Stockton DUI Accident Victim Lawyers
- Statistics on DUI Accidents
- Stockton DUI Accidents
- DUI Civil Accident Claims
- Damages Available to a DUI Accident Victim
- What Should I Do After a DUI Accident?
- What to Avoid Doing After an Accident
- How Much Time Do I Have to File a Civil Lawsuit After a DUI Accident?
- Do I Have a Claim If My Loved One Died in a DUI Accident?
POWERHOUSE DUI ACCIDENT VICTIM LAWYERS Protecting the Injured in Stockton
Stockton is the county seat of San Joaquin County in the Central Valley of California. Founded in 1849, Stockton is now the eleventh most populated city in California and the 58th largest city in the nation. According to the 2020 census, Stockton has a population of more than 309,000 people. It is the most populated city in San Joaquin County.
Although recognized as an All-American city, the number of DUI accident victim lawyers in Stockton is astronomical. Various reasons make Stockton a great place to live, but the city is certainly not known for traffic safety.
If you have suffered an injury in a traffic accident, you need Stockton DUI accident victim lawyers who will work hard to get you the compensation you need to fully recover from the accident. The dedicated legal team at Arash Law, under the direction of Arash Khorsandi, Esq., is what you need fighting on your side as you make an effort to recover your losses. Contact us today at (888) 488-1391 to discuss your claim with one of our experienced and knowledgeable DUI accident victim lawyers in or near Stockton, California.
California Statistics on DUI Accidents
The California DUI Management Information Systems and the Office of Traffic Safety Statistics in California published statistics about accidents involving impaired drivers. Despite California leading the nation in advancement in safety in the automotive industry, there are still a significant amount of drunk driving accidents across the state. These organizations found the following statistics regarding DUI accidents in recent years:
- The number of DUI convictions increased across the state. This number represents a 72.6 percent increase in the overall conviction over the past several years.
- In 2017, police arrested 123,548 people for driving under the influence of alcohol. Of these arrests, 4,944 people were charged with felony drunk driving throughout the state.
- DUI arrests for misdemeanors dropped to 118,604 in 2017 from 124,868 in 2016.
- In recent years, DUI crash fatalities decreased by 33.1 percent across the state.
- Of all crashes reported in 2017 across California, 829 involved a driver under the influence of drugs. This number represents 21.2 percent of the total traffic crash fatalities.
- In 2017, 2,982 drug-involved traffic accidents caused injuries representing just over one percent of the total number of crash-related injuries.
- In 2017, there were 26,967 alcohol-involved crashes representing 9.7 percent of crash injuries caused by drunk drivers.
- The California DUI Management Information System claimed in its annual report that the DUI arrest rate per 100,000 licensed drivers across the state decreased to 458 in 2019 from 491 reported in 2016.
- Men made up 77.3 percent of all DUI arrests in recent years.
- Women historically have been convicted at a lower rate than men for impaired driving, but over the last several decades, the number of women arrested for drunk driving has steadily increased.
A farm worker, suffered multiple broken bones and other orthopedic injuries resulting from an auto accident where the defendant driver attempted to make a left turn in front of our client in heavy fog.– ARASH KHORSANDI
Stockton DUI Accidents
According to a report published by the Office of Traffic Safety, when adjusted for the population and the number of miles that Stockton drivers travel daily, this large metropolis is ranked as the fourth worst city for accident rates among the largest California cities studied. According to the OTS, Stockton has the most significant number of car accidents that cause injury or death in the state, with 2,271 yearly.
There are areas throughout Stockton that have a higher number of DUI accidents per number of drivers.
Particularly dangerous areas of Stockton include:
- West Lane
- Pershing Lane
- Hammer Lane
- March Lane
- Pacific Avenue
Particularly dangerous intersections include:
- Airport Way and Park Street
- El Dorado Street and March Lane
- Hammer Lane and Lower Sacramento Road
- Hammer Lane and West Lane
- DaVinci Drive and March Lane
Per the Office of Traffic Safety, the following statistics represent the number of accidents that happened in Stockton in 2019:
- Of the total number of traffic accidents that occurred in that year, 418 of them involved speeding.
- 2,712 people suffered fatal injuries.
- Of the accidents that happened that year, 175 involved drunk drivers.
- There were 497 DUI arrests that year.
Drunk driving accidents continue to be a huge problem in California. The only way to reduce the number of drivers that choose to get beyond the wheel of a car after drinking too much is to hold offenders accountable. The law imposes criminal, administrative, and civil penalties for impaired driving.
Criminal punishments for driving under the influence include:
- One year in jail or up to 16 months in prison
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Automatic four-month suspension of driver’s license
There are administrative consequences that a driver must face after a DUI conviction. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will impose the following penalties:
- The driver must complete a DUI class.
