More than 10,000 people in the United States die annually in drunk driving related accidents and California’s numbers related to drunk driving accidents are very high. California routinely sees over 1,000 drunk driving fatalities in a year and recent drunk driving statistics show that in 2016 there were 1,059 drunk driving accident fatalities in California. If these numbers are not alarming enough, remember that these are only fatalities and do not include the number of people who are injured in drunk driving accidents.
Driving under the influence is a criminal offense and drunk drivers are punished when caught, but that does not help to compensate innocent victims who are injured in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. Monetary compensation for drunk driving victims is a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, contact El Cajon drunk driving accident attorney injured in car accidents, Eugene G. Bruno, who will see that a drunk driver’s consequences do not stop at the criminal level. Mr. Bruno wants to see that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
You may be familiar with dram shop laws since most states have them, but California’s dram shop laws are very limited. Dram shop laws regulate an alcohol provider’s liability for serving alcohol to a person who is already drunk or well on his or her way to being drunk and subsequently causes injuries to someone else. In California, it is typically the drunk driver and no one else that is liable for injuries that he or she causes.
California’s dram shop and social host laws (related to sellers and furnishers of alcohol) relieve alcohol providers of civil liability for drunk driving accidents in most scenarios. There are some exceptions including when a minor drunk driver causes the injuries. Sellers and furnishers of alcohol have been found liable when they provided alcohol to a minor and that minor subsequently causes a drunk driving accident.
Depending on the circumstances, in some cases an injured plaintiff may be able to recover from a liable employer whose employee caused a drunk driving accident. It is important to look at whether or not the defendant was operating in the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. For example, was a truck driver operating under the influence when he was transporting goods? Was the defendant employee out entertaining clients followed by a drunk driving accident on his way home?
Drunk driving accidents can cause life changing injuries and even death. Plaintiffs may seek recovery for accident related injuries and damages including property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future wages, disfigurement or permanent impairment, and medical bills. Punitive damages may also be awarded in some cases. Damages and liability in drunk driving cases can be confusing and questionable which is why it is important to contact The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno to discuss the facts and circumstances specific to your case.