Sacramento Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Drunk driving accidents are common and scary accidents that often lead to fatalities. When someone drinks and drives, they put themselves and everyone else at risk. This destructive behavior can change anyone’s life drastically and lead to years of medical expenses, debts, lost wages, and permanent damages.





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Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Sacramento

Providing the Best Legal Representation

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), about 37 people die in the United States daily in drunk-driving crashes — one person every 39 minutes.

Although the criminal court punishes a drunk driver who causes injuries, it does not always compensate the victim. This is where Jeremy Winter, an experienced Sacramento drunk driving accident lawyer, steps in to fight for you and make every effort to get the compensation you deserve.

Who is Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?

In California, although drunk drivers are responsible for the accident, they are not necessarily liable for a drunk driving accident. Liability can extend beyond the intoxicated driver and involve other parties such as:

Social host: In some cases, social hosts who provide alcohol to guests at a private event may be held responsible if they knowingly served alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated and later caused a drunk driving accident.

The driver’s employer: The jury can find the owner or employer responsible for being negligible and allowing an intoxicated person to use their vehicle.

A bar, restaurant, bartender, or server: Also known as dram shop liability, bars or restaurants might be liable if they served alcohol to a minor or a visibly intoxicated person who later caused the accident.

What Should I Do After an Accident with a Drunk Driver?

Although your mind would not be in the right place after the accident, it’s crucial to call 911 and have the police respond to the scene. Follow these steps when hit by a drunk driver:

Call 911: Seek medical help regardless if you have visible injuries or not. Your health and safety should be the top concern.

Drive your vehicle to a safe spot: If possible, try to move your car to the side of the road. If it is not, get out and go to a safe area until police and paramedics arrive.

Gather evidence: The drunk driver may flee from the scene. Click pictures of the vehicle’s license plate, empty bottles, or other pieces of evidence. If possible, film the driver showing signs of intoxication like slurred speech, stumbling, and bloodshot eyes for later use in your insurance claim.

Contact authorities: Tell them your version of events and any information they request. Ask the police to create an official accident report and provide you with a copy. This report can be your essential evidence for a drunk driving accident claim.

Get a medical evaluation: Some injuries won’t show up immediately until days or weeks later, so get a proper medical evaluation for any hidden diagnosis.

Find an attorney: You need legal assistance if you want compensation for your damages. Find an experienced Sacramento drunk driving lawyer to help you avoid any statements you might make to the driver’s insurance company. They might use them against you during the drunk driving lawsuit.

What Are Common Injuries From Drunk Driving Accidents?

Common injuries from drunk driving accidents can vary in severity but often include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Internal injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burns
  • Facial injuries
  • Psychological trauma

You must seek immediate medical attention after a drunk driving accident, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

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California DUI Laws & Penalties

In California, driving under the influence (DUI) laws apply to alcohol and drugs. BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) measures how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. It is illegal to drive a vehicle with the following blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages:

  • 0.08% or higher – for those over 21 years old.
  • 0.01% or higher – under 21 years old.
  • 0.01% or higher – any age if you are on DUI probation.
  • 0.04% or higher – if you drive a vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license.
  • 0.04% or higher – you are driving a passenger for hire.

Criminal DUI

Criminal DUI refers to violating laws related to impaired driving, which is considered a criminal offense. Driver’s may face criminal charges from state or local authorities for driver under the influence of alcohol. The officer must have reasonable suspicions that the driver is driving under the influence and is in danger to themselves and others.

Civil DUI

In Civil DUI cases, the injured party files a lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident. Civil DUI cases focus on seeking financial recovery rather than criminal punishment.

California DUI Penalties

The DUI penalties depend on prior offenses, BAC level (Blood Alcohol Concentration), and whether the DUI resulted in injury or death in California.

Penalties for First-Time DUI Offenses in California :

  • License suspension of up to 6 months
  • 3 to 5 years probation period
  • A $390 fine, plus penalty assessments (totals up to $2000)
  • Completion of DUI education program

Penalties for Second-Time DUI Offenses in California :

  • License suspension of up to two years
  • Minimum of 96 hours in jail
  • A $390 fine, plus penalty assessments (exceeds $2000)
  • Longer probationary period
  • Completion of extended DUI education program

Penalties for Third-Time DUI Offenses in California:

  • Suspension of license for three or more years
  • Minimum of 120 days to one year in jail
  • Fines and penalties up to $2,500 to $3,000

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What Types of Damages and Compensation Victims Entitled With a Case Related To Drunk Driving?

