After a DUI accident, it’s essential to have a reliable guide to help you seek justice and compensation. RTM Law‘s Torrance DUI accident attorneys specialize in representing victims of reckless and negligent drivers.
Our top-rated team of personal injury lawyers, case managers, and medical specialists has a deep understanding of California laws. We are committed to protecting your rights and working hard to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Talk to our personal injury lawyers in Torrance, Los Angeles County for more insight into your legal options.
Definition of Drunk Driving in California
In California, drunk driving is legally defined as operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants, which impair the driver’s ability to drive safely.
The specific legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in California is 0.08% for drivers 21 years and older operating regular passenger vehicles.
For commercial drivers, the BAC limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21, it’s 0.01% or higher, reflecting California’s zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving.
Drunk driving laws in California also encompass driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), which includes illegal drugs, legal prescription medications, and over-the-counter drugs if they impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. The key factor in defining drunk driving is the impairment of the driver’s faculties, regardless of the specific BAC level, especially if it leads to unsafe driving behavior.
Rights of Drunk Driving Accident Victims in Torrance
In California, victims of drunk driving accidents have several rights and legal avenues for recourse. These include:
- Right to Compensation: Victims can seek compensation for damages resulting from the accident. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and compensation for pain and suffering.
- Right to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit: If the drunk driver is found at fault, victims have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. This lawsuit can seek damages beyond what might be covered by insurance.
- Right to Punitive Damages: In some cases, victims of drunk driving accidents in California may be entitled to punitive damages. These are awarded not just to compensate the victim, but also to punish the offender and deter future misconduct.
- Right to a Fair Trial: Victims have the right to a fair trial, which includes presenting their case in court, if necessary.
- Right to Settlement Negotiations: Victims can engage in settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Often, cases are settled out of court to avoid the time and expense of a trial.
- Victim’s Rights in Criminal Proceedings: If the drunk driver faces criminal charges, victims have certain rights during the criminal proceedings, such as the right to be informed of the proceedings, to be present at the trial, and to make a victim impact statement.
- Right to Legal Representation: Victims have the right to seek legal representation to help navigate the legal system, whether it’s for negotiating settlements or representing their interests in court.
Victims need to be aware of these rights to ensure they receive the full extent of protection and compensation provided under California law. Consulting with a knowledgeable Torrance DUI accident lawyer is critical in this case.
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Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents:
Who Is At Fault?
In DUI cases, several parties can potentially be held responsible, depending on the circumstances of the incident:
The Drunk Driver
The most direct responsibility typically falls on the driver who was operating the vehicle under the influence. They can be slapped with a DUI charge and held liable for any harm or damages caused as a result of their impaired driving.
Bar or Restaurant Owners
Under California’s “Dram Shop” laws, a business that serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, who then causes an accident, may be held liable. However, these cases have specific limitations and are less common.
Similar to dram shop laws, social hosts who provide alcohol at parties or gatherings might be held liable if they serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated guest who then causes a DUI in Torrance. This is more applicable in cases involving underage drinking.
If the DUI injury occurred while the driver was performing job-related duties, the employer might also be held responsible under certain conditions.
In some cases, the owner of the vehicle driven by the intoxicated person can be held liable, especially if they knew or should have known about the driver’s condition.
Rarely, a government entity may be held responsible if road conditions or poor signage contributed to the accident, but this is a challenging case to prove and often requires an experienced attorney in California.
Why DUI Victims Should Trust RTM Law Firm
Expertise in DUI Accident Cases
Our Torrance DUI accident attorney, medical experts, and case managers possess in-depth knowledge of DUI and drunk driving laws in California. We excel in handling the intricacies of DUI accident cases, aiming to achieve the highest compensation for our clients.
Personalized Legal Support
Recognizing the unique nature of each DUI accident, we provide tailored legal services to meet the individual needs of our clients. Our focus is on ensuring that every client’s specific concerns are addressed and their voice is heard throughout their legal journey.
Millions Won for DUI Victims
RTM Law is known for securing substantial settlements for numerous DUI and drunk driving accident victims in Torrance and across California. Trust in our proven expertise for reliable and effective legal representation.
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Torrance DUI Accident Attorney: FAQs
What role does a DUI accident lawyer play in helping victims?
A DUI attorney is instrumental in offering legal guidance, collecting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing clients in court if necessary. Their primary goal is to ensure victims receive the highest possible compensation for their injuries and losses.
Can RTM Law assist in defending individuals charged with DUI?
No, we exclusively represent victims of drunk driving incidents and their families.
What happens if the at-fault driver in a DUI accident was uninsured?
If the drunk driver involved in the accident was uninsured, victims might still be eligible for compensation through their own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
How likely is it for a DUI accident case to go to trial?
While most DUI accident cases are settled outside of court, some may proceed to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached. At RTM Law, we prepare each case as though it will go to trial, ensuring the best possible preparedness and outcome.
What is the typical settlement value for a DUI with injury case in California?
The settlement value in California DUI cases involving injury varies widely. For minor injuries, settlements often range from $20,000 to $50,000. In cases with major injuries, the settlements can exceed $1,000,000, depending on the specifics of the case.
What are the potential settlements in cases of DUI accidents that led to death?
In DUI cases resulting in death, settlement amounts for a Torrance wrongful death lawsuit can range from $500,000 to several million dollars. This broad range is influenced by factors such as the victim’s age, earning potential, the circumstances of the accident, and the laws in the specific jurisdiction.
We Help Accident Victims File a Personal Injury Claim
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Hurt By a Drunk Driver? Work With the Top DUI Lawyer in Torrance.
Call RTM Law at (424) 999-7553. Free Consultation.
Motor vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers are unfortunately all too common. In cases where the drunk driver is found to be at fault for the accident, victims may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim.
Let our legal team be your ally in seeking justice and fair compensation.
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