Car Accident Lands Vehicle in Motel Swimming Pool
I’m Ed Smith, a Thousand Oaks car accident lawyer. A July 8 motor vehicle accident in Simi Valley resulted in a movie-like ending with the vehicle at the bottom of a swimming pool. Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash.
Police in Simi Valley reported that the accident happened about 2:00 in the morning when a driver from Moorpark, age 39, who was traveling eastbound on California State Route 118, pulled off the highway at the Erringer Road exit. At this point, just past the freeway entrance, the driver’s vehicle crashed through fencing at a Motel 6 and ended up in the motel’s swimming pool.
Arrest Made at the Accident Scene
Local officers from the Simi Valley Police Department arrived at the scene of the crash, along with firefighters, and discovered the driver of the vehicle and his unidentified passenger near the site of the accident. Both received minor injuries described as bruises and cuts from the mishap. The driver was charged with misdemeanor DUI and arrested.
Driving Under the Influence in California
A first-time conviction for drunk driving accidents when no injury or death results in a misdemeanor offense. However, California is strict even for a misdemeanor. Penalties include DUI assessments and penalties of $1,000 to $2,600, jail time of up to six months, attendance at an alcohol treatment program and a license suspension of up to six months.
More Serious Penalties for Drunk Driving
Penalties are much more severe for a second offense or more than two offenses. Penalties are much more severe when the driver is involved in an accident that results in an injury or the death of another person. Then, the charges against the driver change from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Thousand Oaks Drunk Drivers
In 2014, there were 237 arrests made for drunk driving in Thousand Oaks, which ranked the city as 11th among the other California cities of a similar size. Drunk drivers were also involved in 62 of the injuries and fatalities caused by accidents, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Countywide, drunk driving contributed to 367 accident fatalities and injuries.
Drunk Driving as Negligence
Drunk driving is a negligent act in California; a convicted drunk driver who causes accident injuries or the death of another individual can be held responsible for the expenses incurred as a result of the accident. In addition to seeking damages from the driver, the injured person or family who lost a loved one may be able to seek damages from the restaurant, bar, hotel or other entity or person that supplied the person with alcohol.
Damages in a Personal Injury
A person who is injured through negligence can collect fair compensation for those injuries. These include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost time from work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages when the injury was caused by an act of criminal negligence such as drunk driving
Damages in a Wrongful Death
Surviving spouses, putative spouses, domestic partners, children and minors who were supported by the victim can file for wrongful death. Recoverable damages are:
- Expenses for the funeral and burial
- Loss of support in the future
- Inheritance loss
- Loss of affection, companionship, comfort and moral support
- Loss of consortium in a marriage or romantic relationship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Any medical expenses incurred before the death of the victim (survival action)
- Punitive damages if the act was judged to be a felony homicide
Thousand Oaks Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Thousand Oaks car accident lawyer. Innocent people can suffer devastating injuries when their vehicle is involved in an accident with a drunk driver. If you or a loved one has been injured, please call (805) 372-0200 for help. I offer friendly and free advice for your situation. My toll-free number is (800) 404-5400 for those living outside the area.
During my 35-year practice as an injury lawyer, I have been proud to have helped many Californians, including those in Thousand Oaks and the surrounding area, to obtain fair compensation in their cases involving traumatic injury and wrongful death.
The Million Dollar Advocates Forum reserves its membership to trial lawyers who have won a minimum of a seven-figure settlement or verdict for clients. I belong to this group as a member from California.
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