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One phrase everyone who has been behind the wheel of a car is familiar with is “Don’t drink and drive.” Unfortunately, many people still disobey this law, and often cause accidents that result in life-altering injuries for other drivers. Bakersfield is, sadly, no exception to this phenomenon, and Bakersfield motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike are at constant risk of encountering a dangerous drunk driver.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries injured because of the unsafe and irresponsible actions of a drunk driver, you are entitled to recovery. Gomez Trial attorneys have deep experience helping drunk driving accident victims in Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. Contact our Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers today at (619) 237-3490 or through our website to schedule a free case evaluation.
With over $550,000,000 received for its clients in the last 20 years, there is no doubt that the lawyers of Gomez Trial Attorneys are committed to securing results for their clients. This impressive number includes more than 125 cases where we obtained more than $1,000,000. The skilled lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are some of the best-known practitioners representing drunk driving accident victims.
With attorneys named Trial Lawyer of the Year in three different years, and 19 separate “Outstanding Trial Lawyer” awards, the Bakersfield Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are skilled and have the resources to handle complicated cases. Our Bakersfield drunk driving accident attorneys understand that each case is unique and bring exemplary communication and compassion to each client.
If you were in an accident with a drunk driver around Bakersfield, it feels obvious that the impaired driver was responsible for the accident. The analysis is not always this straightforward. Work with an attorney to understand the laws for impaired driving. These laws will affect whether the impaired driver will be found negligent and are important to establish a case against the impaired driver to increase your odds of recovery.
Each state has its own laws setting detailing what constitutes impaired driving in that state. California law prohibits the following:
While the parameters above may seem straightforward, the phrase “under the influence” is vague and subjective. Courts have often found that “under the influence” means any time an individual’s physical or mental abilities are impaired to such a degree that the individual no longer can drive a vehicle with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.
If the individual’s BAC is below 0.05 percent, the law presumes that they were not under the influence of alcohol, but other evidence demonstrating the requisite level of impairment might overcome this presumption.
Violation of these laws is a criminal offense. The consequence for the offense will depend on any prior, similar offenses but can include probation, jail time, fines, required DUI school, and driver’s license suspension. In addition to the criminal offense, any individuals who are injured because of the unlawful conduct can pursue a civil claim against the offender.
If another party acts negligently or intentionally in a way that causes injury to you, they are responsible for your injuries. This is often the case in drunk driving accidents, but the amount of evidence required may depend on the driver’s BAC.
BAC of 0.08 or more. Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more is a violation of California laws and is strong evidence of negligence.
BAC under 0.08. If the driver registered a BAC of 0.08 or under within three hours of the accident, if the BAC was not taken, or if the driver was on drugs, this is a subjective offense. You will need to establish that the driver was “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs to establish a strong case of negligence.
The following evidence is often used to prove the impairment of the driver:
Be sure to secure a police report at the time of the accident. The police will perform important tests that will contribute to the success of your case, including BAC testing and field sobriety testing. Their results, observations, and witness information will be detailed in a police report. If for some reason you can’t secure a police report, gather as much documentation as possible, including witness contact information, and pictures and video of the accident scene. Our Bakersfield drunk driving accident lawyers can help you get the police report later.
Your case will grow more complicated if the impaired driver was an employee acting in the course of their business. In this scenario, the employer may also be liable for your injuries. A Bakersfield drunk driving attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys can work with you to evaluate a potential case against the employer.
Nearly 30 people die every day in the United States from drunk driving crashes, and more than 10,000 lives are lost per year. There are nearly 1,000 drunk driving fatalities every year in California, and Kern County, home to Bakersfield, is one of the counties with some of the most fatal and severe injuries due to alcohol-impaired driving.
These Bakersfield drunk driving vehicle accidents often result in serious injuries. The cost of alcohol-related crashes across the country, primarily from medical treatment, is more than $44 billion.
While the medical impact of every accident is different, common injuries include:
A drunk driving accident victim may well suffer injuries that require medical treatment, including doctor’s bills, hospital visits, physical therapy, or prescription medication. Many injuries will affect their ability to enjoy life in the same way as before the accident.
Victims of drunk driving accidents are likely to spend significant time, money, and emotional energy dealing with their injuries. The negligent driver and their insurance company are responsible for the costs of these injuries. Some damages compensate for the victim’s economic losses, while others compensate for more subjective injuries; both should be included in your damages claim.
Common damages after a Bakersfield drunk driving accident include:
You need a clear picture of your damages to assess any settlement offer brought by the defendant or their insurance company. The responsible party will not want to pay their full obligation, so initial settlement offers will significantly undervalue your claim. An attorney can help evaluate the strength of your case and any settlement offers you receive.
Be sure to promptly bring your claim. If you delay longer than two years, the court may deny your claim. The responsible party is likely to take advantage of any delay. If your injuries occurred more than two years ago, an attorney can work with you to analyze whether you qualify for an exception to the two-year statute of limitations.
The Gomez Trial Attorneys law firm has a long history of helping clients in the Bakersfield community and surrounding areas secure a recovery for their injuries.
Our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys help clients with answers to legal questions, establish the value of damages incurred by victims, analyze the facts and evidence of a case to determine liability, prepare legal documents, and consider settlement offers. We strive to provide consistent, reliable, and excellent representation for our clients. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more likely you are to secure positive results in your case.
If you become a client of Gomez Trial Attorneys, we will not collect any attorney fees unless you recover money through a settlement or court award. If you are located in Bakersfield or the surrounding area, contact us today or dial (619) 237-3490 for a free case evaluation.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
1825, 18th Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf