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California Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

What Is a DUI?

“DUI” means “Driving Under the Influence” of alcohol or another substance. In California, it’s illegal to drink and drive. It’s also illegal to drive under the influence of any drug which impairs your road awareness or judgment. This rule applies even if the drug is legal or prescribed by a medical professional.

DUIs can have serious consequences. The damage caused can be catastrophic, especially if it’s a high-speed collision. Our DUI car accident lawyers understand the severity of the issue – which is why we’re waiting to help you today.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

Drugs and alcohol impair your ability to drive safely. Specifically, they cause:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Lack of coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Inflated sense of confidence
  • Lack of inhibitions

In the most severe cases, drunk drivers may fall asleep at the wheel.

Consequences of Drunk Driving

Drunk driving can cause significant personal injuries, including:

  • Fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Limb loss
  • Nerve damage and paralysis
  • Spine injuries

Victims may also die from their injuries, depending on what happened. Our DUI victim attorneys can help loved ones left behind after a drunk driving fatality.

Why Hire the May Firm DUI Accident Attorneys?

It’s simple: we treat our clients like family. From the moment you contact us, we’re on your side. We will do everything we can to support you through this highly stressful time. Whether it’s negotiating with insurers or helping you seek medical care, we’re on hand to help.

We understand how heartbreaking DUI crashes can be. That’s why our drunk driving injury lawyers want the best for crash victims. Our team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a crash turns your life upside-down. And if you lose a loved one in a DUI accident, we’ll help you honor their memory by getting the damages they deserve.

Civil vs. Criminal Liability in DUI Cases

There are two types of DUI cases: civil and criminal cases.

  • Driving under the influence is a crime. As a result, these crashes often involve an arrest and criminal charges.
  • If you suffer property and/or physical damage after a DUI crash, you can claim compensation through a civil claim.

Can you still get compensation if there’s a criminal case pending? Absolutely. The criminal and civil cases are different – criminal charges don’t affect your right to file a civil claim. Even if the defendant is convicted for a criminal offense, they could still be liable to you for civil damages.

We know that the legal processes involved can be confusing. Our drunk driving accident attorneys can help you understand what’s happening so you can focus on recovery.

California’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

California has a specific time frame in which an injured DUI accident victim must file a lawsuit for compensation. This statute of limitations places the burden on a plaintiff to file a suit against the parties responsible within the allotted time. Otherwise, injured individuals generally lose the right to pursue compensation for their injuries.

In California, the statute of limitations provides injured individuals with just two years from the date of a DUI accident to file a claim for losses in a civil court. This is not much time – call our DUI accident victim attorneys for help today.

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“If I ever need a lawyer again, I’m calling the May Firm. I was rear ended and had a ton of bills. They told me what my rights were and that they would take care of me. All I had to do was get to physical therapy. They did everything, and I ended up with a very nice settlement and a new car. Thank you! You exceeded my expectations!”


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“A friendly and professional firm. Always answered questions quickly. Highly recommended to anyone who needs a personal injury lawyer. Extremely satisfied with the outcome.”

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Car Accident

“The staff was friendly and very helpful throughout my entire case. Sienna stood out with her great customer service and help. I would recommend The May Firm to anyone looking for a personal injury attorney.”

Natalie Garcia

Bicycle Accident

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Drunk drivers pose a threat to public safety along any road, but California roadways are especially dangerous. Traffic congestion, winding roadways through mountainous terrain, poor visibility, and massive interstates all pose dangers on the road that require a competent driver to maintain focus and stay alert to prevent an accident.

Drunk drivers often struggle to see clearly, make safe decisions, and react appropriately to perilous situations. Drivers’ impaired senses and affected mental state while traversing through these hazardous road obstacles make a drunk driver an even bigger danger and risk to the safety of the public along California’s most dangerous roadways.

Hazardous California roadways include the following:

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California’s population continues to grow exponentially, with a current population of over 39 million. The most populated state in the country has some of the worst traffic. Heavy congestion and motor vehicle collisions occur every day throughout California.

Unfortunately, with increases in population and a more mobile society comes a higher incidence of drunk drivers on the road. In just one year, over 120,000 drivers faced arrest for DUI within the state of California and caused over 2,000 fatalities.

Who Bears Responsibility for a Drunk Driving Accident in California?

In the vast majority of cases, the responsibility for a DUI car accident lies squarely on the drunk driver. However, certain circumstances may implicate another individual or organization, and some accidents may involve multiple at-fault parties, which can complicate an already complex claims process. This type of situation often arises in cases that involve an on-the-job employee or in situations where a drunk driver caused an accident while driving another person’s vehicle.

Keep in mind that the preferred method to seek compensation as an accident victim will often be through a settlement with the drunk driver’s insurance company. If the driver and/or car owner has insurance coverage at the time of the accident, the policy will likely cover your losses.

However, in cases where a driver does not have adequate (or any) insurance or that involve disputes as to the liability or the extent of damages that have occurred, injured individuals may need to file a lawsuit in court and pursue litigation.

Contact our drunk driving accident lawyers in Los Angeles for help understanding who to sue for a crash.

“Rob May and his team achieved over and above what I ever anticipated. I am thankful I found them, and I hold them in the highest esteem. Should you ever need a conscientious and diligent personal injury lawyer, I strongly recommend Robert May. He’s awesome. Thanks, guys, for your patience and professionalism. You rock!”


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DUI accident injuries


If you’re hurt by someone else’s negligence, you can sue them for the injuries sustained. Damages in a DUI accident can include economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages consist of monetary losses that have an objective value and to which a court can assign a monetary value. Non-economic damages involve personal losses to an injured individual, which may include the effects of the injuries on a victim’s physical health as well as the emotional and mental aftermath of the accident and the injuries.

Damages in a DUI accident in California can include:

Unsure what you’re entitled to? We understand – it’s difficult to quantify such a significant event in your life. Our DUI accident lawyers will evaluate your case and determine how much you can claim.


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We know the impacts a drunk driving accident can have on your life and future. A driving under the influence (DUI) accident will likely create unexpected expenses that may create financial stress for you and your family. At the May Firm, our auto accident attorneys always work to recover maximum compensation for our clients.

Some examples of successful case results for our past clients include:

The May Firm’s DUI accident legal experts pride themselves on their ability to move quickly to defend victims and their rights while engaging with compassion during a difficult time. Nobody outworks the May Firm when it comes to helping clients and their families seek justice.

We provide our services without upfront costs to our clients because we know that we have what it takes to win our clients’ personal injury cases. We invite you to meet with us at one of our personal injury law offices in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, San Diego, Bakersfield, or Fresno.

No matter where you call home in California, the May Firm is here to help. Please call (844) MAY-FIRM to schedule an appointment so we can talk about the specifics of your personal injury claim resulting from a drunk driving accident.

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We’re here to help. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced accident lawyers today by filling out the form below, or call us at 1.844.MAYFIRM.

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