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California DUI Injury Lawyers

California dui lawyers

Our California DUI injury lawyers represent injured victims and families who may have lost loved ones due to drunk or drugged drivers’ actions. We are committed to holding these drivers financially responsible for their negligence and wrongdoing. 

The California personal injury attorneys at Bisnar Chase have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for victims of negligence and wrongdoing. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is not just reckless and irresponsible. Still, it is also an extraordinarily negligent and illegal act that could result in property damage, injuries, and loss of life.

When a driver chooses to get intoxicated and then get behind the wheel, he or she puts themselves, as well as their passengers and others sharing the roadway, at the distinct risk of injury and/or death.

DUI convictions in criminal courts tend to result in jail or prison sentences, fines, or probation. However, these criminal penalties do not address compensating DUI victims and their families for the damages and losses they have sustained due to no fault of their own.

We have five locations in California to serve our clients as conveniently as possible: Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego, with meeting locations in San Francisco. Please call us at (800) 561-4887 for more information about pursuing your legal rights

  • Over $850M recovered
  • 99% success rate
  • Familiar with all California courts
  • Seasoned trial lawyers with decades of experience

California DUI Injury Lawyer

What Do California’s DUI Laws Say?

California law prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”

The law also states that drivers shall not operate motor vehicles with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. For drivers of commercial vehicles such as big-rigs, that legal limit is 0.04 percent.

In addition, California Vehicle Code Section 23136 prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in their systems.

These numbers indicate the level of alcohol present in a driver’s bloodstream. It is typically determined through chemical tests of blood, breath, or urine. A test may be done at the side of the road, or at a police station.

A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will also likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).

Unfortunately, more than 10,000 people die in fatal DUI accidents in the United States every year. Our California DUI injury lawyers at Bisnar Chase can help you hold negligent drivers who get behind the wheel while under the influence accountable. Call 800-561-4887 for a free consultation.

California DUI Victim's Rights

If you were the victim of a DUI crash and the at-fault driver was issued a citation for an open container or was arrested following the police investigation, you will likely be in a strong position while negotiating your claim.

There are also other steps you can take in such types of incidents to protect your rights:

  • Tell the investigating police officer if you smell alcohol or marijuana on the driver’s breath. Also, look to see if the driver tries to dump beer cans or bottles on the side of the road before police arrive.
  • If you see the driver using eye drops, alert the officer. That might be enough for the officer to administer a drug test.
  • Before the police arrive, be sure to see who is driving. It is common for drivers to switch places after a crash with a passenger who hasn’t been drinking.
  • Be sure to file a police report and obtain a signed copy for your records.
  • Be sure to follow up on the driver’s arrest to see if he or she pleaded guilty or was convicted. While this is not necessary for you to pursue a civil personal injury claim or wrongful death claim, your case could receive a significant shot in the arm if the driver was convicted or even charged in your case.
  • Get prompt medical attention, treatment, and care for your injuries. This not only helps you recover promptly but also helps create documentation specifically regarding the types of injuries you sustained and the treatment you received. It also establishes a timeline for how long you were injured or disabled.
  • Save all receipts, invoices, and documents connected to the case. This includes all bills relating to emergency transportation, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, medications, medical equipment, etc. Also, be sure to keep track of the number of workdays missed and the income that you lost as a result of the injuries suffered in the DUI crash.

Contact an experienced California DUI injury attorney who will fight hard to protect your rights and hold the at-fault parties accountable.

What Are California DUI Victims' Options?

In California, anyone who has been convicted of a DUI faces serious criminal consequences, such as time in county jail or state prison, hefty fines, license suspension or revocation, probation, and the requirement to drive with an ignition interlock device.

While these penalties are important and serve as important deterrents, it is crucial for drunk driving accident victims to realize that criminal penalties are not the only remedies available.

Often, after a drunk driving accident, victims are left with severe physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Many suffer debilitating injuries and even permanent disabilities that prevent them from carrying on with normal, productive lives. DUI victims and their families have the right to seek monetary compensation for their losses from the at-fault parties.

