Call us at 1 866-981-5596 if you have been a victim of a drunk driver. We know all the sources to maximize your recovery.Does California law protect the victim of drunk drivers? Yes and No. First, as a victim, you may be entiteld to victim witness program payments of medical and other charges that will eventually be collected from the drunk driver by the court system. This might help you pay off medical bills or property damage incurred by you. You are also able to sue the drunk driver, collect from their assets or insurance or both. You can also have some input into whether the district attorney prosecutes the drunk driver.
However, in Claifornia, you will not be able to sue the main culpret of drunk drivers that come from a bar or restaurant. California use to adhere to the general principle that people that are obviously drunk, should not be served alcohol. To do so will likely cause a later accident and injury. The bartender or server should politely refuse to continue service when it is obvious the person is drinking heavily and will leave the bar and cause injury to another. The Supreme Court in California agreed and upheld drunk driving lawsuits against bars and other establishements, if the victim could demonstrate that the bar server knew or should have seen that the patron was highly intoxicated.
However, the alcohol lobby in California is very powerful. Shortly after the Supreme Court came down with their decision, the California Legislature unacted an anemdment to the state statutes that held that the cause of an accident will, as a matter of law, be the fault of the driver and not the bar owner or server, no matter how drunk they are. The statute has survived challenge, and insolates a bar owner for liability for serving alcohol.
However, we have not given up the fight. What if the bar owner or server actually assists the patron to the car, helps them get the car started or even drives them part way home. This conduct increases the odds this patron will drive drunk and is outside the scope of the statute enacted to protect the bar. The bartender is no longer simply serving alcohol, but placing someone on the road, aiding them in breaking the law and even assisting them in causing an accident.
We have handled hunderds of drunk driver cases, and we will help you fully recover from an accident and the devestating consequences. Call us at 1 888 752-7474 if you have been hit by a drunk driver and want us to outline options available to you.