Drunk driving is one of the major causes of road accidents. Accidents arising from drunk driving result in serious injuries or fatalities. Have you been involved in a drunk driving accident? Have you sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident? If you have answered yes to any or all of these questions, here are some of the legal issues you need to know regarding drunk driving injury cases.
A driver's involvement in an accident satisfies the condition of "reasonable suspicion" that they might have broken the law. This allows a police officer to conduct investigations. The police officer may ask the driver whether they have been drinking; and inspect their vehicle for beer cans or any evidence that they are drunk. The officer may look into their eyes or conduct field sobriety tests.
If after the investigation the police officer concludes that the drive is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, usually based on the BAC test results, the officer may arrest them for drunk driving in accordance with the "probable cause" concept.
Rules on BAC Testing
Depending on the jurisdiction in question, officers may be required to conduct BAC tests on drivers, passengers, or pedestrians who are involved in car accidents. In some states, BAC testing is done based on the discretion of the police officers at the scene of an incident. Many states operate on implied consent when conducting BAC tests. The laws on BAC testing fall into any one of the falling categories:
Mandatory Testing: A majority of the states require BAC testing for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are involved in a fatal accident. Almost half the states in the U.S. have mandatory laws for BAC testing.
Discretionary Testing: Some states allow police officers or medical examiners to perform BAC testing based on their discretion. Over 10 states in the U.S. have discretionary laws on BAC testing.
Liability For Drunk Driving Accidents
If you are involved in an auto accident involving a drunk driver, you are required to prove four elements:
Log on to CaliforniaInjuryAccidentLawyer.com for a look at some of the ways you can benefit from legal counsel. Your lawyer will help you prove that the drunk driver had a duty of care towards you and that they violated that responsibility. Furthermore, they shall prove that the accident was a direct result of the violation and that it resulted in injuries, or property loss, for which you want to be compensated. In most cases, the victims in a drunk driving accident file a civil law suit to demand for damages. In instances where there has been a fatality, a family member of the deceased will file a wrongful death claim.
Some of the damages you can expect to get in a drunk driving injury case include, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. In wrongful death cases, the defendant is required to pay additional expenses such as funeral expenses and loss of companionship.