Victims of a Drunk Driving Accident in San Diego
After a car crash, it’s hard to keep your composure, typically you’ll feel scared, helpless and even angry, especially if the one who is to blame was intoxicated. If the driver who caused the accident was drunk, he will face criminal charges, but this doesn’t help you when you need to recuperate after injuries, lost monetary wages, and the cost of expensive medical bills. An auto incident lawyer in San Diego will be there for you to help you recover compensation through filing a civil action if you have been hurt in an accident by a drunk driver.
Criminal and Civil Actions: What’s the difference in a Drunk Driving Car Wreck in California?
If a driver is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, criminal actions can be faced by the driver. Criminal actions are such penalties like fines and time in jail. None of this fixes the issues that involve the victims of the car accident. A civil action must be filed in order for you to receive compensation.
The driver’s blood alcohol content or BAC can be collected data that can be used in favor of your case. For instance, when the police arrived at the scene of the accident and they found out that the blood alcohol content of the driver was above the legal limit, then the driver was not taking reasonable care and was not protecting the safety of others on the road while driving.
This is a list of the legal limits for intoxication in California:
- Commercial driver: .04 percent
- Non-commercial drivers over the age of 21: .08 percent
- Drivers under the age of 21: .02 percent
How to Pursue a Civil Action against a Driver under the influence
In order to be able to gain benefits for any damages or injuries done during a drunk driving incident, you must first pursue a civil action against the driver who is at fault. In DUI incident cases, you need to have evidence for:
- The motorist was under the influence and his blood alcohol content
- He was an unsafe driver and negligent on the road due to his intoxication
- The accident that ensued was due to the driver’s negligence
- You suffered injuries or damages
Once you’re able to prove these, you might be able to recover punitive damages, as well as, lost wages and medical expenses. Courts have the ability to award punitive damages to reprimand someone who has committed something wrong in California. Damages such as these may be suitable under certain circumstances.
Other damages that may be recovered after a DUI accident are:
- Future and past hospital expenses
- Lost salaries
- Condensed earning capacity
- Property destruction
- Physical therapy/other types
- Pain and suffering and other intangibles