The heartbreaking reality of a drunk driving accident is that it can profoundly shatter multiple lives. At Banderas Law, we understand this fully and we’re here to help you gain justice as much as possible. When you work with an Ontario drunk driving accident lawyer from our team, they’ll stand beside you every step of the way.
Let us take on the legal side of things, so you can put your energy into healing. Reach out to Banderas Law today, and let our Ontario drunk driving accident lawyers help you through this tough time.
Ontario Drunk Driving Accident Guide
- Why Choose Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Ontario, CA?
- Ontario Drunk Driving Accident Compensation
- Where Do Drunk Driving Accidents Occur in Ontario, CA?
- Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents in Ontario
- Common Types of Drunk Driving Injuries in Ontario
- Establishing Fault in Ontario, CA Drunk Driving Accident
- How Long Do You Have to File a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in California?
- Can I File a Claim if I Was a Passenger in the Drunk Driver’s Car?
- Fighting the Insurance Company: What You Need to Know
- What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Ontario, CA
- Speak to an Ontario Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
Why Choose Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Ontario, CA?
With over 20 years of dedicated legal service in California, Banderas Law is a fully bilingual law firm with a proven track record of success in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. In other words, you can be confident that your case is in the hands of seasoned personal injury attorneys in Ontario who understand the legal side of your situation.
We’ll handle the legal battle, allowing you to focus on healing and rebuilding your life.
- Investigate the accident: Gather evidence to prove the drunk driver’s fault and maximize your compensation.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: Fight for a fair settlement that covers your damages.
- Take your case to court: If necessary, we’ll go to court to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.
Equally important, we’re near Foothill Boulevard and conveniently located just off I-10. So, no need to navigate city center mazes. Just take a quick exit on I-10 where you’ll find us on Centre Lake Drive, and let’s chat about your legal options.
Ontario Drunk Driving Accident Compensation
The aftermath of a drunk driving accident is a devastating blend of physical and emotional suffering. Between medical bills, lost wages, and altered peace of mind, it can feel impossible to cope. But you don’t have to go through this alone.
Our experienced Ontario personal injury lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve for things like:
- Medical expenses: You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of treatment, surgery, and/or therapy sessions. We’ll fight for full coverage of your medical needs.
- Lost wages: Recovering from a drunk driving accident shouldn’t leave you in financial distress. We’ll help you get compensation for missed work and lost income.
- Property damage: The drunk driver should pay for replacing your car, phone, and any other personal belongings damaged in the accident. We’ll make them accountable.
- Pain and suffering: We’ll fight for compensation for the trauma you’ve endured, including pain, discomfort, and emotional trauma.
Where Do Drunk Driving Accidents Occur in Ontario, CA?
Despite California’s best efforts to tackle drunk driving, there’s still a concerning number of impaired drivers on the streets, putting everyone at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, shockingly, there are about 30 fatal accidents caused by drunk driving every day nationwide – that’s almost one life lost every 50 minutes.
Digging into a report from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, it’s disheartening to see a nearly 6 percent rise in alcohol-related accident fatalities in 2017, following a close to 7 percent increase in 2016. Even though this rate is better than the national average, it’s tough to swallow that California is still losing too many lives each year to these entirely preventable accidents.
All things considered, drunk driving can happen anywhere, anytime in Ontario, California. However, some areas see more of these accidents than others.
Here’s a rundown of potential locations:
- Interstate 10 and 15: These major freeways carry high volumes of traffic, increasing the risk of accidents, especially with impaired drivers.
- Areas around bars and restaurants: Especially late at night and on weekends, the combination of alcohol consumption and driving can be a dangerous mix.
- Intersections with poor visibility: Construction zones, poorly lit streets, and areas with heavy traffic can be especially hazardous for intoxicated drivers.
- Neighborhoods with higher alcohol consumption rates: While specific data isn’t readily available, studies suggest a correlation between drinking habits and DUI accidents.
This information can offer some context and possibly help in evidence gathering. However, it’s important to remember that getting legal help should be your primary focus in this situation aside from taking care of yourself.
Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents in Ontario
Every day in Ontario, CA, a safe journey can be shattered by the recklessness of a drunk driver. Their impaired judgment transforms familiar roads into a minefield, where each type of accident represents a different kind of heartbreak. To see if we may be able to offer assistance, below are some common types of drunk driving accidents.
- Head-on: Impaired judgment may cause drunk drivers to veer into oncoming traffic, leading to high-impact crashes with severe injuries or fatalities.
- Rear-end: Intoxication-induced slow reaction times can result in rear-end collisions, causing injuries such as whiplash to occupants of the struck vehicle.
- Intersection: Running red lights or neglecting to yield at intersections by drunk drivers can lead to T-bone or side-impact collisions, causing serious injuries, especially to those struck on the side.
- Drunk drivers are more susceptible to losing control, resulting in single-vehicle accidents such as running off the road, colliding with obstacles, or rollovers. These incidents can lead to injuries or fatalities for both the driver and passengers.
3. Vulnerable Road Users:
- Pedestrian: Impaired judgment and reduced visibility may lead to pedestrian accidents, causing severe injuries for those walking or crossing the street.
- Cyclist: Lack of awareness by drunk drivers can result in cyclist accidents with serious injuries for riders.
- Multi-vehicle pileups: Drunk drivers can initiate chain reactions involving multiple vehicles, causing extensive damage, injuries, and disruptions to traffic flow.
- Run off road: Drifting off the road due to intoxication can lead to accidents involving ditches, guardrails, or other obstacles, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Wrong way: Traveling in the wrong direction on highways or one-way streets by drunk drivers can cause catastrophic head-on collisions.
- Hit and run: Fleeing the accident scene complicates legal consequences and delays medical assistance for victims.
Common Types of Drunk Driving Injuries in Ontario
We get that dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving incident is tough on a multitude of levels.
To help you figure out if our legal support might help, here’s a breakdown of the kinds of injuries people often face:
- What is it? Sudden stops or speed changes that cause your head and neck to take a hit.
- What it does: It can mess up your neck and spine.
2. Head and Brain Injuries:
- How it happens: Bumping into hard stuff during a crash.
- The result: Anything from a bad headache to concussions or traumatic brain injuries.
3. Broken Bones and Fractures:
- Arms, legs, ribs, or whatever takes the hit.
4. Cuts and Lacerations:
- Where from? Broken glass, airbags, or sharp objects flying around during the chaos.
- What you might get: Painful cuts and lacerations.
5. Internal Injuries:
- What’s at risk? Vital organs like the liver, spleen, or kidneys.
- How serious? Some of these injuries can be life-threatening.
6. Spinal Cord Injuries:
- These are serious injuries that can lead to paralysis or other life-changing disabilities.
7. Facial Injuries:
- Fractures, bruising, and dental damage that happen during the crash or when airbags deploy.
Besides the Physical:
- Emotional and Psychological Trauma: PTSD, anxiety, and depression are common after drunk driving accidents.
Understanding the range of injuries, both physical and emotional, is crucial. It highlights why considering legal support might be a good move as you navigate the aftermath of a drunk driving incident in Ontario.
Establishing Fault in Ontario, CA Drunk Driving Accident
Determining fault in a drunk driving accident in Ontario, CA is fairly straightforward due to the impaired driver’s automatic negligence.
However, it’s important to have a general understanding of the process:
- An impaired driver is automatically at fault: In California, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is considered negligence per se, meaning it automatically establishes the driver’s fault regardless of the specific circumstances of the accident. This means the drunk driver will be liable for any damages caused to other drivers, passengers, and property.
- Other driver’s contributory negligence: For example, if the other driver was speeding or failed to obey a traffic signal, their negligence could be assigned a percentage of fault, thereby reducing the drunk driver’s burden.
- Intentional or reckless conduct of the injured party: If the injured party (such as a passenger in the drunk driver’s car) intentionally caused or significantly contributed to the accident, their actions can also reduce the drunk driver’s liability.
- Police report: The police report will be the primary piece of evidence in establishing fault. It will typically include details about the accident scene, witness statements, and any sobriety tests conducted on the drunk driver.