The laws and regulations related to compensation for drunk driving accidents may differ. Suppose you or someone you know becomes a victim of such an accident in Sacramento. In that case, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages listed below:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages refer to all the economic and non-economic damages you incurred from an accident. These damages help you recover the financial loss you suffered from the accident.

Medical expenses

Hospital visits can cost you a fortune after being in an accident. But both past and future medical costs are recoverable. Just make sure you keep all records of medical bills.

Property damage

Vehicle repairs are as costly as others. If your vehicle was damaged in any way, the at-fault party is liable to pay for repairs or replacement if necessary.

Lost wages and future income

Injuries from drunk driving can leave you in no condition to do work while recovering from injuries sustained in the accident. You can seek compensation for lost wages if your injuries prevented you from earning money.

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that can be collected for lost enjoyment of life, mental health impairments, or anything else that interferes with your daily life after being hit by a drunk driver.

Punitive Damages

These damages punish drunk drivers for their reckless behavior. However, to be awarded punitive damages, you must demonstrate that the other driver acted intentionally with extreme negligence and disregarded your safety.

Loss of Consortium

If the accident results in the loss of your loved one, such as your spouse, you may be able to seek compensation for the loss of companionship, affection, and support.

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car accident in sacramento

Call the Law Offices of JG Winter for a Skilled Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento

Legal matters can be complex, lengthy, and tiresome. It would be best to have an experienced lawyer to guide you, help you understand your rights, and fight hard to win. Get a free consultation with Jeremy Winter, an experienced Sacramento auto accident lawyer with expertise in drunk driving accident cases.

Take the first step towards justice by contacting J.G. Winter Law today. Our compassionate and dedicated team is here to escort you through the legal process and provide the representation you need during this challenging time.

Local Courthouse – Car Accident Lawyer Near Sacramento, CA

If you or your loved one have been involved in a car accident in Sacramento, California, we know you are going through a tough time. Hiring the right car accident lawyer can make a significant difference when dealing with such a difficult time. You will spend hours and hours at your local Sacramento Courthouse trying to figure out what to do on your own. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you might waste countless hours and likely receive less settlement than you could have gotten with professional help. That’s why hiring the right lawyer can help to resolve your case and settle it faster. Most importantly, you’re more likely to receive a larger settlement.

At J.G. Winter Law, we’re here to help, and it won’t cost you anything to consult with us. If you have any questions or want to know how much you might be owed, contact us for a free consultation. In California, you have up to 2 years to file a claim and sue for compensation. If you decide to go to the court by yourself, you can find Sacramento County Courthouse at 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. But, if you want professional help, our car accident lawyer in Sacramento would gladly assist you.

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Sacramento Drunk Driving FAQs

I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver With Insurance. What Should I Do?

Seek immediate medical attention, report the incident to the police, gather evidence such as photos and witness statements, let your insurance company know about the accident, and consult a personal injury attorney who can help you to file a claim and get compensation.

Is California a No-fault State?

No, California follows a fault-based system but is also a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that damages are only recoverable based on the percentage of fault. You are less likely to be compensated if you and the responsible party or are equally at fault. 

I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver. What Am I Entitled to?

In that case, you are entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses, coverage for property damage, compensation for lost wages, and in some cases, punitive damages, which means punishing the driver for their actions.

I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver But Had No Injuries. Will I Get Compensation?

Compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering is generally associated with injuries. However, you may still be eligible for compensation for property damage and other losses resulting from the accident. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can provide you with a better understanding of your specific situation and potential compensation options. Also, it is advisable to get a proper medical evaluation. Some injuries may show up later, such as whiplash.

Can I Hold a Bar or Restaurant Accountable for a Drunk Driving Accident in California?

Yes, California has Dram Shop Liability laws that allow you to hold bars or restaurants partially responsible if they serve alcohol to someone visibly intoxicated. Suppose it can be proven that the establishment over-served alcohol to the driver who caused the accident. In that case, you may have a claim against both the establishment and the drunk driver.

What Is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident?

The average settlement for drunk driving accidents can range between $80,000 to $125,000.
Each case is different. Therefore the compensation can be settled for less than $10,000 or sometimes even more than $1 Million. However, every accident is different, and different factors will go into your case, which determines the settlement.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Drunk Driving Accident in California?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims related to drunk driving accidents in California is generally two years from the accident date. It is crucial to file a claim within this time frame, as you must do so to ensure you retain your right to seek compensation.

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Law Offices of J.G. Winter

1540 River Park Dr
Suite 114A
Sacramento, CA 95815

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