Orange County Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

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Orange County Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Orange County Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

Those who choose to drive while under the influence of substances selfishly accept a higher likelihood of causing harm to others in their path, thus inviting damaging accidents. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and believe the offender to have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be due compensation for your suffering. Reach out to an Orange County drunk driving accident lawyer for guidance and legal representation.

Common Injuries and Lasting Effects of DUI Accidents

Whether the at-fault driver’s blood alcohol level is within or above the legal limit, there’s no denying that their faculties or ability to drive effectively and safely is affected. Their coordination, reaction time, focus, vision, and other capabilities can be adversely impacted.

It can already be difficult to safely drive while sober, considering the actions of other drivers and actively trying to avoid accidents and traffic infractions. If drunk drivers already chose to dangerously operate their vehicles, it’s not difficult to imagine that they are also less likely to take measures to evade potential collisions, even if they had the awareness to do so effectively.

This behavior, unfortunately, can lead to more dire injuries than those of an accident involving a relatively clear-headed driver. These injuries include:

Soft Tissue and Limb Injuries

Crashes can lead to permanent damage, such as restricted movement and chronic pain from stretched or torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons in a person’s neck, shoulder, or back. Accidents can also cause a victim’s arms, legs, and other major bones or extremities to fracture or shatter.

In particularly serious cases, limbs can even be amputated during a car crash or in a medical operation. All these instances can require surgeries and long-term physical therapy, with some scenarios requiring the victim to endure physical therapy for an extended period of time before surgery becomes an option.

Traumas to the Spine

Spinal injuries especially can be gravely dangerous. Someone caught up in a DUI accident whose spine was wounded can experience nerve damage and chronic pain from a ruptured, protruding, or slipped disc. They may also suffer permanent, life-changing disfigurement or partial or complete paralysis.

Damage to the Brain and Other Organs

Organs that are most commonly injured in motor vehicle wrecks are one’s kidneys, spleen, and lungs. Another frequent injury is head damage that is significant enough to result in a traumatic brain injury.

Any internal wounds, like organ injuries, can be life-threatening and typically require quick access to emergency healthcare and surgery. Traumatic brain injuries especially can produce life-altering afflictions, such as those affecting the individual’s vision, hearing, reasoning, behavior, memory, and basic functioning.

Skin Burns

Certain unfortunate collisions can cause the vehicles to combust and catch fire. If the accident victim happens to get burned, they may endure infections and continuing psychological trauma as well as adjusting to life with permanent scarring and other mutilations.

Minor Injuries

Even cases with minor injuries can lead to a more serious handling of the violation, viewing it as an aggravated DUI. Whether injuries are deemed minor or moderate can depend on the exact details of your situation; an accident attorney can help you better determine this. Typically, minor wounds are along the lines of bruising, whiplash, scrapes, and other abrasions.

Criminal Penalties and Your Claim

If the victim in a drunk driving accident suffers any of the above bodily damages, it will automatically increase the DUI charge in Orange County, CA, against the driver and the penalties they will face, even if it’s their first offense. A “DUI with serious injury” offense can lead to the driver facing imprisonment and other penalties in Orange County.

Whether their criminal charge is a misdemeanor or a felony, the offender can still face civil penalties for their actions through your personal injury claim. The evidence in the criminal trial can help you more convincingly argue your civil claim.

Wrongful Death Claims

If a loved one is killed in a DUI incident, you can file a case of wrongful death to receive compensation for your suffering and loss of a family member. As with a personal injury claim, the evidence from a criminal case can aid your efforts in the wrongful death claim.

Why You Can Benefit From Seeking Compensation for Your Injury

Approaching a personal injury lawyer to represent you in going to trial for compensation can provide immense benefits. It can also hold accountable the drunk drivers who knew the risk and still intentionally operated a vehicle, knowing they were intoxicated.

In fact, seeking recompense for your physical pain and psychological distress enables you to get as much financial restitution as you can, knowing that you’ll have to pay for medical bills and lost wages from time spent recovering. You can also claim for emotional damages, such as pain and suffering.

What Should I Do When I’m Hit by a Drunk Driver?

After you’ve sought healthcare services, make sure to acquire all documentation relevant to your medical treatment; this will help make sure you’ve received all proper care required, as well as provide pertinent evidence in your case for compensation.

If able, you may also want to collect photos of the collision scene, vehicle damage, injuries, and visual proof of the driver’s intoxication (open alcoholic beverages, slurred speech, droopy or irritated eyes, general disheveledness). You can also request the contact information of witnesses to your accident. Additionally, you can write down your own account, including what you might’ve smelled or heard the driver say.

Soon after the car accident, be certain to report the incident to law enforcement if you haven’t already. The police’s official report will include their own evidence and findings after investigating the accident, which can also be utilized in settlement talks or if the case goes to trial. Your accident lawyer can look over all evidence and case details to determine what your options are and the right way to proceed.

How an Attorney Can Help Your Claim

Your attorney can first try to negotiate a settlement with the drunk driver’s insurance or legal counsel. If this proves unsuccessful, or they do not have car insurance, then your lawyer may appeal to your insurance company. If that fails, they can also file an official legal complaint with the court and serve the defendant.

From there, further negotiations may take place during the legal proceedings, and a fair settlement may possibly be reached. If not, the case may go on to trial, wherein your lawyer can represent you, presenting various evidence and testimonies, along with compelling arguments to the jury or judge.

If the driver’s liability was successfully proven, you may be awarded compensation by the court for property damage, hospital bills, wages lost, and physical and mental anguish. You may also receive punitive damages from the other driver due to their intoxication in the accident.

FAQs About Orange County, CA Drunk Driving Accident Laws

What Is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident in Orange County, CA?

Average settlement payouts in California can vary based on how severe the accident was and the type of accident the DUI resulted in. The range, on average, is about $50,000 to $100,000, with accidents causing minor injuries typically settling for $20,000 to $50,000. Accidents sustaining severe injuries can yield settlements between $100,000 and more than $1,000,000.

What Happens If You Get in an Accident While Drunk in Orange County?

If you were driving while intoxicated in Orange County, you will likely be charged with a DUI. Charges tend to escalate if the accident results in injury or death. However, you are not automatically responsible for the accident because you were driving under the influence.

To be deemed responsible, the DUI driver must have also done something negligent or illegal in addition to the DUI, such as racing, driving distractedly or recklessly, etc. Sober drivers can be partially, or fully, responsible for the accident.

Can You Sue a Drunk Driver in California?

Yes, it is possible if the impaired driver is clearly proven to be at fault and negligent. However, it may not always be in your interest. If the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance or enough assets to be able to appropriately compensate you, a personal injury trial may not be worth the cost, effort, and time required.

Filing an insurance claim could be more rewarding; to know what options your case allows and how to get the most compensation, contact a personal injury attorney.

What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time in Orange County?

A: First-time DUI offenses may result in the drunk driver serving up to 6 months in jail, paying up to $2,000 in fines, and up to one year of their license suspended. Additionally, they may be subject to required alcohol treatment programs and paying toward the victim’s compensation. If you were recently charged with a DUI, it’s wise to contact a criminal attorney.

Legal Help When You or a Loved One Has Suffered From a Drunk Driving Collision

Corrales Law Group wants to make sure you receive as much compensation as you can after a drunk driving accident. You didn’t ask for the injury and anguish as a result of someone else’s mistakes, and the at-fault party should pay you recompense for them. Contact an Orange County drunk driving accident lawyer today.

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Corrales Law Group aims to assist our clients with all legal matters. Feel free to contact us with any legal questions and we will do our best to help.


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