Rancho Cucamonga Drunk Driving Accidents
From 2003-2012, over 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in California. Generally, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content at or over .08%, although this limit is lower for commercial drivers and underage drivers. Despite a strong campaign to reduce drunk driving, many people continue to drive drunk and injure or kill victims. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed because someone made the reckless decision to drive while intoxicated, our Rancho Cucamonga drunk driving accident attorneys may be able to hold the driver responsible in a civil lawsuit.Assert Your Rights Against a Drunk Driver
A civil case is independent of criminal charges that may also be brought against a drunk driver who causes injuries. In a criminal case, the charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard for a prosecutor to meet, and in some cases, the evidence is not compelling enough to meet this burden of proof. However, in a civil case, the burden of proof is the "preponderance of the evidence." This means that you must show that it is more likely than not that things happened as you say that they did to prove your case.
In most cases, a jury will find that a drunk driver acted negligently or recklessly. Negligence is established by proving that a driver failed to use reasonable care and that this failure caused injuries. When a driver operates a car while under the influence, they are less likely to be able to react to emergency situations that may arise, and they may break various safety laws and rules, such as speed limits or traffic signals.
Although the civil case is separate from any criminal charges, what happens in the criminal case might influence the outcome of the civil case. For example, evidence may be developed in the criminal case that affects whether or not the driver is considered negligent in the civil case. Accordingly, you should retain a drunk driving accident lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga right away if you are injured or a loved one is killed by a drunk driver. It is important that we have the same ability to develop evidence as the drunk driver's criminal defense attorney or the prosecution in the criminal case. Over time, memories fade and evidence disappears, making the investigative work that takes place just after an accident quite important.
If liability is established, you will need to prove your damages. You may recover compensatory damages from a drunk driver, including hospital bills, medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, household services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of life. If a loved one is killed by a drunk driver, certain family members may be able to recover compensation for items of loss such as loss of companionship and guidance, loss of financial support, funeral and burial expenses, and more. However, one aspect of a drunk driving case that makes it different from some personal injury lawsuits is that you may be able to recover punitive damages.
Punitive damages are a type of compensation that is awarded to punish the drunk driver rather than compensate the plaintiff for their injuries. Most of the time, you will not be able to get these damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, drunk driving is considered to be more egregious than many other types of negligent conduct, so they may be available in cases in which a drunk driver injures or kills someone.Retain a Rancho Cucamonga Attorney After a Drunk Driving Accident
Rancho Cucamonga is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. As of 2014, it had an estimated population of about 175,000 residents. It was ranked 42nd on Money magazine's Best Places to Live list in 2006. Drunk driving accidents in that area may result in serious injuries. Even when you drive defensively, you may be hurt. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Rancho Cucamonga drunk driving accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 for a free consultation with a car crash lawyer.