Written by attorney R. Michael Bomberger

Recovering Compensation after a DUI Accident

When a drunk driver causes a serious or fatal accident, the driver will be criminally charged by the state. A successful criminal case may offer victims a sense of justice, but does not necessarily guarantee full financial reparations for the losses and expenses suffered by the victims. Oftentimes, DUI accident victims must file a separate personal injury claim against the insurance companies to recover compensation for the lost wages, medical bills, and other incidentals.

Drunk Driving Laws in California

As with the rest of the United States, driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above .08 is illegal. However, the effects of alcohol on the concentration ability, coordination, and other functions necessary for safe driving can be experienced at levels far below the legal limit. Drivers must understand that drunk driving is an irresponsible choice that unnecessarily risks the safety of other drivers and cause more than 10,000 fatalities every year. For severely or fatally injured victims, a successful criminal case is not enough; the reckless drivers must also be held fully accountable for the financial consequences of their harmful actions.

Serious DUI Accident Injuries

In many DUI accidents, the occupants of the impacted vehicle typically suffer much more severe injuries than the drunk driver. Because intoxicated drivers have slower responses to sudden changes and may even have difficulties steering, many DUI accidents involve motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who are typically more difficult to identify and more vulnerable in a motor vehicle collision. Drunk driving injuries may involve:

  • Head injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Fractures
  • Laceration wounds
  • Nerve damage
  • Burn injuries
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Wrongful death

Seek Legal Representation

Even in DUI accident claims, insurance companies will still attempt to minimize their financial obligation to you and offer settlements far below your rightful compensation. Victims will still be required to prove their injuries were sustained in the drunk driving accident and negotiate for a settlement that covers the full extent of financial losses related to the DUI accident. Without the legal counsel of an experienced lawyer, victims may never recover from the physical injuries and financial losses caused by the accident. Whether your case can be resolved at the negotiation table or your rights must be defended before a jury, a skilled attorney can aggressively pursue your rightful compensation and protect your rights.

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