Los Angeles Drunk Driving Lawyers
Here to Serve Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
At MKP Law Group, LLP, our attorneys exclusively represent injury victims. For years, we have fought on behalf of clients hurt in drunk driving accidents due to another party’s negligence. We realize that it can be difficult to afford quality Los Angeles drunk driving lawyers, so we always work on what is known as a contingency fee basis, meaning WE DON’T GET PAID UNLESS WE WIN.
There are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs to our clients. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have recovered millions on behalf of our clients and will fight hard on your behalf to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries. Our lawyers work with a team of medical experts in the Los Angeles area and throughout California to ensure that you or a loved one receives top-notch medical care for a speedy and healthy recovery, while we deal with the legal side.
We are a team of renowned drunk driving accident attorneys representing victims of drunk driving accidents throughout the State of California. MKP Law Group, LLP’s team strives to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. Our experienced team is attentive, dependable, and tenacious, so call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% free case evaluation.
Why Hire Our Los Angeles Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers?
Anytime we get in a vehicle, we are responsible for following the laws and driving safely. As legal drivers, we have a duty of care to other drivers on the road. Many factors can cause accidents, but drivers who choose to drive while intoxicated (DWI) or drive under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol directly cause unsafe situations. These irresponsible driving instances can cause life-changing and devastating consequences.
This negligent act is discouraged in every way possible by law enforcement and many other entities. However, it does not guarantee accident victims will receive just compensation for their damages.
At our law firm, we want to be the people to help you to get what you’ve lost as a drunk driving accident victim. So, if you or a family member is the victim of an accident due to a drunk driver’s negligence, you need to contact MKP Law Group, LLP in Beverly Hills today. Our attorneys are ready to vigorously pursue justice for you.
DWI and DUI Laws in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles County, drivers who use a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol face stiff penalties for their dangerous conduct.
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration, “BAC,” or blood alcohol content, over the legal limit of 0.08. Drivers driving with these BAC levels can be charged and convicted for driving under the influence, also referred to as “DUI.”
For people under the age of 21, zero tolerance laws make it illegal to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their systems. That means if they are caught with alcohol measured at a BAC of 0.01 or higher, they can be convicted of a DUI.
DUI arrests and convictions lead to a variety of severe penalties. These penalties are based on the severity of the results of a field sobriety test (FSTs) and whether it was the driver’s first offense. Field sobriety tests happen on-site after an intoxicated driver is pulled over and usually involve a breathalyzer.
Common DUI penalties include:
- Loss of driving privileges (e.g., driver’s license suspension or revocation)
- Jail time
- Monetary fines
Under DUI laws in Los Angeles and California, criminal charges can be brought against a drunk driver pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a).
DUI offenses also include driving under the influence of drugs, either illicit or prescribed. These types of offenses are brought against intoxicated drivers pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f).
Sometimes, people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face misdemeanors rather than more serious charges. This is especially true if it was a first-time offense. Whereas, more serious DUI offenses for repeat offenders can lead to felony DUI charges.
Laws regarding intoxicated driving vary state-to-state. The term’s driving under the influence “DUI” and driving while intoxicated (“DWI”) are largely interchangeable. The formal criminal charges will depend on what state the motor vehicle accident occurred in.
Civil Laws for Protecting Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
While drunk and intoxicated drivers face criminal charges for their DUI offense, civil laws provide a structure that allows victims injured by drunk drivers to bring forth a lawsuit.
When a driver is found guilty, he faces severe repercussions and restrictions, sometimes even incarceration. These penalties are substantial, but victims of drunk driving accidents often are left with severe injuries and life-long impairments that make everyday life difficult or altogether impossible.
Victims of drunk driving accidents need to know that the law offers them opportunities to seek full financial compensation for their losses.
Hit by a drunk driver? What To Do Next
Every year, drunk and intoxicated drivers cause car accidents that impact thousands of people across California. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving crashes result in 29 fatalities per day in the United States; that equates to a drunk driving death every 50 minutes. After an auto accident caused by a motorist driving while intoxicated, there are several steps you should take to bolster your injury claim, including:
1. Stay at the Scene of the Accident
Even if you were not the one who caused the auto accident, California law requires you to stay at the scene of the accident. If possible, safely move your vehicle to the road to prevent further injury to yourself or others.
2. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
If you were injured in a drunk driving auto accident, you should seek immediate medical care and treatment. Receiving immediate medical treatment following a drunk driving crash helps to identify and treat any injuries you may have suffered. Also, delays in treatment give insurance companies ammunition to downplay the severity of your injuries or claim they are unrelated to the accident.
3. Report the Accident to Police
If you are physically able to call the police, do so. The police will generate police reports detailing how the auto accident occurred, who was at-fault for the crash, and determine whether the other driver was driving while intoxicated. The arresting officer can administer a drug or alcohol test to the other driver and then include the results in his report.
4. Gather Evidence
If you are physically able, it is best to take photographs of the motor vehicles at the auto accident scene and obtain any witness contact information.
5. Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Drunk Driving Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured after being hit by a drunk driver, you likely have many questions about your legal rights. If you want to know more about what the law provides to drunk driving victims and if suing a drunk driver is possible, we can help. Our team knows how to deal with insurance companies and strive to make the process more simple for you. The attorneys at MKP Law Group, LLP have years of experience handling drunk driving auto accidents and know how to get top dollar for victims of drunk driving accidents.
Call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid until we win your case.
Common Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents
While it is true that any type of motor vehicle accident is severe and can produce catastrophic injuries, it is especially true for DUI accidents.
Because impaired drivers’ reaction times are slower than sober drivers’, accidents are often profoundly worse than typical car accidents. Just as in car accidents, victims of drunk driving accidents often suffer fatal or lifelong injuries. Sometimes that may mean a victim suffers from lifelong brain injuries or disfigurement. Some common injuries that are suffered by victims of drunk or impaired driving accidents include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Fractured Bones
- Spinal Injuries
- Lacerations & Bruises
- Psychological Trauma
In situations where a drunk driving victim dies due to a drunk driving crash, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death action against the impaired driver to recover medical expenses.
Recovering Damages for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
The justice system provides drunk driving accident victims with certain legal rights. These rights entitle victims the ability to recover monetary damages for injuries by filing a personal injury case.
Victims of drunk driving accidents can make insurance claims against the drunk driver for property damage to their car and their bodily injuries. However, because insurance companies want to pay as little as possible and don’t have your best interests at heart, oftentimes, suing a drunk driver is the only way to get full compensation for your medical expenses.
If you or a loved one were injured in a DUI accident, the following are types of damages you may be able to recover:
- Medical Bills and Expenses (Past & Future)
- Lost Earnings or Loss of Earning Capacity
- Pain & Suffering
- Property Damage
- Emotional Distress
- Punitive Damages
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Drunk Driving Crashes?
Clearly, the individual drunk or impaired driver is ultimately responsible for their conduct and decision to get behind the wheel.
However, as with any case, specific nuances can arise. There could be other parties or entities that share blame for the motor vehicle accident.
For example, the driver’s employer might have played a role. Suppose the drunk driver was working or on duty, and the accident occurred while the driver was under the employer’s supervision. In that case, the employer can also be sued in a personal injury case.
On the other hand, DUI laws in Los Angeles, California, include a category called “dram shop” laws. In most drunk driving accident cases, the victim sues the drunken driver, but there may be situations where they can also sue a bar or restaurant that served the impaired driver. Though limited in scope by California Civil Code Section 1714, which mostly clears restaurants and bars of any liability, dram shop laws allow DUI accident victims to sue furnishers of alcohol only under certain exceptions that include:
- Parents, guardians, and adults who furnish alcohol to minors under the age of 21
- Businesses licensed to sell alcohol that knowingly serve alcohol to a minor
If you have questions about suing a drunk driver or what you are entitled to recover, contact the Los Angeles drunk driving lawyers at MKP Law Group, LLP. Our team is ready to discuss your options in a 100% free initial consultation.
Average Drunk Driver Settlement in Los Angeles
Insurance companies are businesses. They are not there to look out for the well being of drunk driving victims or their families. They just want to settle personal injury lawsuits for as little money as possible.
Unless the drunk driver is uninsured, an insurance company will defend the drunk driver. In most circumstances, the insurance company will try and settle out-of-court before a lawsuit is ever filed. Because insurance companies only care about their bottom-line, they do not want cases going to trial where an angry jury could award a large verdict.
