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Oakland Personal Injury > Blog > Car Accident > Your Rights as the Victim of a California DUI Accident

Your Rights as the Victim of a California DUI Accident


Even though every US state prohibits drunk driving and public awareness campaigns warn of the dangers, there are still many motorists who get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Data reported by the California Office of Traffic Safety Annual Report 2019 reveals that drunk drivers are a top cause of fatal accidents every year, accounting for 30 percent of all traffic deaths. Plus, almost 26,000 people are injured in DUI crashes, based upon a five-year average.

If you were injured in a drunk driving collision, you may get some comfort from knowing that your rights are very similar to other cases involving driver misconduct. However, there can still be challenges that you should trust an Oakland car accident attorney to tackle. You may also gain some insight from reviewing a summary of how DUI crashes work in California. 

Criminal Drunk Driving Cases Versus Civil DUI Claims: The end result in a criminal DUI case may be a conviction, driver’s license suspension, fines, and other sanctions. While you may get some closure from knowing that the drunk driver will be punished, the criminal case does not provide you with compensation for your losses. Instead, you will need to pursue your remedies through the civil legal process, which typically starts by filing an injury claim with the responsible motorist’s insurance company. If you cannot reach an agreement through settlement discussions with the insurer, you must file a lawsuit in court.

Elements of a DUI Accident Case: To prove that you are entitled to monetary damages, you must prove the same essential elements that apply to other auto crash cases:

  1. You must show that the responsible motorist had a duty to drive safely;
  2. You need evidence demonstrating that the other driver breached this duty;
  3. The breach of duty must be a direct cause of the accident; and,
  4. You must show that you suffered losses because of being injured.

With respect to element #2, a conviction for DUI would be solid evidence. However, you may be able to meet the legal requirements by showing the driver was arrested and/or ticketed. The reason is that the standard of proof is lower in a civil case as compared to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in a criminal matter. As such, a conviction for DUI is not necessary to prove your claim. IN a successful case, you may qualify to obtain compensation for:

  • Your medical costs for treatment;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional anguish; and,
  • Many other losses that affect your life and personal relationships.

Our Oakland Car Accident Lawyers Can Advise You on Your Options 

Your right to compensation may seem clear-cut if you were hurt in a California DUI crash, but this overview demonstrates that it is still wise to retain experienced legal counsel. To learn how our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP can help with filing a claim and other options, please contact our offices. We can schedule a no-cost consultation to assess your situation and determine a strategy for proceeding.




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You can be confident in relying on our zealous and effective Oakland personal injury lawyers:

  • We have served Northern California for over 35 years.

  • Our attorneys have been honored with numerous accolades, including SuperLawyers, AV Rating, and Top 100 Trial Attorney Awards.

  • In our decades of legal service to the community, we have garnered a substantial reputation. We are respected by opposing counsel, feared by insurance companies, and followed by jurors.

  • We combine Big Firm experience with boutique office attention and care. Several of our attorneys have experience working for the biggest law firms in the country, including the most prominent maritime defense law firm. Our attorneys rely on that big-firm know-how but prefer the personal touch of a smaller firm, allowing us to provide individualized and attentive representation to each of our clients.

  • We’ve been through it, too. Attorney Mark Venardi had to personally deal with a medical malpractice injury he suffered at a time when he was working a blue-collar job on an offshore oil rig; he knows what it’s like to be a working man dealing with a personal injury. He built his way up to working for the biggest maritime defense firm in the country, before deciding to focus on helping people like himself who were hurt by negligence and mistreatment from others.

  • We like to fight for the underdog. Attorney Martin Zurada is an immigrant and the son of immigrants who tirelessly worked his way up through education and experience to attain the American dream. Even though he has served in large, high-level litigation law firms, he prefers helping clients directly, fighting against injustices, and securing victories for the little guy who has been wronged.

  • We win. We have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In our combined tenure, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients across our broad areas of practice.

  • We care first and foremost about our clients. We dedicate ourselves to serve each and every client personally, and we make ourselves available to our clients around the clock.

  • There is no cost to you until we win. If we don’t make a recovery for you, we will not collect a fee. And all initial consultations are free of charge.

Dedicated Areas of Practice

We offer a wide range of litigation services for Oakland personal injury and employment law clients. Specifically, our areas of dedicated practice span the following issues:

Employment Law. California employers must assure proper pay to employees and comply with a variety of rules and regulations to prevent discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We represent victims of wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and any other form of California workplace mistreatment. If you believe you were treated inappropriately at work, we can help.

Personal Injury. If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. That’s where we come in. As Oakland personal injury attorneys, we right the wrongs done to our clients. And we do it at our cost during the entire duration of your case. There is never any fee until we win. Give us a call if you have been hurt in a car accident, by a toxic spill or contamination, as a result of medical malpractice, due to abuse or neglect, in a maritime accident, by a vicious animal attack, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence.

The Sooner You Speak to an Oakland Injury Lawyer, the Stronger Your Chances for Recovery Will Become.

Contact the Oakland injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada today, and let’s get started. We are available to talk any time, so whether you call, email or chat online, we’ll respond and set up an appointment to meet you. We have several Spanish speakers in the office and welcome the opportunity to cater our services to Oakland’s Spanish-speaking population. You pay no fee until we win for you, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation. The sooner you call, the faster we can start getting results for you. Call 925-937-3900.

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