A number of San Diego County officials recently expressed concern over a shocking number of DUI fatalities which occurred this summer in the County. Those expressing shock included the District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, the Chief of the California Highway Patrol’s Border Division Jim Abele and San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. The string of fatal DUI accidents led District Attorney Dumanis to refer to it as “a summer of shame when it comes to DUIs.”
The statistics are shocking. This past summer, ranging from the beginning of May through the end of August, 11 people lost their lives as a result of suspected DUI accidents. That is 11 lost lives in the span of four months. What is even more shocking, is news that six people lost their lives in DUI accidents in August alone.
To put these numbers in to comparison, consider that for the entire year of 2014 a total of 16 people lost their lives in DUI accidents throughout the County. This number of deaths led the District Attorney’s Office to create a special unit to handle cases involving DUI fatalities.
In total, 12,300 DUI cases were filed by the District Attorney and the San Diego City Attorney last year.
A DUI can result in both a criminal action and a civil action being brought against the drunk driver. In the criminal action, the government (either through the District Attorney or the City Attorney) will bring the charges against the driver and seek to have that person criminally punished for their actions.
In a civil action, an attorney can file a lawsuit on behalf of the injured person for a number of reasons. For instance, if you were injured or suffered damage to your car as a result of a car accident with a drunk driver, then you are entitled to recover for these injuries or damages to your car. Your rights have been violated and a civil lawsuit is a means to repair the outcome of these violations.
In the case of a DUI fatality, a civil action known as a wrongful death may be available. Under the theory of a wrongful death is an action where one party seeks to hold another person liable for causing the death. The persons who file the action are known as survivors, and in general these are the close relatives and/or the spouse of the deceased, who have been directly harmed by the unfortunate death.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, please contact the experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in drunk driving accidents. We don’t get paid until we recover compensation on your behalf, so call today for a free consultation. San Diego 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.