- Other evidence: Any additional evidence, such as dashcam footage, photographs, medical records, and witness testimony, can also be used to support or refute claims of fault.
- Criminal liability: The drunk driver will likely face criminal charges for DUI, which can carry significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension.
How Long Do You Have to File a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in California?
In California, you typically have two years to file a personal injury claim. However, there are a few additional points to consider:
Reporting the accident:
- While the statute of limitations governs lawsuits, you need to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if there was an injury or more than $1,000 in property damage.
- Additionally, most insurance companies require prompt reporting of accidents, often within 24 hours.
Exceptions to the 2-year rule:
- The two-year clock generally starts from the date of your injury, not the accident itself. This can give you some additional time to file a claim if your injuries weren’t immediately apparent.
- If you’re a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may toll (pause) until you reach adulthood.
- If the drunk driver intentionally caused the accident, you may have an additional claim for punitive damages, which has a different statute of limitations.
Can I File a Claim if I Was a Passenger in the Drunk Driver’s Car?
Yes, you can file a claim if you were a passenger in a drunk driver’s car. As a passenger in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you’re a victim and have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Here’s what you need to know:
The drunk driver is liable for your injuries: California law holds the driver who caused the accident responsible for compensating all victims, including passengers in their car. This means you can file a claim against the driver’s insurance company to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.
You’re not at fault: Even if you knew the driver was intoxicated before getting in the car, you’re not automatically considered contributorily negligent under California law. You, as a passenger, were not in control of the vehicle and should not be held responsible for the driver’s actions.
Fighting the Insurance Company: What You Need to Know
Taking on insurance companies is no walk in the park. Sure, that first settlement offer they throw at you might seem like a good deal, but remember, their main aim is to cut down on their financial responsibility, not to make sure you get the full compensation you truly deserve. That’s where having legal representation comes into play. It’s like bringing in reinforcements to fight for your rights.
Before speaking to the insurance company, make sure you’ve got someone you can trust by your side. At Banderas Law, we’ll negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and make sure you don’t settle for anything less than what’s rightfully yours.
Don’t take the bait. With the right legal backup, you can go after the full amount of compensation you’re owed for your injuries, damages, and losses.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Ontario, CA
Navigating the aftermath of a drunk driving incident in Ontario, CA extends beyond the initial impact.
Even as the dust settles, start taking measures the day after to safeguard your rights and case:
- Seek medical attention: Visit a doctor or hospital to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of any delayed injuries.
- Follow treatment plans: Adhere to your doctor’s directives regarding medication, therapy, and other prescribed regimens.
- Document your recovery: Maintain a journal detailing pain levels, limitations, and the impact of the accident on your daily activities.
- Obtain the police report: Contact the Marietta Police Department to acquire an official copy of the accident report.
- Gather witness statements: Reach out to witnesses, requesting written accounts or recorded video statements of their observations.
- Photograph the damage: Capture detailed images of your vehicle damage, visible injuries, and the accident scene if feasible.
Connect With a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Ontario:
- Schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney: An Ontario personal injury lawyer can navigate legal complexities and address your queries.
- Provide evidence and information: Share the police report, witness statements, photos, and medical records with your attorney to build a robust case.
Remember: Banderas Law is your advocate. Our seasoned attorneys will advocate for your fair compensation and safeguard your rights throughout the legal process. By taking these proactive measures and consulting our knowledgeable attorneys, you can protect your legal rights and enhance the chances of a successful outcome for your drunk driving accident case in Ontario, CA.
Speak to an Ontario Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today
Holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions is the right step toward reclaiming control over your life and pursuing financial recovery. Banderas Law is here to assist you through this process with a compassionate and skilled lawyer from our law firm.
Start the journey to discuss your situation in a free, no-pressure consultation. It’s important to note that our services come with no fee unless we achieve success in your case. Take the first step toward justice and financial relief with Banderas Law. Call now at (909) 600-0000.
Our Ontario Location
Banderas Law, PC
3401 N Centre Lake Dr #470
Ontario, CA 91761
Tel: (909) 707-0000