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Accidents are complicated when DUI is suspected

California is well-known for its car culture. Interstates connect with gigantic cloverleaves. State residents depend on vehicles to provide their transportation in the nation's third-largest state by area where it would take about 15 hours to travel the length of the state on Interstate 5. California roads are teaming with traffic.

Where there's vehicular traffic, there are accidents, many of which involve alcohol or drug impaired drivers. DUI arrests have been dropping in California, which had a 79 percent DUI conviction rate in 2008 according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. DUI accidents, such as the suspected one that happened near Los Angeles, can be fatal.

On Jan. 18, shortly after 4 a.m., a car was disabled on the 91 Freeway in Corona after an earlier accident. It was then hit by a suspected DUI driver, causing the disabled auto to burst into flames. The driver escaped with serious injuries, but the trapped female passenger died at the scene. The driver of the car that ran into the disabled vehicle had minor injuries but was arrested at the scene for suspicion of DUI.

When someone is involved in a drunk driving accident or a car accident involving a distracted driver who may have been texting and driving, police do an accident investigation to determine which party was the negligent driver and to establish insurance liability. When there is serious injury as in the Corona accident, a lawyer can help seek insurance and other restitution for damages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. Even when a person has died in the accident, a lawyer may be able to establish a case for wrongful death.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Driver arrested on suspicion of DUI after fiery crash leaves 1 dead," Emily Reyes, Jan. 18, 2015

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