If you’ve been in an auto accident, we understand that you will mostly feel helpless, angry and even terrified, particularly if the driver who caused the accident was drunk. If the driver who caused the accident was drunk, he will face criminal charges, but this doesn’t help you when you need to recuperate after injuries, lost monetary wages, and the cost of expensive medical bills. An auto incident lawyer in Temecula will be there for you to help you recover compensation through filing a civil action.
Criminal vs. Civil Actions
While under the influence, a drunk driver can face criminal actions for driving. These charges include prison time and penalties like fines. This does nothing to help compensate the victims in a car crash due to the intoxicated driver. A civil action must be filed in order for you to receive compensation.
Evidence can be used in these cases, such as the motorist’s BAC or blood alcohol content which should be recorded during a criminal investigation for your civil action. If it is found that during the time of the accident, the driver’s blood alcohol limit was more than the legal limit, then the driver did not take other people’s lives and safety into account and he/she failed to be careful on the road.
This is a list of the legal limits for intoxication in California:
- Commercial driver: .04 percent
- Non-commercial drivers over the age of 21: .08 percent
- Drivers under the age of 21: .02 percent
Pursuing Civil Action
If you have been in an accident because of a drunk driver, in order to recover compensations, you have to file a civil action insurance claim. In these DUI accident cases, you need to provide:
- The motorist was under the influence and his blood alcohol content
- His level of intoxication caused him to be an unsafe motorist and was careless
- It was his negligence that caused your accident
- Damages or injuries occurred
Once you’re able to prove these, you might be able to recover punitive damages, as well as, lost wages and medical expenses. Courts have the ability to award punitive damages to reprimand someone who has committed something wrong in California. These damages could be available under these circumstances.
Other damages that may be recovered after a DUI accident are:
- Medical expenditures – past and future
- Lost salaries
- Condensed earning capacity
- Property loss
- Physical therapy (or other types of therapy)
- Other damages such as pain and suffering