Who Can Be Held Accountable for Drunk Driving Accidents?
Imagine this situation. You are driving home from a function one night and a car runs through a red light, hits your car broadside, and the next thing you know you are waking up in the hospital. The police are there and they tell you that the driver had a blood alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit. It is clear that the driver is at fault for the accident but there is a problem: The driver’s insurance does not exceed the minimum required by law.
Even when you add in any uninsured / underinsured coverage you may have, it is not likely to come close to paying for the cost of treating your catastrophic injuries. Do you have options? Can anyone be held accountable? The best thing to do is to contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 so that we can assess your case and give you an answer. In the meantime, you can read on to learn about some of the people who may be held accountable for your accident.
California has several types of liability that may apply to drunk driving accidents
Many states have laws that are designed so that hosts and / or alcohol vendors can be held liable if they serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person and that person goes on to cause a car accident. These laws are in place to dissuade people from overserving. California has several of these types of laws.
Social host liability
The state of California is clear that a social host is not responsible or liable if they serve alcohol to a person who is intoxicated and that person gets into an accident. However, a case that made it to the California Supreme Court clarified that this does not necessarily apply to a minor. If a social host sold alcohol to a minor then that social host can be held liable for the actions of that minor.
In the state of California, a bar or restaurant cannot be held liable for serving alcohol to intoxicated adults. However, there are vendor liability laws that come into play if a bar or restaurant serves to someone who is a minor and who is obviously intoxicated.
A court decision in 2013 made it clear that an employer can be held liable if their employee is intoxicated at a company-sponsored event at which the employer served alcohol. For example, if the employer had an event at a baseball game, served alcohol, and their employee got into a fight with someone, then the employer could potentially be held liable.
If you have been injured in an accident that involved a person who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there may be additional people responsible for their actions. To best way to find out for sure what your options are is to contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.