If you or a loved one were injured in a drunk driving accident in California, trust the experienced personal injury professionals at MI ABOGADO®. We will fight relentlessly to hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions and to maximize your rightful settlement. You deserve to see results for your pain.
Drunk driving accidents, or car accidents where the driver was impaired by drugs, are devastating, made worse by the knowledge that they could have been avoided if the driver had made better choices. Knowingly getting behind the wheel while impaired is not only illegal, but it puts every life in the vicinity of the driver at risk. The impact of these accidents can be catastrophic, life-changing, and often fatal.
Victims of drunk or impaired driving accidents, instead of focusing on recovering and rebuilding their lives following a tragedy, are left in a maze of legal complexities. Drunk driving accident law is confusing and there are often many parties to the case at play. Moreover, insurance companies are uncooperative, and they will try to undervalue your case in any way possible. You need experienced guidance and aggressive representation from an experienced drunk driving accident attorney who will make your best interests their first priority.
Why Do I Need to Bring a Claim If There Are Criminal Charges Filed?
DUI cases will result in two separate proceedings in two courts: civil and criminal. You will likely be involved in both, and it’s important to understand the distinction.
A criminal case is when the state (the prosecution) brings a case against the drunk driver (the defendant) for breaking the law. You may be asked to serve as a witness or give a victim impact statement, but, even though you’re on the same “side”, the prosecutor is not your lawyer. The prosecutor’s job is to represent the state and local community and needs to consider things like personal safety. A prosecutor will not be looking out for your best interests the way a personal injury attorney will.
Penalties for DUIs
The penalties for DUI criminal cases usually end up being some form of a fine, jail time, and a license suspension. However, that fine won’t be paid to you, the victim. It goes to the state. While a criminal case may get the drunk driver off the road, and possibly off the streets altogether, it will not address your losses.
A personal injury claim is about you, your best interests, and your future. It’s about being financially compensated for your losses.
Statute of Limitations on Drunk Driving Accident Claims
The statute of limitations, or the deadline by which you must file your claim for the court to consider it, is two years from the date of the accident or the date your injury was discovered. There are a few exceptions, however. If the victim of the drunk driving accident was a minor at the time of the accident or is mentally incapable of making legal decisions, the statute of limitations is paused until they reach the age of 18 or they regain the mental capacity to make legal decisions. Similarly, if the drunk driver leaves the state of California following the accident, the statute of limitations pauses until the driver returns to the state.
Damages MI ABOGADO® Will Fight For
Traditionally, in personal injury law, there are two kinds of damages that injured victims may be awarded:
- Economic damages are losses with finite values that can be quantitively measured in a dollar value. They include any past and future losses the victim will face as a result of the accident. Examples include current and future medical expenses, property and vehicle damage, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity.
- Noneconomic damages are losses that aren’t tangible and can’t easily be assigned a dollar value. These include things like pain and suffering, emotional damage, trauma, mental anguish, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, disability, and disfigurement.
- Punitive damages are rewarded by the court in rare cases, which are damages designed to punish the driver for their actions. This occurs when the driver acted intentionally and with wanton disregard for the safety of those around them.
These damages can be collected from the driver’s car insurance company, the driver, and, in rare cases, the driver’s employer. If the drunk driver was under the age of 21, we may be able to hold anybody who provided the minor with alcohol accountable as well.
How Long Does A Typical DUI Case Last?
In the state of California, the duration of a first-time DUI case can vary depending on several factors. On average, a first-time DUI case typically takes several months to resolve. This timeline includes the arrest, court appearances, legal proceedings, and potential penalties. It’s important to note that each DUI case is unique, and the exact duration can be influenced by factors such as the complexity of the case, the caseload of the local court, and any delays or legal negotiations that may occur.
To get a more accurate estimate of how long your specific case may take, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your situation and local jurisdiction.
How MI ABOGADO® Can Help You with Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Through our experience serving nearly 300,000 clients, with a 96% success rate, we understand exactly how much you have on your plate and your mind following a devastating drunk driving accident. The last thing you want or need to do is deal with uncooperative insurance companies and lawyers. Recovering, and supporting a loved one through their recovery, is not only a full-time job but your first priority.
That’s why, MI ABOGADO® takes care of the rest. It is our goal to take as much of that enormous burden off of your shoulders as we can. Our comprehensive services start from day one, and we will put our expansive network of trusted medical professionals across the state of California to use, ensuring you are receiving the best possible care. Once we know you’re in the best hands possible, we begin building your case. We will do an in-depth investigation into the circumstances of the drunk driving accident, gathering all available evidence and interviewing witnesses.
After that, negotiations begin. We will take on the parties, their lawyers, and the pesky insurance companies, fighting tirelessly for a just settlement. We always try to secure a settlement at this juncture, allowing you to avoid the added stress, grief, and uncertainty associated with taking your case to trial. However, if we cannot come to a fair settlement that reflects the entirety of your losses, we are prepared to take your case before a judge and a jury so you can get justice for your harm.
Contact Our Experienced Los Angeles Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
We are based in Los Angeles, but MI ABOGADO® proudly serves clients across the state of California, due to our extensive network of trusted experts and the implementation of sophisticated technology.
The team at MI ABOGADO® understands that, following a tragic drunk driving accident, you shouldn’t be burdened with excessive attorney’s fees to secure advocacy from a personal injury attorney with experience. That’s why, at MI ABOGADO®, we do not take even a cent upfront. We accept all drunk driving accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you see a just settlement for your losses.
We offer free, confidential, no-obligation consultations and second opinions. Contact us today, and let us help you get justice and hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sue a drunk driver in Los Angeles for an accident?
Yes, you can sue a drunk driver in Los Angeles for an accident. If a drunk driver caused an accident that resulted in injuries or property damage, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
Can you sue a bar for overserving in California?
In California, it is possible to sue a bar for overserving alcohol under certain circumstances. This falls under the state’s “dram shop” laws. California’s dram shop laws allow victims of drunk driving accidents to sue a bar or alcohol-serving establishment if they can prove that the establishment knowingly served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person or a minor, and that this act of overserving directly contributed to the accident and subsequent injuries.
What is the difference between a civil and criminal drunk driving case?
A civil drunk driving case involves seeking compensation for damages caused by the drunk driver, such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. This is separate from a criminal drunk driving case, which is brought by the state and focuses on punishing the offender for breaking the law. In a criminal case, the drunk driver may face fines, license suspension, and even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense.
While both cases stem from the same incident, they have different goals and legal processes. It is important to note that a successful criminal conviction does not automatically result in compensation for the victim. To obtain compensation, you must pursue a civil claim against the drunk driver.
Is there a statute of limitations for drunk driving accident civil claims in California?
Yes, there is a statute of limitations for drunk driving accident civil claims in California. In general, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. If you fail to file within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek compensation. It is essential to consult with a drunk driving accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights and ensure you meet all necessary deadlines.