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Were you injured by a drunk driver?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Car Accidents

Although the drunk driver who injured you may face criminal charges, California law also allows you to pursue compensation through a personal injury action. You must prove negligence to receive compensation.

Proving negligence

This means proving that the drunk driver had a duty to drive safely, failed in that duty and that failure caused the accident. Additionally, you must prove your damages, or your amount of loss.

For example, if you claim that $10,000 of your damages are for medical bills, you must provide evidence of the cost through receipts or other medical documentation.

Proving fault in car accident cases is typically challenging. However, in a case involving drunk driving, the other driver’s intoxication is a strong sign of their fault. A criminal conviction for drunk driving is not necessary to prove fault, but it helps.

Comparative negligence

That does not always mean proving fault is easy. California recognizes a comparative negligence rule, which means your amount of compensation could be reduced by your own percentage of fault.

Although you might prove that the other driver was drunk, they could present evidence that you were distracted and this caused you to miss signs of their drunk driving. If a court determines that your distraction was a factor in the accident, your overall amount of compensation will be lowered.

Do not admit fault for the accident

Because of the comparative negligence law, it is important that you accept no blame for the accident. This starts at the accident scene. Do not apologize or take any responsibility for the accident.

While many personal injury actions get complicated with determining each party’s level of fault, when the other driver was drunk, you stand a better chance of receiving full compensation.