DUI Accident Lawyers in Carlsbad
The victims of auto accidents that are caused by drunk drivers are left with a range of injuries and psychological effects. You may be in shock, angry, and afraid of the future. Finding out that someone knowingly put the safety of yourself and your loved ones at risk by driving drunk is infuriating. It may help to know that the drunk driver will be held accountable under the laws of California, but this does little to repair your damage and compensate your losses.
You’re going to face a lot of difficulties in the aftermath of a drunk driving auto accident. You will have medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and – in the worst cases – the loss of a loved one and the expenses associated with their funeral and burial, plus the loss of their companionship and love. If you have gone through the trauma of a drunk driving auto accident in Carlsbad, contact the experienced DUI lawyers at 1-800-HURT-NOW (800-487-8669) to schedule a free consultation.
How Do Criminal Actions Differ From Civil Actions After a Drunk Driving Accident
Drunk driving is a criminal offense. This means that there are penalties imposed by the state for this behavior. Drunk drivers may end up in jail and may face severe fines and penalties. In some cases, they will be ordered into a treatment program for substance abuse. None of this will involve compensating you for the damages and losses that you’ve sustained. Instead, you need to start a civil action, outside of the criminal action taken by the state, if you wish to recover compensation.
Having said that, the same evidence that is used in the criminal action can be used in your civil action, primarily the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver. When the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, then he/she will face criminal actions. This same information can be used to establish liability in a civil action, proving that the driver was not upholding their “duty of care” to other drivers by operating their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Proving that the driver was drunk is a key point in proving their liability and the connection between their breached duty of care and the accident that occurred.
Here is where it helps to know exactly what the BAC limits are in California, as you may be surprised that it is not always the .08% that you might expect it to be.
- For drivers over the age of 21 who are not driving a commercial vehicle, the .08% limit applies as you would expect.
- However, if the driver is in a commercial vehicle, then the limit is .04%.
- Further, if the driver is under the age of 21, then the limit is only .02%. Naturally, having this knowledge makes a difference when pursuing a claim.
How Do You File a Civil Action Against the Drunk Driver Who Caused Your Accident?
To pursue a civil action against a drunk driver involves filing a lawsuit against that individual in a civil court. As with any other civil lawsuit, you have to prove three key points to recover compensation:
- The first is that the driver owed a duty of care to you and others on the road. The fact that they were driving is already evidence that they owed such a duty of care, because all drivers do.
- The next thing is that the driver breached this duty of care. If you have evidence of the driver’s BAC at the time of the accident, then this is evidence that he or she did, in fact, breach that duty of care by driving under the influence of alcohol, thus failing to drive responsibly and with reasonable care.
- Finally, you have to prove that this breach in the duty of care owed to you is what directly led to your accident, which ultimately caused your injuries and losses. It generally not difficult to prove a causal link between the intoxication of the driver, the accident, and the resulting damage.
What Damages Can You Recover In a DUI Accident Claim in Carlsbad?
While a drunk driving auto accident can create a lot of stress and challenges in your life, there is good news when it comes to seeking compensation: you can recover compensation for a wide range of damages. Among these are your economic damages and your non-economic damages.
The economic damages that you can recover from a drunk driving accident claim include your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earning potential, property damage, prescription costs, rehabilitation costs, any costs associated with counseling needs, and more. If you lost a loved one in the accident, then you can recover their associated medical expenses, their lost income, and the funeral and burial costs.
The non-economic damages that you can recover from a drunk driving accident claim include your pain and suffering, psychological trauma, and anything else that does not have a calculable economic value. If you lost a loved one, then these non-economic damages might include loss of consortium and loss of companionship. In many cases, you can even recover punitive damages as a punishment to the individual whose gross negligence caused your losses and suffering.
1-800-HURT-NOW Can Help You Recover Compensation
When it comes to seeking compensation for your damages and losses after a drunk driving accident in Carlsbad, you can greatly benefit from the advice, guidance, and representation of an experienced DUI accident attorney. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW (800-487-8669) for a free consultation to learn more.