions. If a drunk driver causes an accident, they may be liable for any resulting injuries or damages.
Our team is committed to holding drunk drivers responsible for the harm they inflict on innocent victims and their families. We will only rest once you receive a settlement offer that fairly compensates you for your losses. Otherwise, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial. Contact Beliz Law Firm today to talk to a Riverside DUI accident attorney.
Case Spotlight$100,000 Settlement amount
Case type: Rear End Accident Case
The Beliz Law obtained a policy limit settlement of $100,000 for a 51-year-old female. The incident occurred on Katella Avenue in the city of Anaheim. A truck driver was approaching stopped traffic and applied the brake pedal. Unfortunately, the driver’s foot slipped off the brake and pressed the accelerator. This caused the driver’s 4-ton truck to jump ahead and crash into the vehicle where the client was sitting as a passenger. The crash was so forceful that eventually, it caused three more vehicles to crash.
The client felt immediate pain to her right arm. Due to the severity of the accident and the pain, an ambulance took the client to the hospital at the University of California, Irvine. Doctors diagnosed the client with a right wrist fracture. The arm was splinted and the client was discharged with instructions to see the client’s primary care physicians. For months, the client presented to physical therapy, however the client’s wrist continued to have issues with pain, grip strength, and movement. Eventually, the client presented to an orthopedic surgeon that recommended surgery. Approximately a year after the accident, the client had surgery on her right wrist.
After signing the client, The Beliz Law Firm investigated the crash details and contacted the truck driver’s insurance company. The Beliz Law Firm presented the facts of the case and the client’s injuries to the other party’s insurance company. Because of the severity of the injuries, The Beliz Law Firm demanded and obtained the other driver’s automobile insurance limits.
How Often Do DUI Accidents Occur?
Thousands of people die in alcohol-impaired accidents each year in California. Alcohol-related crashes are the leading cause of death among young people between fifteen and twenty-four years old. Alcohol-impaired means that at least one driver involved in the accident has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. In 2021, California recorded 1,370 fatalities in alcohol-involved crashes, an increase from 1,159 in 2020. Riverside County alone recorded ninety-one deaths in 2021.
While the state sees thousands of fatalities every year, it often records even more injuries from alcohol-impaired accidents. Riverside County reported 272 severe injuries in alcohol-impaired accidents in 2021.
Can I File a Lawsuit After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Anyone who suffers injuries in a car accident caused by a drunk driver can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. You should not bear the costs of an accident that is someone else’s fault. A personal injury lawsuit is a way to recover compensation for your losses and hold the at-fault party responsible for their misconduct.
Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident
Personal injury cases typically hinge on proving that someone’s negligence caused your losses. A negligence analysis requires the plaintiff to establish four separate factors. These four factors include:
- Causation, and
You must prove each element to show the defendant was negligent.
A legal duty is an obligation to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. Drivers owe others on the road a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner.
Breach of Duty
A breach occurs when someone fails to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. Driving under the influence is an obvious breach of a driver’s duty of care.
Next, you need to show that the opposing party’s negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries. The opposing party might try to claim that other reasons, like your own recklessness or weather conditions, caused the collision instead of their negligence. An attorney can build a case to show that your injuries would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence.
Lastly, you must prove that you incurred losses due to the at-fault party’s negligent conduct. You cannot file a personal injury case if you do not suffer any losses.
Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
The injuries in a drunk driving accident can range from minor to fatal. It varies from case to case. Drunk driving accident victims sustain injuries that can include:
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Internal bleeding,
- Broken bones,
- Puncture wounds, and
DUI accident victims must pay for medical treatment and rehabilitation and typically incur significant medical expenses. The debt creates a heavy burden on the victim and their loved ones amid their recovery. A drunk driving accident lawyer can fight to ensure that the victim receives compensation for damages arising out of the accident.
Losses You Can Recover in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim
The victim can recover both economic and non-economic damages in a drunk driving accident. Economic damages include quantifiable losses you incurred as a result of the accident, such as:
- Medical bills,
- Rehabilitation expenses,
- Repair costs,
- Prescription costs,
- Lost wages, and
- Loss of future earning capacity.
In most cases, receipts and invoices can help your drunk driving accident attorney determine how much economic damages a defendant owes.
It is often more challenging to determine the value of non-economic losses. Non-economic losses include non-quantifiable losses that a victim incurs because of injuries caused by the accident. In other words, there will be no invoices or receipts to look at when attempting to determine a value for less tangible non-economic losses. For example, the following are considered forms of non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of quality of life,
- Loss of companionship, and
- Mental anguish.
In rare cases, a court will award punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Punitive damages aim to punish the responsible party for their conduct and deter the same actions in the future. To warrant punitive damages, you must prove that the defendant willfully and consciously disregarded the rights and safety of others. A court may award punitive damages when the responsible party has multiple convictions for drunk driving.
How Do I Prove Someone Was Driving Drunk?
If a drunk driver crashes into you, the first thing you should do is contact law enforcement. Law enforcement will respond to the scene and conduct an investigation. If the driver is arrested for drunk driving, we can request this police report and use it as evidence that they breached their duty of care by driving drunk.
Even if the at-fault party is not convicted in their criminal case, the burden of proof is lower in a civil case. That means you can still prove the defendant was driving drunk, even if the criminal court did not think so. A drunk driving accident lawyer can find other ways to show the at-fault party was driving under the influence and breached their duty of care.
Contact a Riverside DUI Accident Lawyer at Beliz Law Firm Today
A DUI accident lawyer can help you recover a settlement that fairly reimburses you for damages due to the defendant’s negligence. Our team of attorneys has years of experience representing clients who were injured in drunk driving accidents. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.
What Else Should You Look For Riverside DUI Accident Lawyer
When you’re looking for the best legal representation for your personal injury case, you want to find someone you can trust.