Getting hit by a drunk driver can be devastating to the victim and the victim’s family. With the physical injuries comes additional anguish knowing the driver was impaired. At Maison Law, we strongly feel those in Visalia should be able to drive without the risk of being struck by a drunk driver.
Free Consultations for Visalia Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Attorney Martin Gasparian founded Maison Law to help drunk driving accident victims in Visalia. We believe that when these terrible accidents happen to you or a loved one, justice demands that the injured be fully compensated under the law. Because of these beliefs, we are passionate about helping those injured by the needless acts of a drunk driver. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us for a free consultation.
Visalia Drunk Driving Statistics
Of all the different types of car accidents, drunk driving accidents are much more likely to leave pain and damage in their wake. Data from the California Office of Traffic Safety found that there were 240 drunk driving accidents that caused injuries in Tulare County in 2019 alone. Of these accidents, 25 were fatal. Thus, drunk driving accidents are extremely dangerous and can be deadly in some cases.
More than that, when drunk driving accidents happen, the likelihood of injury is very high. Unfortunately, the injured have to rely on EMS workers, police and the courts to pick up the pieces. In our system, a person can be criminally charged with a DUI, and then sued in a civil court for monetary damages. Generally speaking, the two parts of justice don’t affect the other as the criminal courts and civil courts are separate.
Because of this, a victim of a DUI can’t rely on the criminal system to give them all of the justice they have a right to under the law. To make the person financially whole again, California law allows the victim to sue in a civil court to get financial compensation for their injuries.
Common Injuries in Visalia Drunk Driving Accidents
The reason drunk driving accidents are so likely to cause injuries is quite simple: alcohol affects the driver’s reaction time, judgment, and ability to drive in a safe manner. This, obviously, leads to them causing accidents and injuring both themselves and others.
Some of the more common injuries from Visalia drunk driving accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – Traumatic brain injuries are among the worst outcomes of a drunk driving accident. These injuries alter your ability to function, both physically and emotionally. Concussions and brain bleeds will significantly impact you as you try to recover, and also require serious medical treatment and ongoing care.
- Spinal injuries – Spinal injuries can easily result in paralysis, which requires extensive surgery and treatment to repair the damage. In addition, spinal injuries often lead to slips or ruptures of the discs in between your spinal column, which can cause chronic pain and nerve damage.
- Internal injuries – Drunk driving accidents, because they occur at high speeds and heavy impact, often cause significant internal injuries. When your internal organs are damaged, it means complications and extensive recovery. Sometimes, injuries may require transplants, which can cause a whole host of different problems for you.
- Fractures and broken bones – Drunk driving accidents also typically cause broken bones or fractures, because of the impact of the collision. Arms and legs are especially susceptible because the impact typically occurs either head-on or at the side of the vehicle.
- Soft tissue injuries – Another common injury in drunk driving accidents are soft tissue injuries. These involve torn or stretched ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the shoulder, back, or neck area. These injuries can limit your movement and often cause long-term chronic pain. Physical therapy and surgery are also common with soft-tissue injuries.
- Burn injuries – Not only do you have to worry about the impact of the collision in a drunk driving accident, there are also injuries from burns. Depending on how serious the accident is, your car could roll over and catch on fire, causing serious disfigurement and burn injuries to your body. These injuries can mean reconstructive surgery, or even permanent nerve damage in serious cases.
What Do I Have To Prove In a Visalia Drunk Driving Accident?
Just because one is injured in an accident where the other driver was intoxicated, it doesn’t mean that the injured person will automatically get compensation for their injuries. Rather the victim will need to make a case that the driver was negligent in his or her driving and that the negligence was the cause of the injuries.
To prove negligence the injured person must prove that the other driver:
- Acted carelessly and without due regard for others’ safety.
This means that while on top of being impaired, the person did something negligent and careless, like ran a red light or turned in front of a car that had the right-of-way.
Once the other driver is proven negligent, then the court can award the victim damages for property and bodily injury. Property damages are things like a motor vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle and any personal items in the car that were destroyed or damaged in the accident.
Bodily injury includes all the financial costs that came from the accident. Some financial costs are obvious like medical bills and missed time from work, while others are more tangible like pain and suffering and mental anguish for the victim and in some cases members of the victim’s family.
Some of the common damages sought in DUI cases are:
- Medical Bills
- Lost time from work
- Travel to and from treatment
- Loss of future income
- Vocational retraining
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Quality of Life
- Permanent Disability
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Punitive Damages can sometimes be awarded on top of all other monetary damages and are allowed in cases where the at-fault person was engaged in “oppression, fraud or malice”.
In California, the Supreme Court included impaired driving as conduct that could allow for punitive damages.
This will allow the victim to recover more than just the usual damages allowed by the law. If the court does award punitive damages, then the insurance company for the at-fault driver will have to pay those as well up to the policy limits.
Contact Experienced Visalia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
After any accident involving a serious injury, speak to an experienced Visalia car accident lawyer such as Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.
To learn more about our approach and how we can help you, contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.