You can work with the DUI plaintiffs’ lawyers of Bisnar Chase to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, or against their assets. By filing a DUI lawsuit you can ensure you are not left out of pocket by a crash. We will negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to trial to make sure you win compensation and hold the negligent driver accountable.

Marsy's Law for DUI Victims

In California, Marsy’s Law significantly expands the rights of victims in criminal cases, including those who have been injured in DUI collisions. This does not strictly relate to the civil cases handled by Bisnar Chase but is useful information for DUI victims.

Under Marsy’s Law, the California Constitution article I, § 28, section (b), victims have the following rights:

  • To be treated fairly and with respect to their privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse through the criminal or juvenile justice process.
  • To be reasonably protected from the defendant and those acting on behalf of the defendant.
  • To have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered when it comes to fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant.
  • To ensure that confidential information or records are not disclosed to the defendant, his or her lawyer, or anyone who is acting on behalf of the defendant.
  • To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which the victim consents.
  • To be given reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including delinquency proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present, and of all parole or other post-conviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such proceedings.
  • To be heard, upon request, at any proceeding, including any delinquency proceeding, involving a post-arrest release decision, plea, sentencing, post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding in which the rights of the victim are at issue.
  • To a speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion of the case and any related post-judgment proceedings.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for California DUI Crashes?

So, what do you do when you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and learns that the police found that the other driver involved was drunk and at fault for the accident?

The negligent driver here is very likely to face criminal charges for causing the accident, property damage, and injuries. In such cases, there is usually no question that the drunk driver is financially responsible for the injuries, damages, and losses you have sustained.

The actual amount of money you recover as compensation from the driver depends on a few factors, including how much insurance coverage he or she has. Unfortunately, drunk drivers often do not have insurance coverage or may have insufficient coverage to compensate you for your losses.

In these situations, your DUI injury lawyer can better advise you regarding how the uninsured motorist clause of your own auto insurance policy might be able to compensate you for your losses. This clause will also apply in hit-and-run cases – in instances where a drunk driver takes off or flees the scene of a crash.

Please remember that in many states, there are laws that allow DUI accident victims to also hold liable other parties such as alcohol vendors, bars, restaurants, or even social hosts who served alcohol to the at-fault driver.

In California, the laws are complex, and with some exceptions, social hosts are not liable for serving alcohol to intoxicated adults or minors. This also applies to California bars and restaurants that are not liable for serving alcohol to intoxicated adults. But, these establishments will be liable if they sell alcohol to minors.

In some instances, employers may also face liability if an employee who is on the job causes an accident because he or she was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. An employer could also be held liable for the actions of an employee who, for example, gets drunk at a company-sponsored event where the employer provides alcohol.

These are cases where, in addition to holding a driver accountable, victims and their families can seek and obtain compensation from other parties who could potentially be held liable.

Contact the California DUI injury lawyers of Bisnar Chase if you’ve been injured. Call 800-561-4887 for a free DUI injury consultation.

What Damages Can CA DUI Victims Seek?

The worth or value of your claim will usually depend on the nature and extent of the injuries, damages, and losses you have sustained and the degree of negligence of the other parties. Injured victims of California DUI accidents can seek compensation for damages, including, but not limited to:

  • Medical expenses: This includes emergency transportation and treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, cost of medication, medical equipment, etc.
  • Rehabilitation costs: This includes the cost of rehabilitative care such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.
  • Lost income: Victims are entitled to receive wages as well as any benefits they lose while recovering from their injuries.
  • Lost future income: If the injuries are catastrophic and the disabilities are permanent, victims can also seek compensation for lost future income or loss of livelihood.
  • Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and mental suffering caused by the incident.
  • Loss of consortium: This is a claim for damages suffered by the spouse or partner of the injured victim.

There is a precedent in California courts that allows DUI accident victims to sue for punitive damages in injury cases.

For example, in Dawes v. Superior Court, a case that originated in Orange County, the court ruled that a plaintiff could seek punitive damages if the defendant knew that probable serious injury could result from his or her decision to drink and drive.

That incident, which occurred June 5, 1977, at Dana Point Harbor, involved a 13-year-old boy who was walking his bike on the pedestrian sidewalk at the entrance of Doheny State Park. The driver made a right turn without stopping at the stop sign and drove at a speed of 65 mph on a road where the speed limit was 35 mph, striking the teen.

