DUI Brings Heavy Costs and Liability
Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the fastest ways to spend thousands of dollars and take on tremendous liability for any accidents caused by negligence. Although there are not reliable figures on how many people are sued each year for damages caused while drinking and driving, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers claims that about one-third of all fatal car accidents involve alcohol. Younger people and males are more likely to be drunk drivers and to be the victims of a DUI accident.
While the cost of DUI in terms of lives and injuries is terrible, the price to be paid does not simply stop with the innocent victims. Those who cause these accidents are often held liable for the damages and this can mean thousands of dollars in compensation to the victims. A drunk driver can easily bankrupt himself or herself as well as family members for one ill-advised decision to drink and drive.
What If I Am The Victim of a Drunk Driver?
In California, drunk driving is treated differently from a liability standpoint than a person who simply “has an accident.” Drunk driving is considered an automatic indication that the person was negligent. This means that not only does the driver face fines and penalties, including possible jail time, but he or she will also have a hard time defending those actions in a civil court.
However, this does not mean that victims of drunk drivers have an easy time collecting compensation. In many cases, drunk drivers are unlicensed and uninsured. If the driver has little or no assets to claim, the job of collecting damages becomes much harder.
A victim who has been injured by a drunk driver should consult a personal injury attorney for help. An attorney may be able to advise the victim on several ways to collect compensation in a drunk driving accident, including naming other negligent defendants such as a bar or restaurant who served the intoxicated driver. A personal injury attorney may also be able to help the victim collect from his or her own insurance company if necessary.