Hit by a Drunk Driver
Drunk driving is illegal in San Francisco, as it throughout the rest of the state and country. When a person is caught driving while impaired, he or she faces serious criminal penalties, even if no one was hurt. However, when a person is hit by a drunk driver and becomes seriously injured, that person can file a claim for compensation. These laws are sometimes complex, so it is recommended that accident victims speak to a San Francisco drunk driver car accident lawyer who can help with their case.Who is Liable for Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving?
When you file a claim for compensation for injuries caused by drunk driving, you file it with the other driver’s insurance company. Ideally, that insurance company will then provide compensation for your medical bills, lost income if you are unable to return to work, pain and suffering, and more.
Accident victims should always speak to a drunk driver car accident attorney in San Francisco before speaking to the other side’s insurance company. Insurance companies do not play fair and often deny the valid claims of accident victims.
In many instances, those hit by drunk drivers do not realize that their own insurance policy may include “med pay.” This is insurance that is provided by your own insurance company and can help cover medical costs. You should report the accident to your own insurance company soon after the crash, at which time you can ask if you have med pay coverage.Criminal Actions and Civil Lawsuits Involving Drunk Drivers
Drunk driving accidents often involve two different types of cases. The first is a criminal case. If the driver is convicted of the offense in these hearings, then he or she will face criminal penalties such as jail time and high fines.
If you decide to file a personal injury claim against a drunk driver who caused you injuries, then this is a civil case. If a judge finds the defendant was negligent, the driver will not face criminal penalties but will be liable for paying compensation.
A criminal case has no bearing on a civil lawsuit. You do not have to wait to file until the criminal case is over and in fact, doing so could hurt your case and bar you from receiving compensation. A conviction or lack thereof should not affect your case, although a San Francisco drunk driver car accident lawyer may try to use a conviction as proof of negligence.Liability of Establishments
Many people have heard that when a bar or other establishment has overserved an intoxicated customer, they can be held liable for any injuries incurred as a result. These are known as dram shop laws, and while they are included in California’s statutes, they are limited in San Francisco. Establishments can only be held liable for a drunk driving accident if the driver was a minor.Were You Hit by a Drunk Driver? Contact Us Today
If you were hit by a drunk driver, there is a good chance you sustained significant injuries. At Willoughby Brod, LLP, we are the drunk driver car accident attorney in San Francisco who can help. We have the experience necessary to hold drunk drivers and their insurance companies accountable for paying the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about what we can do for your case.