Temecula Drunk Driving Accidents
Although a long-term campaign against drunk driving has been mounted across the nation, drivers continue to get behind the wheel when they are too intoxicated to safely operate their cars. The outcome may be catastrophic injuries and deaths sustained by innocent people. If you were injured in a DUI crash, you may be able to recover compensatory damages from the at-fault driver. At Sharifi Firm, our Temecula drunk driving accident attorneys can fight aggressively to help victims pursue recourse.Establishing the Liability of a Drunk Driver
Ordinarily, to establish a drunk driver's negligence, you will need to establish that the driver owed a duty of care, which was breached, and that this was the actual and proximate cause of your injuries. In virtually all cases, juries will find that getting behind the wheel while intoxicated constitutes a breach of the duty to use reasonable care, which all drivers owe to others on the road.
If you were hurt in an accident, you should make sure to have the police come to the scene, particularly if you suspect that an at-fault driver is drunk. A drunk driving conviction may make it possible to show that the driver was negligent per se (negligent as a matter of law).
However, a civil personal injury lawsuit is independent of any criminal charges brought against a drunk driver. It may be possible to recover compensatory and sometimes punitive damages against a drunk driver whose negligence caused an accident, even if the driver was not found guilty of DUI in criminal court. Since a higher standard of proof applies to criminal cases, it is harder to establish criminal guilt than to show negligence. Criminal liability is typically expressed through jail time, fines, or community service, while civil liability is expressed in terms of monetary damages. Our drunk driving accident lawyers can help Temecula residents pursue these damages.
Compensatory damages that you may be able to recover for injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident include any intangible or tangible losses that flow from them. They may include medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses, property damage, household services, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. A family also may be able to recover damages for wrongful death from a drunk driver who has killed a family member. Among other things, they may be able to recover funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of love, guidance, and companionship.
In contrast to other car accident cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages from a drunk driver who caused your injuries. Under California Civil Code § 3294, a plaintiff is entitled to seek punitive damages when a defendant is guilty of malice, fraud, or oppression. Drunk driving, although there is no intent to harm, may be considered malice that was done with a conscious disregard for the safety or rights of others.Consult a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Temecula
After a crash caused by an intoxicated driver, you may experience catastrophic injuries and require emergency care, medical care, and time to rest and recover. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Temecula drunk driving accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation. We can determine an appropriate strategy to pursue your damages and take an aggressive approach to gathering evidence. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 for a free appointment with a car crash lawyer.