California Drunk Driver Fault & Dram Shop Liability
You’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver and you know that the driver should have been more careful and not chose to get drunk and get behind the wheel of a car. But is the drunk driver the only liable party in a drunk driving accident or does it sometimes stem well beyond those parameters? If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries due to the negligent behavior of a drunk driver, understanding your legal rights can put you on the path to compensation and recovery.
Drunk Drivers: Are They Always At Fault?
We all know that drunk driving is a crime, and a serious one at that, as it can cause severe injuries, fatalities, and more. Those who drink and drive not only face criminal liability but also civil liability and may end up owing a party damages if they cause them harm in some way. Is fault automatic in these cases or does a driver still have to show a variety of elements to prove their case?
In order to bring a claim against a drunk driver, you must show the 4 elements that are present in any case:
- a duty of care
- breach of care
When it comes to driving, drivers must always abide by the rules of the road and take caution when it comes to other drivers on the roads. This means making the decision to stay sober and drive carefully under all circumstances. If a person breached this duty of care and it caused your injuries, you may be able to compensate for a variety of damages.
This means that unfortunate as it is, you have to show more than drunkenness by the other party to win your lawsuit for damages. However, showing that a driver was intoxicated will show that they breached the duty that they owed to others on the roadways. So what happens in a case where you rear-end somebody who was driving drunk? If so, you might be negligent for their injuries even though they were driving drunk, which could lead to their arrest. As you can see, it depends on the circumstances and how the accident case plays out.
California Dram Shop Liability
There is also a chance that another party could be negligent in an accident involving a drunk driver: the bar or another alcohol retailer. Dram shop laws occur in many states and hold a bar or tavern owner liable in cases where a shop continues to sell alcohol to somebody who is already intoxicated.
The same can be said for a retailer who sells alcohol to a minor without checking I.D., and that same minor goes off and gets into an accident due to drunk driving. Bars usually hold decent insurance policies that will compensate you in your time of need if a drunk driver causes your accident, even though this is not always the case.
California Drunk Driving Attorney
However, you should note that proving liability in one of these cases is not always as easy as it seems. This is because a bartender never knows that somebody is going to drive after drinking – they just assume that they will find another way home.
As you can see, there are many complications that could arise in your drunk driving accident, which is why you want to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side every step of the way. At Los Angeles Injury Group, we want to help you hold a party liable for your injuries and work through the difficult aspects of your case to earn you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for more information on how we can assist you at 310-954-7248.