Drunk drivers kill or severely injure or kill other people every day.

More than 10,000 traffic fatalities in a recent year were caused by drunk drivers, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All these deaths were preventable.

What recourse do you have after a drunk driving accident in San Jose?

If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a traffic crash caused by a drunk driver, you have recourse under the law. In addition to any criminal penalties imposed, you are entitled to seek full and fair compensation from the at-fault driver through negotiation with the insurance company in a civil court of law, or both. Our San Jose car accident attorneys are happy to make the insurance company pay full value at trial.

The Swanson Law Group helps you turn chaos into tranquility

There are many personal injury lawyers who will round up clients, send them to chiropractors, and make them accept whatever settlement the insurance company offers. They have no idea of the true value of the injuries, what it feels like to lose your health, or what it takes to get it back. At The Swanson Law Group, our mission is to not only help our clients get better after an accident, but to also help them face life ahead with a positive attitude and the financial resources they need. Our founder, Ben Swanson, Esq., offers his time to clients before and after their case to help them learn the qualities it takes for financial success.

What types of compensation can you recover after a drunk driving accident?

Compensatory damages are designed to make the plaintiff whole, or, in other words, to compensate you for the losses you have suffered, financially and otherwise. Depending on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover damages for:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost wages or earnings
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional trauma
  • Permanent disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Are punitive damages awarded for drunk driving crashes in San Jose?

Punitive, or exemplary, damages may be awarded in drunk driving accident cases under California Civil Code Section 3294. Unlike the compensatory damages covered above, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and help deter similar actions in the future. An award of punitive damages is over and above the compensation you can recover for the losses you have suffered. To recover punitive damages in a personal injury case, you must provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s conduct involved malice, oppression, or fraud. This may apply in cases of extreme recklessness, such as driving under the influence. 

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How common are drunk driving accidents?

Every day in the U.S., approximately 28 people are killed in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes, as stated by NHTSA. This amounts to one death every 52 minutes. The annual cost of crashes involving drunk drivers total more than $44 billion, as reported by the CDC. California is one of the worst states for drunk driving accidents, with 9,288 fatalities from 2009-2018, as stated on Forbes Advisor. Drunk driving collisions did not decrease during the pandemic, although traffic was dramatically reduced. Alcohol-related traffic deaths actually increased in 2020 by 9% over 2019, as stated on Automotive Fleet.

How do you hold a drunk driver accountable?

After a serious crash caused by a drunk driver, you need a San Jose personal injury lawyer who will stand up for your rights and take down the insurance company if necessary. Our talented legal team at The Swanson Law group are caring, supportive, and service-oriented to our clients, while being relentless, unstoppable, and fearsome to the insurance industry. We can fully investigate your accident, access the full extent of your damages, and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

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