was found guilty of being under the influence at the time of the accident?
Yes, in addition to all out of pocket expenses (like medical bills, lost wages) you are entitled to pain and suffering. You might want to consult with a local personal injury attorney who is familiar with the auto accident laws, and who knows how to deal with insurance companies who will try and lowball you.
Yes if you were injured and the other driver was at fault, you can collect against them and make a claim on their insurance for your injuries and damages. The fact they were legally under the influence, allows you to also claim punitive damages for which the other driver is legally responsible as the insurance will not cover those damages.
You can recover for your property damage, loss of use of your car (rental car), loss of past and future earnings. loss of earning capacity, past and future medical expenses that are reasonably necessary, mileage to and from the medical providers and auto body shop (keep a detailed mileage log to prove the mileage), and pain and suffering. You should pictures of your car, the other car, the scene and your injuries, prepare a detailed statement of all the surrounding the accident, get a copy of the police report and any police photos, and all your medical recors and bills, keep a daily journal for your lawyer of how your injuries feel each day and all the medications you are taking.
As I am in San Diego and have worked on these kinds of cases for almost 30 years, i am happy to speak with you about this case if you like? Good Luck.
No. See Civil Code §3333.4, which provides as follows:
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), in any action to
recover damages arising out of the operation or use of a motor
vehicle, a person shall not recover non-economic losses to compensate
for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment,
disfigurement, and other nonpecuniary damages if any of the following
(1) The injured person was at the time of the accident operating
the vehicle in violation of Section 23152 or 23153 of the Vehicle
Code, and was convicted of that offense.
There is an exception (referred to as subdivision C above) if the other driver was convicted of DUI.
California law penalizes uninsured drivers and drunk drivers should they be involved in an accident... but the laws are not straight forward... thus, anyone who suffers an injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident should hire an experienced personal injury attorney right after leaving the doctor's office.
No one should handle any claim (involving a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury) against any insurance company without a lawyer. Claims should be handled by a lawyer - one who will be able to understand and explain the physical damages and injuries from accident. The victim of a car accident really needs to worry about one thing - getting better. That means attending doctor's appointments, attending physical therapy (if appropriate), and taking his or her medication. All of the rest can be handled by a personal injury attorney. We earn our fees (contingent by the way) by taking on the stress and hassle of fighting for money - I dare say some of us actually enjoy the fight, but I realize that most people do not enjoy conflict.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
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