- The driver’s license will be suspended for six months.
- The impaired driving conviction will remain on the driver’s California driving record for ten years.
Although the legal consequences are steep for driving under the influence of alcohol, neither the criminal nor the administrative penalties address restitution to the victim. Fortunately, if you suffered an injury in a drunk driving accident, you can pursue a civil action to recover your losses and receive compensation for the damage you sustained.
DUI Civil Accident Claims
Drivers who get behind the wheel of a car while impaired are negligent. The driver will face not only criminal liability, including jail time and fines, but also civil penalties for injuries and other damages they caused. If a driver operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least or greater than 0.08 percent, they are guilty of driving under the influence.
There can be many people responsible for causing a drunk driving accident. You should be sure to add every liable party as a defendant to the lawsuit. Experienced Stockton personal injury lawyers can assist you as you search for each potentially liable person or entity and hold them accountable for your injuries.
California has dram shop laws. Dram shop laws allow a DUI accident victim to sue the drunk driver and the person or business who gave them the alcohol. Under the California dram shop laws, social hosts and bar or restaurant owners may be found liable for providing alcohol to the driver if they are obviously intoxicated. However, California dram shop laws are limited. It is critical to speak to an attorney if you suspect that you have a claim against a social host, a bar or restaurant owner, or their staff.
Damages Available to a DUI Accident Victim
You have rights as a DUI accident victim. One of your rights after an accident is the right to collect compensation for your injuries. Collecting damages is part of pursuing legal and financial justice after an accident involving a drunk driver. Your Stockton DUI accident lawyer will investigate and help you gather evidence to prove your damages.
There are three general categories of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. As a DUI accident victim, you may have the right to collect each type of damage.
- Current medical bills
- The cost of anticipated future medical treatment costs
- Rehabilitation and occupational therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to earn or a diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- The cost of hiring domestic workers, including cleaners, chefs, and people to assist with daily errands
- In-home healthcare
- Pet care
- The loss of companionship or consortium
Non-economic damages are harder to prove because they are intangible. Accident victims are entitled to recover for their physical and non-physical losses. Non-economic damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
- Temporary or permanent disability
Punitive damages are also available in DUI accident cases. The availability of punitive damages varies by state. Under California state law, DUI accident victims can recover punitive damages under certain circumstances. In drunk driving accidents, courts award punitive damages to punish impaired drivers and discourage the behavior of the driver and others in the future.
What Should I Do After a DUI Accident?
It is imperative that you take the proper steps after getting into a traffic accident with an impaired driver. Taking the following steps can help ensure you protect your legal rights after an accident and save your life.
Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Go to your local emergency department immediately after an accident, even if you do not think you sustained any injuries. You should get proper medical attention to ensure that you are not suffering from internal bleeding, a concussion, or any other medical condition requiring a medical diagnosis. If you delay getting seen by a physician, it can stop your recovery or leave you much worse off had you seen a doctor right away.
Talk to a Stockton DUI Accident Victim Lawyer Immediately
The success of your case depends, in part, on how quickly you contact an attorney after you get into an accident. Your attorney is on your team, and your legal counsel is here to protect your legal rights and ability to pursue compensation after an accident. They can advise you about what to say to other people, including the other driver, insurance company, witnesses, and whoever may ask you questions regarding the accident. Remember that from the moment of impact until the case concludes, anything you say will be used to try and disprove your claim.
What to Avoid Doing After an Accident
The steps you avoid taking after an accident are just as important as the ones you make a priority. As stated above, everything that you say while your case is pending can affect the outcome. You can lose a claim by trusting that you can answer everyone’s questions. Avoid making statements to these people, especially before you speak to an attorney.
Do Not Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Never speak to the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to your attorney. In fact, you should allow your attorney to speak to the insurance adjuster for you. Right after an accident happens, insurance adjusters pounce and try to speak to everyone involved as quickly as possible to try to settle the case quickly.
A fast settlement protects the insurance company’s profit margin. Do not give any statement to the insurance company.
Do Not Delay Speaking to a DUI Victims Attorney
A DUI accident lawsuit is a civil case if you do not comply with the applicable statute of limitations. Per California law, a person injured in an accident has two years to file a lawsuit to recover damages in a personal injury case or a wrongful death case and three years to sue to recover property damages.
What Happens If a Drunk Driver Does Not Have Car Insurance?
California law requires every driver to carry minimum liability car insurance. According to California law, each driver must carry the following minimum amount of coverage before hitting the road:
- $15,000 minimum for an accident that causes the bodily injury or death of a person
- $30,000 minimum for an accident that causes the bodily injury or death of multiple people
- $5,000 minimum coverage to address the property damage caused by the accident
Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Civil Lawsuit After a DUI Accident?
