An on-duty Long Beach PD officer was injured after a drunk driver hit his patrol car. The crash occurred in downtown Long Beach, near the area of West Ocean Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue. Fortunately, the black sedan hit the police car on the passenger side so the officer escaped with minor injuries. Anthony Roy Say, 28, was charged with driving under the influence and one count of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle.
According to statistics, in 2022, alcohol-related accidents accounted for 30% of the 1,069 traffic fatalities. Thousands of other road users were injured in crashes caused by alcohol consumption.
What types of damages can you recover after a DUI accident in Long Beach?
If you were involved in a drunk driving accident and are seeking compensation for damages, you have several options in California.
The first option is to file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance. However, you will still need to prove that the driver caused the accident and negotiate the type and amount of damages you are entitled to. It is recommended to seek advice from a reliable Long Beach accident lawyer for this process.
In a personal injury claim, you can receive economic damages for medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages for pain and suffering. If the other driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your damages, your lawyers will assess the driver’s financial situation and advise you whether it is worth suing them.
Can you get punitive damages for a DUI accident in Long Beach?
If you sustained severe injuries, your lawyers may advise you to sue as this is the only way to get punitive damages on top of your compensatory ones.
Punitive damages are meant to punish this type of conduct and deter others from doing the same. Under California laws, to be awarded punitive damages your attorneys will have to show that the guilty party’s conduct amounted to malice, oppression, or fraud
In a DUI case, your lawyer will have to go for malice, which can be defined as acting with the intent to cause injury or manifesting a willful and conscious disregard for the rights or safety of others. The higher the other driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was, the easier it will be for your lawyers to convince the jury he or she willfully ignored the safety of other road users.
There is no cap on punitive damages in California. However, that does not mean that you can go to court and ask for whatever sum you want. The amount of punitive damages will be decided by the jury, by using the multiplier method. Basically, your compensatory damages are multiplied by a number between 1 and 10, possibly even higher if the jury finds the defendant’s behavior particularly egregious.
What does California’s Dram Shop law say?
In many states, DUI accident victims can sue the owner of the establishment who served alcohol to the driver. Under California’s Dram Shop Law, you can hold the owner of a bar or restaurant responsible only if the driver that hit you was under the age of 21.
If the drunk driver was an adult, you may be able to hold the establishment’s owner responsible if the Long Beach DA files criminal charges. Under California laws, serving alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated is a misdemeanor. However, these cases are extremely complicated and hard to prove so you’ll probably need very good Long Beach DUI accident lawyers to sue a restaurant or a bar.
Have you been injured in a DUI crash in Long Beach?
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a drunk driving accident in the Long Beach area, contact the skilled attorneys at the Neumann Law Group. Our attorneys possess years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Through our dedicated representation of accident victims and their families, we will help you bring the at-fault driver to justice. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our toll-free number at 800-525-6386. To contact our California office, call 213-277-0001.