Recovering Compensation for Personal Injuries From a Drunk Driver

Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of another person’s decision to get behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol? May, for all its beauty, is also a time of danger. With millions of young people celebrating graduation, whether from secondary school, college, or beyond, alcohol will inevitably be consumed. All too often, when alcohol is consumed in the context of celebration, it is consumed to the point of excess. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to drunkenness, and when this state of impaired mental faculties is combined with the poor and dangerous decision to get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle, tragedy can ensue. This grave possibility lingers around every graduation celebration in which alcohol is involved – and especially those in more remote areas in which there is no access to public transportation, taxis, Uber, or Lyft.

If this dark possibility has become a reality and resulted in an accident in which you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will hold the at-fault driver responsible for his or her dangerously selfish decision-making, and seek the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, medical and auto repair bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Damages Awarded in a Personal Injury Suit Against a Drunk Driver

When a person chooses to get behind the wheel of an automobile while under the influence of alcohol, he or she has acted negligently. Negligence is a legal doctrine. Specifically, negligence is a breach of a duty of care owed to another person that results in damages. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a breach of the duty of safe driving. Alcohol impairs the mental faculties, slows reaction times, and can lead to speeding, swerving, and even passing out at the wheel.  This brings us to damages, the final aspect of establishing negligence. It is the element of causation – of linking the breach of the duty of safe driving – to the personal injuries you have suffered that completes the tort of negligence. This linking is what justifies imposing legal and financial liability on the at-fault driver.  It is about justice – about holding the at-fault party responsible for the harm suffered by the innocent party.  

While court imposed liability cannot, unfortunately, “unbreak” your bones, it can provide financial restitution. Specifically, in a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver, you may seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills, car repair bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses. Finally, if you were not injured, but instead tragically lost a loved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To discuss the specifics of your situation, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney. A dedicated attorney will fight to obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled.  

San Diego Wrong-Way Car Crash Wrongful Death Claims

Late year in San Diego more than a dozen drivers and passengers died in car crashes caused by a driver driving the wrong way down the city’s freeways. The tragedies have shaken the San Diego community, leaving loved ones in anguish. To lose someone in an automobile accident is difficult enough. To know that their last moments involved the sight of another vehicle traveling in the wrong directions towards them at high speeds is, if possible, even more difficult – and disturbing. For families, along with the grief and loss, there is the effect of the loss of income and financial support provided by the loved one. While nothing can replace a loved one lost in a wrong-way car crash, a wrongful death lawsuit can bring compensation for present and financial losses – compensation that can make a substantial difference in life after loss. If you have lost a loved one in wrong-way or other automobile accident, contact a dedicated and experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney.

Why are So Many Wrong-Way Crashes Occurring on San Diego’s Freeways?

Why on earth are so many fatal wrong-way crashes happening on San Diego’s freeways?  Based on Caltrans, the state agency in charge of highway, bridge, and rail transportation, planning, construction, and maintenance, making recent efforts to improve freeway off-ramp signs, it stands to reason that the poor quality, visibility, or content of the signs have played a role – causing some drivers to be confused about the right direction to drive in. To reduce confusion and, most importantly, further injuries and fatalities, Caltrans is increasing the size of off-ramp signs, as well as including flashing lights in an effort to reduce the number of drivers who mistakenly attempt to enter the freeway on off-ramps (as opposed to on-ramps). This is all well and good for the state and its drivers, but what about for individuals and families who have lost a loved one to a wrong-way wrongful death on San Diego’s freeways?

A Wrongful Death Claim May Result in Compensation for the Loss of a Loved One

If your loved one was killed in a wrong-way car crash, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for damages against the party or parties responsible. Wrongful death law is a subset of negligence law. Negligence is the breach of a duty owed that results in damages. Damages in the wrongful death context are many, and include medical bills for treatment prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and financial support, loss of love and consortium, and more. In a wrong-way fatality, the negligence can take multiple forms. If your loved one was killed as a result of another driver wrongly entering an off-ramp, the negligence is likely attributable to the other driver and the state. If your loved one was killed as a result of inadequate traffic signs leading them to attempt to enter the freeway via an off-ramp, the negligence is possibly attributable to the state of California. For either scenario, contact a skilled and experienced California wrongful death attorney.

Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in the State of California

Nothing hurts more than losing a loved one long before their time as the result of another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentionally wrongful act. First, there is the shock, grief, and sense of the loss one experiences. Then, there may be fears over the loss of financial support provided by the loved one. Finally, there is the deep need for justice. California’s Wrongful Death laws exist to make the pursuit of justice possible and to help the survivors of the deceased seek financial compensation for the support they were deprived of by a senseless act of carelessness, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing. If your loved one has suffered a wrongful death, contact a dedicated and experienced California wrongful death attorney.  Nothing can undo the loss you have experienced, but a wrongful death lawsuit can greatly aid your plight as a survivor.

The California Code of Civil Procedure Governs California Wrongful Death Lawsuits

California’s wrongful death law is California Code of Civil Procedure 337.60, et seq. It specifies what constitutes a wrongful death in the state, which survivors may file a wrongful death claim, and what damages are available to survivors through a wrongful death claim. Under the statute, a wrongful death occurs when a person is fatally injured as the result of the negligence or wrongful act of another person, corporation, institution, or entity. Negligence encompasses both carelessness and recklessness. Specifically, negligence is a breach of a duty of care owed that results in damages.

For example, we all owe duties of safe driving in accordance with the rules and regulations of the road to one another. If another person drives drunk and causes a fatal car crash, the fatality is considered a wrongful death under California’s wrongful death law. From this wrongful death arises a wrongful death legal claim. Only certain “survivors” of the deceased may rightfully bring the wrongful death claim. Eligible survivors include the surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children. If there is no surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child to bring the claim, the state allows for a wrongful death claim to be brought by anyone who would be entitled to inherit the property of the deceased through the process of intestate succession. In other words, if the deceased died without a spouse, partner, or children, and without a valid will, parents and other relatives may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.

Types of Damages Available to Survivors Under a Wrongful Death Claim

A California wrongful death claim makes available to survivors a number of damages, including lost income, loss of anticipated financial support, funeral and burial expenses, and other losses. If you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death in the state of California, contact an experienced California wrongful death attorney. Time is of the essence, as the state imposes a two-year statute of limitation from the date of death on the filing of a valid wrongful death claim .

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