The driver was determined to have been under the influence of alcohol. The court determined that the defendant was acting with knowledge that probable serious injury would result to persons in the area including the plaintiff and that his conduct showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Whether you are seeking economic damages to cover your losses or punitive damages to hold the wrongdoer accountable, our drunk driving injury lawyers will provide expert help to those who have been the victims of a DUI accident.

What is the average settlement for a DUI victim in California?

Generally speaking, DUI settlements vary depending upon several factors, such as the severity of damage caused by driving under the influence and other associated costs that accompany those damages, like medical bills or wage loss.

A personal injury claim can be anywhere from a few thousand to a seven-figure payout based on the person’s injury.

How long does it take to settle an injury claim?

It can take anywhere from a few months to 2 years to settle a DUI injury claim, depending on how complex the case is and whether there is a need for experts, witnesses, depositions, or other factors that can drag a case on.

Our legal team is persistent with all providers and will constantly keep you in the loop about what is happening.

Contact our experienced California DUI accident lawyers for a free consultation to determine if you are entitled to compensation. Call 800-561-4887 for a free consultation. There is no fee if we don’t win.

Drunk Driving Wrongful Death

About 10,000 fatalities occur each year as a result of drunk driving collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, DUI accidents lead to about 500,000 injuries per year.

Often, we see that the victim in a fatal DUI collision is not the drunk driver involved. These victims frequently include the occupants of the car the intoxicated driver is driving as well as passengers, pedestrians, or drivers of other cars.

Drunk driving crashes can potentially result in devastating injuries and may even claim multiple lives.

In cases where a drunk driving accident leads to a fatality, the family of the deceased victim can file what is known as a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including but not limited to medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Once again, it’s important to remember that the driver could face criminal charges such as vehicular manslaughter and murder. But a case that is resolved in criminal courts results in criminal penalties such as prison time and restitution.

It still does not monetarily compensate the DUI victims’ families for their substantial losses.

A wrongful death claim is brought against a DUI driver in civil court. Here, the plaintiff (victim) establishes that the driver caused the decedent’s death due to his or her negligence.

In a criminal case, prosecutors must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Reach out to our California DUI injury attorney to have your case evaluated.

Emotional and Other Support for DUI Victims and Families

Survivors, as well as family members and friends of DUI victims, may continue to feel the impact of a drunk or drugged driving crash long after it has occurred.

There is no question that DUI victims and their families need emotional support and assistance in a variety of ways in the aftermath of a crash. Survivors of DUI crashes may be dealing not just with physical pain, but also significant emotional suffering.

Some may be dealing with psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic depression. The financial costs of providing physical and emotional care for DUI victims can be extremely challenging.

This also takes an emotional toll on the families that are caring for loved ones injured in DUI crashes.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offers significant resources in many parts of the country. They have more than 1,200 trained victim advocates across the country and are often able to provide round-the-clock assistance and support to victims and their families.

There are a number of support services that DUI victims and families require during this difficult time:

  • Emotional support, including grief counseling in cases where the DUI crash has resulted in fatalities.
  • Guidance through the criminal and civil justice systems.
  • Support during court proceedings.
  • Help with preparing a victim impact statement.
  • Support groups where victims can be with others who have endured similar losses or have undergone similar experiences.

Presently, there are also a number of social media groups, particularly on Facebook for victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving. Here are some resources for further information:

  1. Mothers Against Drunk Driving Southern California Chapter:
  2. California Attorney General’s Victims’ Services Unit:
  3. National Center for Victims of Crime:
  4. National Organization for Victim Assistance:
  5. Students Against Destructive Decisions:
  6. National Alliance on Mental Illness (Orange County Chapter):

Physical therapy for DUI injuries

Getting an initial assessment is the first step in physical therapy after a car accident. Your physical therapist will assess your overall physical condition and any specific injuries you may have sustained during the accident.

They will develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Physical therapy treatment after a car accident can include various techniques, such as therapeutic exercises, massage, and electrical stimulation.

