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DUI-Related Accident Results in 4 Deaths in Santa Ana

DUI-Related Accident Results in 4 Deaths in Santa AnaA few weeks ago, 4 young lives were lost due to the recklessness of a driver who got behind the wheel while under the influence. The accident occurred at around 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday. The impaired driver of a Jeep broadsided (t-boned) a Chevrolet truck, which carried the 4 victims. According to reports, the driver ran a red light near Fourth Street and Tustin Avenue in Santa Ana – near the 5 and 55 freeways. After the collision, the Chevrolet pickup truck rolled over many times, caught fire, and trapped the four victims inside. An off-duty firefighter and nurse, who happened to drive by the accident, stopped to extinguish the fire and provide aid to the victims. Unfortunately, the 4 victims lost their lives. The driver of the Jeep, which was arrested on suspicion of DUI, survived the accident, suffering only minor injuries. Records show that the suspect’s blood-alcohol level was 0.29 – which is more than 3 times the legal limit. As of late February, the suspect has been charged with four counts of murder, driving under the influence and causing injury, and having a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or more.

Are Similar Accidents Common?

Unfortunately, accidents caused by parties who are driving under the influence are far too common. Although DUI accidents have consistently dropped over the years, these accidents continue to be a major problem. In fact, statistics show that fatalities related to drunk driving accounted for almost 30% of all traffic deaths in 2017 alone. What does this mean? In 2017, more than 37,000 people died due to drunk driving. Although it might sound unbelievable, California is among the Top 2 states with the highest DUI fatalities. Overall, accidents caused by drivers who are impaired in one way or another continue posing a life-threatening danger to innocent people on the road.

The Results of these Accidents

These accidents, like the one described above, are usually deadly. They occur at high rates of speed, leading to devastating results. In most cases, the intoxicated driver survives – suffering little to no injuries (such as the suspect in the accident described above). Although each accident can vary, non-fatal accidents often result in broken bones, head injuries, brain injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal injuries, hip injuries, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, nerve injuries, lacerations, and bruises, for example. Burn injuries are also common when vehicles catch fire. In severe cases, a combination of injuries leads to the victim’s instant death. In many other cases, victims survive but can never lead a normal life. Survivors of these accidents often lose their jobs, are unable to pursue their career goals, and are forced to deal with mental and emotional trauma due to the accident. The aftermath of these traumatic car accidents also extends to all family members – who suddenly lose their loved one. Without a doubt, these accidents can affect victims and their families in many ways.

Understanding Your Rights as a Victim or Family of a Victim

If you or a member of your family was involved in a car accident due to the negligent and reckless actions of a driver who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you might have the right to take action against the party liable for the accident, the injuries suffered, or the death of your family member. Without a doubt, you have the right to pursue a claim against the liable driver. Depending on the specific details of the car accident, you might have grounds to pursue a car accident injury claim or a wrongful death claim. If you would like to learn more about your right to take action against a party liable for a car accident, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

Understanding Negligence in Car Accidents caused by DUI

All accident claims are based on negligence. This means that, in order to reach a successful accident claim, claimants have to prove that the accident and the injuries/fatalities were caused by negligence. Negligence consists of four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, cause, and harm. Consider the following points:
  • All drivers have a duty of care to all other drivers on the road. Their duty of care consists of exercising caution to prevent any accidents from occurring. Within this duty of care lies driving carefully and obeying all traffic laws, for example.
  • By exercising reckless behavior, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drivers are breaching their duty of care to all other drivers on the road.
  • By breaching their duty of care, negligent drivers could cause auto accidents.
  • The auto accidents could lead to harm.
  • As you can see, all of the points above are connected. Essentially, to prove negligence, claimants have to prove that the harm suffered (whether injury or death) was directly caused by a breach of duty (such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol). If you would like to learn more about your right to pursue a claim after the negligent actions of a driver caused your injuries or the death of a member of your family, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

    The Right to Recover Compensation

    Depending on the details of the car accident, claimants will likely be eligible to receive compensation for all the harm suffered. In general, claimants and their families could recover some of the following forms of compensation:
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Punitive damages
  • Our Attorneys Can Help You

    If you or members of your family were harmed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you could take legal action against the liable party. We recommend that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible to take action against the driver that negligently caused your injuries or the death of members of your family. If you believe that you are ready to begin your claim and fight for your right to recover the highest amount of compensation available, you should contact the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible. Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling a variety of claims – including car accident claims (both injury claims and wrongful death claims). If you would like our experts to evaluate your claim and provide you with the legal guidance that you need, you should contact our firm at your earliest convenience. At Downtown L.A. Law Group, we are dedicated to remaining accessible to all victims of personal injury accidents. Because of that, we offer both free consultations and free second opinions. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our car accident lawyers will answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with all the information that you need. Our lawyers serve all of Southern California and are ready to handle your claim – whether you are interested in beginning or continuing your claim. Our free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee, which ensures that our clients never have to worry about paying any upfront legal fees. Our firm is also based on a contingency structure; therefore, our clients will never have to pay anything until their claim reaches a successful outcome. If you would like to speak with our lawyers, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.

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