Representing Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents in the Bay Area

Drunk Driving Accidents in the Bay Area

Investigating and proving damages claims against drunk drivers is a different exercise from other kinds of motor vehicle accidents. To learn how an experienced personal injury attorney can develop and present the facts that can help you recover the full measure of your damages, contact Weber & Nierenberg for a free consultation.

With offices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and San Rafael, our law firm is convenient for clients throughout the Bay Area. We accept claims against intoxicated motorists on a contingent fee basis, which means that we collect no attorney’s fee unless and until we recover compensation for you, either through settlement or trial.

One of the biggest cases our firm ever handled involved an intoxicated bus driver who struck and seriously injured our client in a rear-end collision. We settled the case for $3.75 million.

Establishing Civil Liability for Drunk Driving

In our experience, evidence of drunk driving, substance abuse or other impairment on the part of the defendant driver can be a powerful circumstance toward establishing our client’s right to damages. We know how to work with evidence of intoxication without regard to the outcome of any criminal DUI or DWI charges against the other driver. In certain cases, our attorneys can even allege that the other driver was impaired even if no charge of drunk driving was brought against the other driver.

Because a civil claim for damages involves a lower standard of proof than a criminal prosecution, claims against drunk drivers can go forward even without a conviction on a DUI charge. We can use the evidence of intoxication developed by law enforcement without having to worry about proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. We can also look at evidence of past substance abuse problems and prior drunk driving offenses on the part of the defendant.

Evidence of intoxication will be important in most drunk driving accident cases because it can support a claim for punitive damages. Additionally, liability for drunk driving accident damages will often be excepted from the discharge in bankruptcy. Proof that the other driver had been drinking to the point of impairment or beyond will usually strengthen the accident victim’s claims.

Learn more about the ways an experienced trial attorney can use evidence of drunk driving to help an accident victim achieve justice. Contact the Bay Area law firm of Weber & Nierenberg for a free consultation. You can also visit our website at https://www.weberandnierenberg.com.

Proving Negligence in Inadequate Security Claims in the Bay Area

Victims of violent crimes, sexual attacks or robberies have a theoretical right to sue the perpetrator for damages suffered. After all, practically any crime with an individual victim is also an intentional tort, and the plaintiff in a civil action against the criminal does not need to prove the claim beyond a reasonable doubt, as a prosecuting attorney would in a criminal case. Unfortunately, this right of civil action against a criminal is almost always merely theoretical. Even if the assailant or robber is brought to justice, only in rare circumstances will the perpetrator have assets available to meet the damages proven.

Civil Damages for Criminal Acts through Premises Liability Litigation

The law of negligent security has developed to provide an alternative means of civil relief for the victims of violent crimes, especially in situations where the victim had reason to expect at least some degree of protection on the part of a business or property owner. California law recognizes a general right of recovery in favor of the victim of a violent crime who can prove that the crime would probably not have occurred if someone else had taken reasonable steps to prevent it.

What makes negligent security litigation especially challenging for the plaintiff is the law’s vague guidance as to what constitutes a duty of reasonable care to prevent crime and the specific measures a property owner should take to meet that responsibility under the facts of a given case. Whether or not a negligence action will succeed can typically be assessed under a “totality of the circumstances” test — in other words, a property owner’s negligence will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis rather than under a single set of rules.

Establishing the Case for Negligence through Focused Investigation

An experienced personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the demands of negligent security litigation under a variety of situations will use the tools of pretrial discovery and expert evaluation to develop a theory of liability that matches the facts of the case at hand. The investigation will consider such issues as the prevalence of crime in the immediate area, the preventive measures taken previously by past or current owners, negligent maintenance of lighting or electronic surveillance systems and other questions of fact.

These inquiries will focus on the reasonableness of the protective steps actually taken by the property owner in light of the known risks to visitors, residents or patrons of the premises where the attack took place, and the ways necessary measures were ignored or discontinued. In that way, the owner’s duty of care under a premises liability theory of negligence can be specifically defined in terms of the facts of the case and not an abstraction of general security responsibilities.

Call a San Francisco Premises Liability Attorney: 866-288-6010

With offices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and San Rafael, the personal injury attorneys of Weber & Nierenberg offer reliable advice and energetic advocacy to people throughout the Bay Area who need to know their civil litigation options in the aftermath of a serious criminal attack. Contact us for a free consultation at any of our locations, or visit our website.

 
 
Locations & Contact Information
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Locations

1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
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P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612
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P. 510-663-6000

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