Late last month, a car accident in Huntington Beach killed three and injured several others. According to a local news source covering the tragic accident, the collision occurred at around 1 a.m. on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Evidently, the victims’ vehicle had come to a complete stop at a red light when a car crashed into it from behind. Police told reporters that it did not appear that the at-fault motorist attempted to slow down at all. The victims’ car exploded upon impact, and three of those inside died in the blaze. The fourth passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was not seriously injured but was taken to the Huntington Beach jail, where she was charged with several DUI-related offenses.
California DUI Accidents
Despite decades of campaigns attempting to inform the public about the dangers of drinking and driving, there are still on average over 1,000 alcohol-related fatalities per year in California alone. This represents approximately one-third of the total number of traffic fatalities in the state.
Lawmakers and police take drunk driving seriously and have enacted strict criminal statutes to deal with the epidemic. However, a criminal prosecution does little to help compensate the victims of a DUI accident. In order to obtain full compensation for the injuries they have sustained, a DUI accident victim may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
To establish another driver’s liability in a personal injury lawsuit, an injured motorist must prove that the other driver owed them a duty of care, which was violated by the driver’s negligent conduct and which resulted in the motorist’s injuries. While this sounds simple at first glance, in practice these cases can become complicated very quickly.
In cases involving specifically prohibited conduct, such as drunk driving, an injured motorist may be able to establish liability through the doctrine of negligence per se. Negligence per se is a Latin term that roughly translates to “negligence through itself,” meaning the act itself is considered to be negligent without any further finding necessary. In order for negligence per se to apply, the victim must establish that the defendant’s conduct was in violation of a law or statute that was specifically enacted to protect against the type of harm they suffered. In the case of a drunk driving accident, courts routinely allow plaintiffs to establish liability through a negligence per se analysis because California drunk driving laws were enacted to protect all motorists from the dangers of drunk driving.
Have You Been Injured in a California DUI Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a California drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated team of California personal injury lawyers at Sharifi Firm has extensive experience handling DUI accidents. We also routinely deal with difficult insurance companies that are hesitant to fairly compensate our clients for the injuries they have sustained. To learn more, and to speak with an attorney about your case, call 866-422-7222 to schedule your free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
California Court Upholds City’s Assertion of Trail Immunity in Recent Personal Injury Case, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, April 5, 2018
Establishing Liability in California Premises Liability Claims, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, March 21, 2018