Nearly 30% of people will be in a DUI related accident
Unfortunately, approximately 30% of us will be involved in an alcohol-related accident at some point in our lives. In 2017, 10,874 people were killed as the result of a DUI accident in which the at-fault driver was drunk.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunken driver that has left you seriously injured, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries as well as property damage. However, personal injury cases involving drunk driving accidents are very complicated. Therefore, you should consult a personal injury attorney immediately.
Gregory A. Yates, one of the top rated attorneys in the greater Los Angeles area, has over 30 years of experience in the field of personal injury law. With one of the highest success rates in California, Greg Yates has been responsible for recovering over a half a billion dollars for his clients through jury verdicts, negotiated settlements, or awards.
You have a right to be made whole
When you’ve been involved in a serious DUI accident, it can be life-altering. In addition to the medical bills, hospital costs, and lost wages, you’re also going to be dealing with the emotional shock and trauma in the aftermath of the accident which can have a very real effect on your ability to recover.
In a personal injury case, there are two basic types of damages that are awarded to victims: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages try to reimburse injured victims for the harm that they’ve suffered; in other words, compensatory damages should make a victim whole for the expenses incurred or money lost as a result of the accident.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are allowed in a case when the person at fault does something intentional or reckless without having any regard for the consequences of their actions. They’re used in an effort to make an example of the drunk driver as well as to deter others from drinking while driving.
Punitive damages are only permitted in or after a trial. After the main claim is presented and a verdict has been delivered, the court will ask the jury if the defendant should be ordered to pay punitive damages as well. There must be “clear and convincing” evidence that the defendant was guilty of “intentional misconduct” or “gross negligence”.
Car insurance companies aren’t obligated to pay punitive damages. In fact, it’s their job to do everything possible to protect their client from paying any punitive damages. This is why it’s so important to have a personal injury attorney with experience in handling DUI cases when it comes to car accident victims’ rights.
Hiring an attorney who knows the law
While the state will most likely file a criminal case for DUI accidents, you must file a civil lawsuit against the driver in order to seek compensation.
Gregory A. Yates, attorney for car accident cases in California, will fight for your legal rights to receive the maximum compensation that you deserve. Call to schedule a free initial consultation.