Drunk driving accidents are one of the hardest cases for an injury victim and their family to deal with. Serious injuries in these types of cases can lead to substantial medical bills that can top $100,000. Hospital bills, physical therapy visits, and lost wages are just some of the damages that can be recovered against a drunk driver when an accident happens.
California DUI Accident and Injury Statistics
According to the California DMV*, there were 123,548 total DUI arrests in the State of California in 2017. In this same year, there were 26,967 alcohol-involved crashes that caused injuries. Sadly, 1,294 people were reported to have been killed in an alcohol related accident. This amounts to a 13.1% increase in fatalities in 2017 versus 2016.
In 2017, over 20% of DUI arrests occurred in Los Angeles Counties. San Diego County reported 9,866 DUI arrests. This was an increase of 2.4% compared to 2016.
[*2019 Annual Report of the CA DUI Management Information System]
Dealing with an insurance company in a DUI injury case
In any case involving a DUI driver, it is imperative that you speak to a lawyer before signing anything that an insurance company sends you. We have worked with multiple clients who have had an insurance claim representative attempt to get releases signed while the client was still in the hospital. What an injury victim does not know is that they are not just releasing the insurance company, but also the drunk driver from all liability for the accident. What insurance companies typically will never tell the victim of a DUI accident is that the victim could go after the drunk driver's personal assets in addition to insurance coverage that is available.
As an example, in one case that we turned down, a serious motorcycle accident happened that was caused by a drunk driver. While the potential client was still in the hospital they were contacted by the insurance company and told directly that "all that could be paid" was the policy limits. The potential client signed a release (while still in the hospital) believing this was how they could get money to help with mounting medical bills. What they were not told was that the drunk driver was also being released from any liability.
Damages that can be recovered in a DUI accident case
In an accident case that was caused by a drunk driver, an injury victim can recover various damages including:
- Costs of past medical bills
- Costs for future medical bills
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium damages
- Punitive damages against the DUI driver
- Interest on a judgment
In a DUI accident case, our office always pursues punitive damages against the DUI driver. These damages are allowed under the law for deliberate actions and are actually used to punish the wrongdoer.
Get help from a San Diego DUI Injury Lawyer today
Our office has helped to recover millions of dollars for the victims of car accidents and serious crimes such as DUI. We never charge a fee to discuss a case with a potential client and we are not paid unless we obtain compensation for you. For more information or to speak to a lawyer about your case, contact us
online or call (619) 377-4660.