Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues to be a major problem in California. If you have been the victim of an accident with someone who was under the influence at the time of the incident, you have options that extend beyond the criminal justice system.
Criminal and Civil Penalties for DUI Drivers
While a DUI driver may go to jail for causing harm to others, anyone affected by an accident in California has the right to sue the offender for civil damages as well. These cases take the offender to court where an attorney aims to prove the driver’s negligence.
If the jury is convinced of the driver’s wrongdoing, it will award plaintiff monetary damages to compensate plaintiff. The jury may also award punitive damages against the defendant based on defendant’s financial net worth. Some people consider such lawsuits to be unnecessary in addition to criminal penalties. However, you may have no other way to pay for your pain and suffering if you do not pursue a civil case. The criminal justice system does not always cover these needs.
In the worst case scenario, a DUI driver may be responsible for the death of your loved one. This type of event opens the door to a wrongful death case brought by surviving heirs (spouse, children, parents, etc.). The goal is to make sure that those left behind after the death are cared for in the future.
Though some states have no-fault insurance laws that prevent DUI drivers from facing some civil liability, California is not one of these states. Be sure to get what you are entitled to if you are the victim of a DUI accident.
Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers when you need an effective personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. Our highly experienced team will fight to get what you are entitled to following any accident. For further information or to set an appointment please contact us at (888) 539-9582 or visit www.WestCoastTrialLawyers.com.