Your physical therapist may also use heat or cold therapy to reduce inflammation and swelling. Physical therapy aims to help you recover as quickly and safely as possible so you can return to your regular activities without limitation.

Pain relief is one of the most important benefits of physical therapy after a car accident. Many patients experience significant pain and discomfort after the accident, which can be challenging to manage with medication alone.

Your physical therapist will work with you to help you regain your range of motion and improve flexibility in the affected areas. This can help to minimize the risk of future injuries.

If you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving crash, call our top-rated California DUI injury lawyers for a free case review. We have extensive relationships with medical providers and physical therapists and can work to place your medical bills on a lien and reduce their overall cost. Call 800-561-4887 today.

New Technology to Prevent DUI Accidents

It is hoped that new technology might put an end to drunk driving and prevent huge numbers of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

A new bill signed in 2021 will eventually require vehicle manufacturers to equip every car with technology that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver is intoxicated.

While there are still plenty of details to be worked out, it is hoped that every new vehicle will be equipped with such a device by 2026. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident that was the result of a drunk or drugged driver up until that point, you should speak with a California DUI accident attorney.

No Win No Fee California DUI Injury Lawyers

AIOLP Lawyer of the Year 2024

The experienced California DUI injury attorneys at Bisnar Chase have more than 46 years of experience representing the rights of injured victims and their families. We offer clients our unique no win no fee guarantee. This means that you do not pay any fees or costs until we secure compensation for you.

We have an impeccable track record of financially pursuing DUI drivers and holding them accountable on behalf of our injured clients.

We are also dedicated proponents of DUI prevention and support organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that work hard to prevent these tragedies in our communities. Call us at (800) 561-4887 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.

Drunk Driving Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one have suffered due to someone else’s negligence, know your rights and contact an attorney today. We have five locations throughout California to serve our clients.

Our Skilled DUI injury attorneys have over four decades of experience handling DUI injury cases in California and have a 99% success rate. Get the compensation you deserve from experienced drunk driving injury lawyers.

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Client Reviews

Bisnar Chase Google Review - Lena

I wasn’t sure if I needed a personal injury attorney because I’d never been in a car accident before. I assumed I’d just go straight through the other driver’s insurance but that quickly became a nightmare. I spent months fighting over the simplest of issues about my case, which was 100% the other driver’s fault. I hired Bisnar Chase to see if they could just take it over for me. I was really impressed with how much they communicated everything to me! I suddenly started getting calls from the insurance company, imagine that. My final settlement was 6 times what I asked for to begin with. Everyone I dealt with was really involved in what was best for me, not the insurance.

Lena Murillo
Bisnar Chase Google Review

Bisnar Chase is a model #veteranowned business that is purpose-driven — showing the power of patriotism in action! Because of Bisnar Chase, low-income veterans will be able to forge new futures at home through pro bono legal care. Team Veterans Legal Institute is grateful to have Bisnar Chase as a sponsor for Lawyers for Warriors — supporting the promise to be there for our veterans when they need it most.

KellyAnn Romanych
Bisnar Chase Reviews

Bisnar Chase has been amazing with me through my lawsuit. I felt real compassion for my case and I was given their very best to make sure I was well taken care of. In addition to the great service given during my case, Bisnar Chase helped me get my son to his invited USA Football Team camp in Texas. They immediately offered to help fund the trip and are so supportive of his journey. I felt Kristi is just as excited for him as I am with this opportunity. Kristi has been an absolute delight to talk with. Bisnar Chase is more than I ever expected I could get in an attorney. I would recommend them to anyone!

Christina Del Real
Bisnar Chase Review - Natalie

I’m so impressed with this law firm. I lost my mother because of a seat defect when she was rear-ended in an auto accident and Bisnar Chase stepped up and took our case. The staff is wonderful and Brian Chase took his time explaining everything via phone with me. I’m honored to have the best of the best working on our family’s behalf, trying to get justice for my Mom, because of a negligent car company still manufacturing faulty seats. I look forward to working with this firm and am hopeful for a positive outcome. Thank you so much, Brian Chase. I know you will work your hardest on this case. God Bless you.

Natalie C.

Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP

1301 Dove St. STE 120, Newport Beach, CA 92660

(800) 561-4887

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