DUI Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles
When a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and chooses to drive, they not only put their own lives at risk but also the lives of everyone else on the road. When someone under the influence causes a car accident, the injuries are often more serious because the driver lacked the capacity to react in time, unable to mitigate or avoid the accident because their reaction time is so much slower. The El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers hold drivers that cause accidents under the influence accountable for their actions and ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Contact our Los Angeles DUI accident lawyers today for help in the following cases.
California’s DUI Laws
In California, DUI laws apply to drivers of all ages. The California Driver Handbook states that it is against the law to drive or operate a motor vehicle after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in any form, taking any drugs (including prescription medication), or mixing the two which impairs your ability to operate a vehicle.
There are different blood alcohol content (BAC) limits for drivers of different ages. If a driver is 21 years or older, it is illegal for them to drive if their BAC is at or above 0.08%. However, if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle the limit is lowered to 0.04% and if the driver is under the age of 21 years old, the limit is only 0.01% before being deemed under the influence. There is also a 0.01% limit for any driver that is currently on a DUI probation. The state’s DUI laws also apply to illegal drugs and prescription medication if they render the driver unable to operate the vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.
Injuries Caused by Drunk Drivers
Because a person driving under the influence lacks the same reaction times as a sober driver, often the force and impact of a drunk driving accident are far more significant than an accident where a driver has the opportunity to try and avoid the crash. As a result, the injuries sustained by the victims of a drunk driver are oftentimes much more serious than a normal car accident. Common injuries seen after a drunk driving accident include the following:
- Head and neck trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Bulging and herniated discs
- Broken Bones
- Amputated limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Severe burns and lacerations
Due to the seriousness of the injuries, it is very important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles can help ensure you recover full compensation for the injuries sustained as a result of a drunk driver.
Effects of Presciption Medication on Driving
There are a variety of prescription medications – which, remember, are perfectly legal for a person to use – that can have side effects that are potentially dangerous when behind the wheel of a car. These side effects might include:
- Lack of focus;
- Slowed reaction time;
- Operation of a motor vehicle while partially asleep; and
- Inability to maintain a safe speed, constant distance, or lane position.
Consider that it is not just prescription medications that are dangerous, but some over-the-counter medications, as well.
Who is Liable for an Accident When The Driver Was Under the Influence of Medication?
While many people may not think that it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of an over-the-counter or prescription drug, California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) states that: “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”
What’s more, legality aside, driving while under the influence of any medication is highly negligent – outside the scope of what a reasonable person would find safe and appropriate.
If your accident was caused by a driver under the influence of medication, you may be able to hold the impaired driver liable for your harm. In addition to the driver themselves, the doctor who prescribed the medication, the pharmacist who filled the medication, or the manufacturer of the medication may all be held partially liable too if there was no warning provided to the consumer about the impairing effects of the medication. This is why it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney to help in determining who is at fault and who you are able to recover compensation from.
Compensation for DUI Accidents
In addition to criminal penalties, the victims of drunk driving accidents can also seek civil damages against the driver responsible. Compensation for driving under the influence accidents can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of future earnings and benefits, loss of enjoyment of life, disability and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In the most tragic cases of drunk driving accidents, where a victim is killed, the loved ones can also seek additional damages for wrongful death. Compensation for wrongful death includes money for funeral expenses, loss of security, love, companionship, and consortium.
Get Your Free Initial Case Consultation Today
Have you been injured by a drunk driver on the road in Los Angeles? If so, you may have a strong claim for compensation. Call or contact our Los Angeles DUI Accident Lawyers today to schedule a free review of your claims.
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