If a suspected drunk driver hits a pedestrian by a traffic light in Los Angeles, how does the location factor into the liability?
Last Friday, I was walking by an intersection in Los Angeles when I saw a car swerving erratically. The car approached a traffic light and hit a pedestrian who was waiting to cross. The driver then stumbled out of the car, and I strongly suspected they were under the influence of alcohol. Does the proximity to the traffic light play any part in determining fault or liability? How does the fact that the driver might have been intoxicated come into play? Also, how can I find the right lawyer to advise on this matter? Given that attorneys can be expensive, what are the average fees for a case like this? Is there a reliable website or platform where I can compare lawyers in my area based on reviews and success rates?
Analysis of the DUI Traffic Light Incident
It seems like you've witnessed a potentially grave incident involving an intoxicated driver and an innocent pedestrian. California has stringent laws governing driving under the influence (DUI) and imposes severe penalties on offenders. The fact that this incident occurred at a traffic light can be pertinent to determining liability, especially if the pedestrian was abiding by the rules.
Relevant Legal Statutes
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152: DUI Laws
- California Civil Code Section 1714: Liability for Intoxicated Persons
- California Government Website
Potential Solutions for the Incident
If you're considering helping the victim or getting involved as a witness, consider the following:
- Consult with a DUI & DWI lawyer who can advise on the specific implications of the incident. They can determine if the driver was negligent or if there's a possible defense.
- Provide your observations as a witness statement. This can be crucial for the pedestrian's personal injury claim.
- For more details on how DUI cases are handled in Los Angeles, you can check here.
Average Legal Fees in Los Angeles
|Legal Service||Average Cost in LA|
|Initial Consultation||$250 - $500|
|Representation for DUI Cases||$1,500 - $15,000|
|Personal Injury Case Representation||$5,000 - $75,000|
|Expert Testimony or Analysis||$2,500 - $10,000|
Note: These prices can vary significantly based on the lawyer's experience, case complexity, and other factors.
Clarification and Next Steps
Could you specify your role in this situation further? Are you helping the pedestrian, the driver, or merely trying to understand the legal implications?
It's crucial to consult with a qualified attorney to address your concerns. Don't hesitate to seek out expert advice.
Questions for Consideration
- Were there any CCTV cameras at the intersection which captured the incident?
- Did the pedestrian sustain severe injuries requiring hospitalization?
- Were any field sobriety tests conducted on the driver at the scene?
Q1: What if the driver wasn't intoxicated but still hit the pedestrian?
If the driver was sober, they could still be liable for the accident. However, the penalties might be different compared to a DUI case.
Q2: Can I be held liable as a witness if I don't testify?
Generally, witnesses are not legally obligated to testify. However, it can significantly help the victim's case if you do.
Q3: How long does the victim have to file a lawsuit after the accident?
In California, personal injury victims typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Q4: What if the pedestrian was jaywalking when hit?
If the pedestrian was not following traffic rules, it might reduce the driver's liability. However, the driver could still be partly at fault, especially if intoxicated.
Q5: Are there legal aids available for those who can't afford a lawyer?
Yes, California offers legal aid services for those with limited means. It's essential to reach out to local services to understand eligibility.