Every single person deserves a safe road and when an intoxicated motorist decides to place innocent people at risk of injury, this is morally and legally unacceptable. Even as the State of California, and the nation as a whole, have made incredible progress toward reducing the amount of intoxicated drivers on the road, there are still many accidents that occur every day that are attributed to driving under the influence.
Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over 10,000 people are killed each year as a result of DUI automobile accidents. There are even higher numbers of reported cases where people were seriously injured because of a DUI-related accident. As tragic as DUI accidents are, every single accident is fundamentally avoidable.
If you lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driving accident, you should know that the State of California protects your right to file a civil lawsuit against the negligent driver. Civil suits can be filed concurrent to criminal lawsuits.
Driving While Under the Influence is Considered Negligent Driving
The State of California is considered a fault-based auto accident jurisdiction. In order to hold a party responsible for grievances sustained in an auto accident, the victim or the victim’s survivors will need to demonstrate that the defendant bears the responsibility for the accident. Liability is usually based on negligence, which is a careless or reckless action or inaction that resulted in the injury of another. In most auto accident cases, negligence may be represented in many different forms. One of these forms involves driving while under the influence.
For many, a DUI can be one of the worst forms of reckless driving. In a majority of cases, drunk drivers will commit multiple negligent acts simultaneously. Motorists who are under the influence will often violate traffic laws such as speeding, ignoring stop signs, or swerve in an out of traffic lanes. Even so, it may be very difficult to hold a drunk driver accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Challenges Faced When Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Filing a wrongful death case against a drunk driver is not easy. Defendants and their insurance companies will often defend the claim vigorously, which may involve blaming the victim for the accident or undervaluing the damages caused to the victim. In order to have a successful wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to have a fortified foundation of reliable, compelling, and overall well-represented evidence. This may include:
- Arrest records
- Police reports
- Defendant’s criminal conviction of driving while drunk
- Any evidence that was presented in the criminal trial
- Pictures of the accident
- Testimony of witnesses in the accident
You Deserve Full Compensation, Seek the Legal Support of an Experienced Law Firm
If your loved one was fatally injured in a DUI-related accident, it is important to pursue the maximum available restitution. Even if the defendant has not yet been criminally convicted, a civil suit can be filed against him or her. A successful claim may be able to bring monetary relief for the loss of consortium, medical bills, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.
The personal injury attorneys at Martinez & Schill, LLP have many years of committed experience helping the survivors of DUI collision victims seek monetary relief through wrongful death lawsuits. The firm has extensive knowledge and experience in handling DUI accident cases. Contact the firm today for more information on wrongful death claims.