The mayor of Murietta was arrested recently after driving his vehicle into the back of a car carrying four cheerleaders. The car was stopped at a red light at the time, and Mayor Alan Long failed a field sobriety test on the scene. However, he later passed a Breathalyzer test, so the exact circumstances surrounding the accident remain to be determined as a blood test is in progress. One of the girls was injured and hospitalized.
California law extends harsher penalties to individuals convicted of causing injury while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Much depends on both the particular circumstances of the accident and the impaired driver’s criminal history. Especially in cases in which the driver has prior DUI convictions, the court is not likely to look kindly upon a driver who has erred in three key ways: they drove while under the influence, they broke traffic laws or otherwise acted negligently while doing so, and their negligence directly caused injury to another person.
Anyone involved in an accident with an impaired driver should seek medical attention right away, regardless of whether serious injury is immediately apparent. Some serious injuries, including head injuries, don’t necessarily display symptoms right away, particularly in the initial rush of adrenaline following an accident.
It’s also important to collect as much information about the accident as you can — don’t waste the value of your cell phone as a documentation device. Get the contact information of any eyewitnesses, and the insurance information of the driver who hit you. All of this will be necessary if you elect to pursue legal action against the driver.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a collision involving an impaired or intoxicated driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, property damage and other losses. Contact the experienced San Diego personal injury lawyers at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire for answers to your questions.