Lawsuits for When a Drunk Driver Kills Someone

Have You Lost a Loved One to Drunk Driving? Give Us a Call

Drunk driving is all too common in the United States. Millions of Americans will get behind the wheel when they are impaired from far too much alcohol consumption in any given year. Most drunk drivers don’t make it home or just wind up with a ticket. Every single day, over twenty-seven people are killed in the United States because someone voluntarily chooses to drink and drive, according to the NHTSA. Simultaneously, every hour someone is killed because another person voluntarily made the wrong choice to drive.

A Wrongful Death Suit

A wrongful death suit is how you can attempt to recover damages you have suffered from the death of a loved one. You can act on their behalf if you have some connection to the deceased. In many instances, the goal is to ensure that the family members are duly compensated for the devastating fiscal impact. Law officials may also punish drivers with punitive damages intended to prevent them from driving drunk in the future.

The Penalties of Drunk Driving in California

Keep in mind there are criminal penalties for drunk drivers. Those who drink and drive even a single time may be subject to probation if they get caught. If someone repeatedly drinks and drives over a period, they can be subject to increasingly harsh penalties, including:

  • First time – imprisonment for 96 hours to six months, license suspension for six months, fine of up to $1,000
  • Second time – imprisonment for 90 days to one year, fine of up to $1,0000, and license suspension for two years
  • Third time – imprisonment for 120 days to one year, fine of up to $1,000, and license removal for three years
  • Fourth time – imprisonment for 180 days to a year, fine of up to $1,000, and license removal for four years

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a driver’s drinking, you have recourse in the law. For example, if you are a grieving mother and my son was killed by a drunk driver, you have the right to sue for civil damages. Investigating your options is crucial.

You Deserve Maximum Compensation

A drunk driver may be subject to two kinds of penalties. When prosecutors sentence them to time behind bars and fines, the goal is to make sure they are reprimanded for what the victim has suffered. Prosecutors want to get them off the road even if they have not harmed anyone.

When someone dies because of a drunken driver’s actions, the losses can be severe. Before that person died, they might have racked up lots of medical bills uncovered by insurance. The drunk driver might have also ruined property aside from the vehicle itself. If the victim was the primary breadwinner, the financial results of their loss to the family could be utterly catastrophic. In that case, you might be entitled to compensation from the driver who caused the accident and left you with unpaid bills.

If you are wondering, “can I sue a drunk driver for killing someone” the answer is yes. A personal injury attorney will work with you to develop a plan for medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering. At Accident Lawyers Firm our wrongful death firm has the experts you need to tackle any legal issues stemming from the accident that claimed a loved one’s life.

Pure Negligence State

California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means the court can limit the number of damages you can recover. For example, your loved one might have died because they ran a red light. Or they might also have had a certain blood alcohol level that contributed to their failure to disobey specific traffic laws. A court may decide to distinguish between varying levels of responsibility for the accident. You will need to prove that their death was not partly or wholly their fault for not obeying the laws imposed on all drivers in your state.

About Accident Lawyers Firm

Accident Lawyers Firm is a Newport Beach-based law firm that wins our clients maximum compensation for their personal injury lawsuits. Our attorneys work tirelessly to add up your bodily damages, emotional damages, property damages, and overall pain and suffering that the negligent party should pay for.

You don’t need additional stress while you recover from your injuries, so leave the legal battle up to us. With our extensive connections and hard-working lawyers, you can focus on recovering physically, mentally, and emotionally. To set up a free consultation, call us at 949-203-5780 or email us at

What if There was a Will?
If the person who died left behind a last will and testament prior to their death, this can be a determining factor in who is allowed to pursue a wrongful death suit. If the person who died did indeed have a will, the court will then appoint an executor to administer the estate. When this happens, the executor or personal representative appointed by the court then has the sole authority to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent. Unfortunately, even when a will is left behind, it is likely some family members may contest the will and an executor’s right to pursue legal action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. If you are facing these circumstances and need answers to your questions, meet as soon as possible with an injury attorney that Newport Beach families turn to for help in solving these legal problems.

Is There a Statute of Limitations?
As with virtually all types of lawsuits, a statute of limitations usually exists for filing wrongful death lawsuits. While no state has a statute of limitations of less than one year for filing wrongful death lawsuits, most allow family members or others two or three years to file such a lawsuit. In most cases, the countdown on the statute of limitations begins from the date of the decedent’s death. However, if an employee of the government or the government itself is being blamed for the person’s death, you may need to file what is known as a “notice of claim” with the government, which informs them of your intentions to pursue litigation and allows them time to respond to your allegations. If you are required to do this, you usually have only 90 days. Therefore, speak to a wrongful death lawsuit attorney that Newport Beach families trust as quickly as possible.

What if I Wait Too Long to File a Lawsuit?
If you think the courts will feel sympathetic to you should you wait too long to file your wrongful death lawsuit, think again. In virtually all cases, should you file your wrongful death lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will not be heard by the court. To make matters worse, you have likely lost any chance you would have had to gain financial compensation for your loved one’s death due to the negligence of others. 

Rather than let your wrongful death claim expire and have those who were negligent and careless walk away without being held accountable for their actions, hire the best personal injury and wrongful death attorney to represent you and your family.

If a loved one was killed in an accident and you believe it was due to the negligence of other people, a company, or even the government, do not hesitate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. To learn what will be involved, schedule a consultation today with the experienced personal injury law firm of Accident Lawyers Firm in Newport Beach.