Do I Have a Claim If My Loved One Died in a DUI Accident?
If your loved one lost their life in a drunk driving accident, you and your family might have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The right to recover on a wrongful death claim varies depending on the state. You would need an experienced California wrongful death attorney if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver in Stockton.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Your attorney is your advocate, and their job is to put you in the best position for maximum recovery after a DUI traffic accident. A Stockton DUI accident lawyer advocates for accident victims in the following ways:
- Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. As for-profit businesses, insurance companies are focused on keeping the expenditure low and profits high. One way that insurance adjusters work to protect company profit margins is by avoiding paying out claims to injury victims.
Insurance companies employ various tactics to avoid paying claims. One of the most common tactics is trying to settle cases quickly. After an accident, you will likely get a call from the other driver’s insurance company. The adjuster you speak to will try to get a recorded statement from you about what happened. After listening to your story, they may offer you a settlement amount. It is unlikely that the amount of money initially offered by the insurance company will be nearly enough to cover your losses. You should never accept a settlement offer without speaking to an attorney first.
- Investigate the Cause of the Accident
The police will conduct the initial investigation into the accident. The officer’s report will include the names of witnesses, statements from each driver, the insurance companies of each driver, and a narrative describing the officer’s finding of liability. In addition, the insurance company will also investigate and make a conclusion regarding liability.
Your attorney will review each finding and complete their own investigation. As part of their investigation, they will speak with witnesses, review video footage, including cell phone and traffic camera footage, review your medical records and medical bills, and hire expert witnesses to testify.
- Prepare a Demand Package
A demand packet is a vital part of settlement negotiations. A demand packet includes information that may persuade the insurance company to offer a reasonable settlement. The demand package may contain a detailed letter that describes your injuries, losses, and how the accident affected your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Your attorney may also choose to include copies of your medical bills to remove any doubt about the money you spent on medical treatment. Demand packages can help resolve a case and avoid a long, drawn-out trial.
- Take Care of the Legal Side of Recovery
The recovery process after an accident requires a holistic approach. While you work to recover physically, your legal team will work to protect your legal and financial recovery. Civil cases must submit to various rules of civil procedure. A civil attorney will ensure that your lawsuit is properly filed and in the right court, that every deadline is met, and you do not divulge too much information at the wrong time.
- Communicate with Third Parties
Getting better after an accident may be a long and stressful road. An attorney can help to remove some of that burden by intercepting correspondence from third parties. Once you are represented by counsel, you can request letters, phone calls, and other correspondence from insurance companies and medical billing departments.
- Represent You at Trial
If your case does not get settled, it will proceed to the trial phase. Preparing for trial and presenting your case to a jury can be intimidating, especially if you have not been a part of a trial before. If you have counsel representing you before a jury, you can rest assured that your case will comply with the applicable rules of civil procedure, the rules of evidence, and the local rules of court.
Trials are important because they are one of the last tries you get to recover from your injuries. Because of how important this stage of your case is, you need an experienced and knowledgeable advocate in your corner as you present your case.
Settlement in a motor vehicle accident; client suffered internal injuries.– JUDD ROSS ALLEN
How Can I Pay for an Attorney?
Some accident victims delay getting legal representation because they do not think they can afford a Stockton DUI accident victim lawyer. Fortunately, many accident lawyers work with clients regarding fees. A contingency fee agreement is a payment structure in which the attorney and client agree to defer payment for legal services until after the case closes. If the claim does not settle, then the attorney does not charge for their services.
Under a contingency fee agreement, the DUI accident victim lawyer in Stockton will charge a percentage of the final settlement amount as payment for their services. A contingency fee agreement must be in writing and signed by the attorney and their client. Contingency fee agreements allow more accident victims to pursue legal and financial justice after a DUI traffic accident.
Contact the Stockton, California DUI Attorneys at Arash Law
The legal team at Arash Law, under the leadership of Arash Khorsandi, Esq., is committed to holding drunk drivers accountable. We work to eliminate the horrors of drunk driving accidents by working with our clients who have suffered a loss due to one of these horrific accidents. We use our commitment to success and justice, as well as our experience, to benefit each person who trusts us to represent their legal interests. If you suffered an injury in a DUI accident, contact our firm to discuss your claim today.
Our firm serves Stockton and surrounding areas, including Ceres, Oakdale, Riverbank, Modesto, Oakley, Brentwood, Galt, Ripon, Tracy, Lodi, Manteo, Lathrop, Garden Acres, and Country Club. Call or chat with us to schedule an appointment with our Stockton office.
Our Stockton DUI accident victim lawyers have decades of experience representing the victims of drunk driving accidents and successfully recovering compensation on their behalf. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our talented attorneys to receive free and friendly advice at (888) 488-1391.