Were you or a loved one injured in an accident involving a drunk driver in San Diego, CA? At Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have over 43 years of experience helping clients who have been injured in drunk driving accidents in San Diego.
We’re prepared to help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims in Southern California. Our legal team is ready to help your family fight for justice.
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How Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Drunk Driving Accident in San Diego
When intoxicated people get behind the wheel, they lose the ability to drive safely. It’s extremely likely that they’ll lose control and hurt someone. It can be surprisingly difficult to recover compensation if you’re hurt because of a drunk driver’s actions.
The fact is, personal injury cases are nearly always complex. You’ll have to file a claim with the insurance company. They won’t want to hand over the fair compensation you deserve.
At Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience fighting for clients like you. When you hire us, our San Diego personal injury attorneys will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation
- Gather accident reports, witness statements, and other evidence to support your claim
- Assess the fair value of your damages and ensure your settlement accounts for future costs
- Negotiate with the insurance companies to maximize your settlement or verdict
Someone else caused your injuries. You shouldn’t have to worry about money and legal issues. Let our lawyers handle the fight for you. Our San Diego personal injury lawyers have been recognized as Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, and among the Best of the Bar.
Ready to learn more? Call for a free consultation today.
How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents in San Diego?
Drunk driving is a public safety issue nationwide. In fact, approximately 1.5 million Americans are arrested on drunk driving charges each year. Many of them are repeat offenders.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,142 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the U.S. in 2019. That’s about 28 people per day. That figure only includes crashes where at least one driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more.
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that 1,066 of those fatal DUI accidents were in California. In San Diego County, California Highway Patrol reports show that at least 666 people were injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol in 2018. Research shows that about 35% of all traffic-related fatalities in California involve alcohol.
What is My San Diego Drunk Driving Accident Case Worth?
Across the United States, drunk driving accidents cost about $44 billion in deaths and damage each year. Victims are entitled to recover full compensation for their losses. However, every victim’s damages are unique.
Some factors used to determine how much your DUI accident case is worth include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether the defendant’s liability is clear
- The cost of your medical treatment
- Your anticipated recovery time
- The amount of insurance coverage available
Our lawyers in San Diego are prepared to help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Drunk Driving Accident Victims in San Diego?
DUI accident victims are often entitled to compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages compensate victims for specific losses. They’re divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages reimburse victims for financial costs, such as:
Non-economic damages compensate for more personal, subjective harm, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are awarded solely to punish the defendant. Because drunk driving is a type of intentional behavior, it’s possible that your personal injury settlement or verdict will also include these damages.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Drunk Driving Accident in California?
Insurance companies often try to use scare tactics to manipulate accident victims into standing down or accepting a lowball settlement. One favorite strategy is a “blame the victim” tactic.
Yes, comparative fault can be an issue even if one at-fault driver was intoxicated. Multiple factors can play a role in any crash case. You can expect the insurance company to identify each one. However, under the pure comparative negligence law in California, shared fault isn’t an automatic bar to recovering damages.
Instead, your compensation can be reduced if you’re found partially responsible. Your compensation is reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault for the accident.
Don’t let a reckless drunk driver pin the blame on you. Our lawyers can help minimize any allegations that your actions contributed to the crash. Call for a free case review today to learn more about how contributory fault works in California.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Drunk drivers can cause serious damage. At Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re prepared to help you recover compensation for all of your crash-related injuries.
Some common drunk driving accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and contusions
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Airbag injuries
- Organ damage
- Traumatic amputation injuries
- Seatbelt injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
You don’t have to wait for the results of a criminal case to file a claim for damages. In fact, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries even if the DUI driver is acquitted.
How Do I Prove Liability After a Drunk Driving Accident in San Diego?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a type of negligent or reckless driving. Evidence from law enforcement reports and toxicology records can be helpful in establishing that the other driver’s reckless acts caused your accident.
Typically, you’ll still have to establish the four elements of a negligence claim. Those are:
- The at-fault driver owed you a legal duty of care (all drivers owe a duty to others on the road)
- A breach of duty (that the driver was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash)
- The breach caused your accident
- You suffered damages
If the at-fault driver’s level of intoxication was clearly established, these elements may be easy to prove. However, it’s possible that other factors could have played a role in your crash. Multiple parties can share liability under California law–and the insurance company will likely investigate to identify anyone else who may share financial responsibility.
As the victim, you have the burden of proof. That means you’ll be responsible for offering evidence that the suspected drunk driver caused your car accident and injuries. Our San Diego drunk driving accident attorneys are ready to put our experience to work in your case.
All you have to do is pick up the phone and call for a free case evaluation today.
What is Negligence Per Se?
Most car accident victims must show that someone else failed to use reasonable caution under the circumstances to recover damages.
It’s also possible to establish liability by showing the at-fault driver was negligent “per se.” Negligence per se is when someone violates a law designed to prevent the type of harm you’ve suffered.
Evidence that the drunk driver violated the California Vehicle Code by driving with a BAC in excess of 0.08% can be sufficient evidence that the driver was liable for your damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Drunk Driving Accident in California?
California has a two-year statute of limitations in personal injury cases. You have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The deadline in drunk driving cases isn’t always cut and dry. The San Diego County district attorney’s office may bring criminal charges for DUI or DUI homicide. That means it’s possible for the statute of limitations to be paused. It’s also possible that your civil case will be “stayed” while the defendant focuses on their criminal defense.
It’s never too early to take legal action. If you have questions about your rights and options, please contact our law firm for a free consultation today.
Questions About Victims’ Rights and Drunk Driving Accidents? Call a Car Crash Lawyer in San Diego for a Free Consultation.
Drunk driving accidents in San Diego are inexcusable. If you or a family member were hurt, you don’t have to fight for justice alone. Call a San Diego car wreck lawyer at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers today. As always, your consultation is completely free of charge–so don’t hesitate to get the legal advice you deserve.