If you have been struck by a drunk driver and suffered injury and damages, you have to file a claim yourself in pursuit of justice and financial compensation. The lawyers at Swartz Fogy Law Group are here to help you set things right after a drunk driver causes you or the ones you love serious harm.
Drunk Driving Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly one-third of all fatal car accidents involve a drunk driver and that about 1% of all American drivers will be arrested for drunk driving each year. Despite the prevalence of this serious problem, simply being hurt by an intoxicated motorist does not guarantee injured parties any form of compensation. Reasons people choose our law firm for legal assistance include:
Let our team of compassionate drunk driving accident attorneys in Northern California know what happened, and we can tell you what you should do next.
What To Do After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver
After being involved in a drunk driving accident, it is in your best interest to do the following:
Gain any and all witness accounts.
Gain any and all information on where the driver was drinking.
Think twice before taking the first settlement offered to you, as there may be a better option coming.
Contact your insurance company to inform them of a potential upcoming claim.
Contact the insurance company of the drunk driver to inform them of a potential upcoming claim.
Prepare yourself to be involved in the criminal process.
Can You Sue A Drunk Driver?
You may be able to pursue punitive damages if it can be proven through convincing evidence, such as:
Blood alcohol content (BAC) level test results proving that the other driver was drunk
Drunk driving is a common example of a crime that can trigger punitive damages in related injury claims.
Forms Of Compensation In A Drunk Driving Claim
A court can award punitive damages when the person who is liable for an injury was breaking the law in a way so egregious that it should have been known by that person that the injury of someone would soon follow. The primary objective of your drunk driving accident claim will be asserting that your injuries were caused by the other driver, not necessarily that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. In focusing on proving liability, you increase the likelihood of getting the compensation you need. Proof of intoxication, however, will certainly help the validity of your claim. Damages you may be able to collect include:
What Is Dram Shop Law?
When a party host or bartender continues to provide alcohol to someone they know will be driving an automobile soon, they could become liable for resulting damages through what is known as dram shop laws. In California, dram shop laws are notoriously restrictive, and it is quite rare for a court to use dram shop laws to hold a host or bartender accountable in drunk driving cases.
Essentially, there must be hard proof that the person serving the drinks had malicious intent by “over-intoxicating” the patron or guest. If you think dram shop laws could be relevant to your case, let our personal injury attorneys know, and we can help you determine if that legal avenue will be worth exploring.
What If A Passenger Is Injured By A Drunk Driver?
Many people who are hurt by intoxicated motorists are actually sitting within the same vehicle as the driver. As a passenger willingly riding in the car of a drunk driver, you can still seek damages, but you could be found partially liable, especially if there is evidence that suggests you knew absolutely that the driver was drunk. The same can be said if you were actually the person who gave that driver alcoholic beverages.
Get Started On Your Claim With Confidence
No matter the extent of your injuries or the complexities of your drunk driving claim, you can rely on our Fair Oaks car accident attorneys to manage it all on your behalf. We want you to rest comfortably and focus on recuperation, not the details of a legal claim. You will not be left in the dark, though; we make a conscious effort to always keep you up to speed and get you involved as much as you would like to be.