However, in some cases where they feel the victim was also partially at fault, the insurance company won’t settle, and a lawsuit must be filed. A defense lawyer will be hired for the drunk driver, and the case may ultimately require a trial to determine the outcome.
Calculating the Value of Your Settlement
Every drunk driving accident case is different, so no settlement or recovery is ever identical or accurately calculable. Insurance companies all operate differently and adjust claims differently. Settlement offers can vary from insurance company to insurance company. That being said, certain factors are typically considered by insurance companies when negotiating a settlement that includes:
- The type and extent of the drunk driving victims injuries
- Whether the victims’ injuries are permanent
- The force of the collision
- The extent to which the victim may be partially at-fault or negligent
- The amount of insurance the drunk driver has
These are just several factors that can determine the amount of any injury claim settlement amount. The drunk driving accident attorneys at MKP Law Group, LLP have years of experience going up against insurance companies and have been trusted by our clients to handle their
If the At-Fault Driver Refused the Breath Test, Does This Affect the Value of the Claimant’s Case?
When an impaired driver refuses, as opposed to failing a field sobriety test or registering a high number on the breathalyzer, the driver will still be held accountable for their actions by the criminal justice system.
However, for the civil portion, the drunk driving victim’s claim, generally, the driver’s refusal of the breath test does not increase the case value or settlement. The defendant will likely admit liability, and the fact they were driving under the influence becomes irrelevant and thus inadmissible at trial.
If, for some reason, the defendant claims the victim was also partially at-fault for the accident, then the fact the drunk driver refused the breathalyzer can be brought into evidence and considered by a jury. Jurors typically tend to award higher verdicts against drunk drivers, and so evidence about the defendant’s DUI and their refusal to submit to a breathalyzer could potentially increase the case value. This is especially true in cases where drunk drivers are repeat offenders.
Rear Ended by Drunk Driver Settlement
Generally speaking, rear-end accidents settle for less money than other types of DUI accidents. Unless the drunk driver entirely fails to apply their brakes and rear-ends someone at full speed, rear-end accidents generally cause less stress on the body than a t-bone or side-swipe accident.
Car bumpers can absorb a substantial amount of force, and the whiplash injuries caused by rear-end accidents are generally not permanent.
However, victims still can suffer significant injuries. We want you to know you still have a solid and defendable case if you have been injured in a rear-ended accident caused by a drunk driver. It is just important to be aware that insurance companies use these types of accidents to try and offer less money.
Average Hit and Run Settlement
Unfortunately, most hit-and-run accidents seem to be by defendants who are uninsured or have very little insurance. Though alcohol and drugs impair judgment, typically, most people who have adequate insurance coverage are responsible enough to stay at the scene of an accident. So, the average hit-and-run settlement is lower than most would think. In the event the drunk driver tries to flee the scene, that fact can be shown as evidence that justifies an award of punitive damages against the drunk driver.
Punitive damages are awarded in special circumstances where the defendant’s behavior was intentional, malicious, or extremely reckless in order to punish and deter future similar conduct. Punitive damages can greatly increase the case value.
Los Angeles and California Drunk Driving Statistics
In California between 2009 and -2018, 9,288 people were killed in car accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver. CDC.gov
In 2019 alone, 5% of the DUI arrests to the LA County’s Sheriff’s Department resulted in injury or death. Crosstown/xtown.la
During an 8 month period between January 1 to September 30, 2019, the LAPD reported 4,686 arrests for driving while intoxicated (either alcohol or drugs). Data.lacity.org
Contact MKP Law Group, LLP Today for Your Own Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, or conversely, if one of your loved ones was wrongfully killed in one, it’s time for you to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you.
Our experienced legal team in Los Angeles, California, knows how to handle drunk driving cases. We have the knowledge, passion, and conviction needed to get you the best possible outcome when it comes to your accident case.
Contact our law office today to learn more about how you can make an appointment for a free initial consultation with our accident attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get the justice you deserve after this traumatic event.
MKP Law Group, LLP has a team of experienced trial attorneys who will hold the at-fault party responsible in a court of law. If you or someone you know is grieving after losing a loved one due to the negligence of another party, contact or call MKP Law Group, LLP today at 310-285-5353 to make an appointment for a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys.
We proudly service clients in the city of Los Angeles and other cities in Los Angeles County including Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, and more. We also represent clients in Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County as well.