Recently, a Riverside resident was sleeping in their home when a car crashed into his bedroom at about 1:00 a.m. News reports indicated the car hit a utility pole, plowed through two yards, then came through the wall of the house into the man’s bedroom, pinning the man against the wall.
When first responders arrived, the two occupants of the vehicle had exited the car and were not injured. However, firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the man pinned between his wall and the vehicle. Fortunately, his injuries were reported to be “minor.” However, the damage to the home was so severe that authorities deemed it to be uninhabitable, and the four people living in the home had to leave and stay with relatives.
Liability for car accidents in Riverside
Liability for accidents will vary depending on what caused a car to crash. Often, accidents happen because a driver is negligent and/or in violation of the law. For example, following the above crash, police officers reportedly arrested the driver of the vehicle on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). In cases involving drunk driving, an arrest is a strong indication of liability for the crash.
Holding intoxicated drivers responsible for your losses
Drunk driving is a common cause of crashes, and impaired drivers should be held fully accountable for all the losses of accident victims. Many people assume that if a drunk driver is arrested, it will automatically mean the driver will be civilly liable for the accident, as well. However, this is not the case.
Criminal proceedings and civil liability are distinct from one another. While a criminal sentence might include paying restitution to victims, it is generally not close to enough to cover all of their losses. Instead, victims need to pursue insurance claims and possibly a personal injury case against the drunk driver.
A conviction of DUI can help a personal injury claim, however. To recover compensation, you must prove that the driver was negligent and provide evidence of the extent of your damages. A conviction is proof that the driver violated the law, which is automatically considered to be negligent, so you do not need to provide additional evidence of negligence other than a conviction in most cases. However, you will still need to provide proof of your losses stemming from the drunk driving accident.
Proving your damages
The compensation sought in a personal injury claim is referred to as “damages.” You can seek damages for different types of losses, which may include:
Injuries often need medical treatment, and the costs can add up quickly, even for minor injuries. You should also consider what medical treatment you will need in the future and how much it will cost.
Many injuries can keep you from working for days, weeks, or months. If you have a permanent injury, you might lose earnings for the rest of your working life if you need to change to a lower-paying job or cannot work.
Most crashes can cause damage to your vehicle or—as in the unusual case above—your home. Drunk drivers should pay for the property damage they cause.
Seriously injured people can often recover for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairments, disfigurement, and more.
Contact a Riverside auto accident lawyer about your rights today
If you have been injured in a traffic crash, call a Riverside car accident attorney at the firm of Blair & Ramirez LLP. Call (213) 568-4000 or contact us online for a free case evaluation right away.