[09-24-2023] Sonoma County, CA – 19-Year-Old Passenger Killed Following Solo-Vehicle DUI Crash Near Santa Rosa

Published September 25, 2023

[09-24-2023] 19-Year-Old Passenger Killed Following Solo-Vehicle DUI Crash Near Santa RosaA 19-year-old passenger was killed in a single-vehicle DUI crash west of Santa Rosa on Sunday morning, September 24, 2023.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the incident occurred in the area of Oak Grove Avenue and Graton Road, west of SR-116.

Authorities reported that a Toyota Camry driven by a drunk 19-year-old was traveling at high speeds when it drove off the highway and crashed into several trees.

The passenger died, while the driver sustained critical injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

The driver will be arrested for felony DUI upon recovery. An investigation is being conducted to determine what caused the crash and what events led up to it.

Dedicated DUI Accident Lawyers in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

The most effective way to avoid DUI accidents is to refrain from drinking and driving. It is the responsibility of drunk drivers to pay for the medical expenses of their victims. Financial difficulties can arise for victims due to medical bills and lost wages.

Although DUI accidents are extremely difficult to prevent, California law protects those injured in these accidents. Make sure to seek the advice of a DUI accident lawyer in such circumstances.

Our respected Sonoma County drunk driving accident victim lawyers at Arash Law, led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., will guide you with your insurance claim or effectively represent you in court proceedings. As one of California’s most successful law firms, we have recovered more than $500 Million for clients.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call (888) 488-1391 or complete our “Do I Have a Case?” form.

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Top 7 Ways to Protect Yourself After Being a Victim of a DUI in Santa Rosa

Large insurance companies defend most drunk driving accident claims. One of the most important things you need to know is that the insurance company is never on your side. Please remember: the top concern of an insurance company is to protect its financial interests — they are thinking about their profits and their bottom line, not about offering full and fair compensation to you and your family.

Insurance companies put enormous resources into training representatives to protect company interests. After a significant DUI accident, you may receive a phone call or inquiry from the responsible driver’s insurance company. Be very wary of taking this type of request. No matter how friendly they sound, an insurance adjuster is against you. They are not looking out for your best interests, and you cannot rely on them for advice.

Below, our Santa Rosa DUI victim attorneys have compiled our top seven tips for dealing with the insurance company after being injured in a drunk driving collision.

  1. Stay Calm and Call the Authorities. Prioritize getting immediate medical attention immediately and contact the authorities to address any injuries you may have sustained.
  2. Document and Gather Information: Take photographs of your injuries and any signs of negligence, and make detailed notes of what happened. Remember to collect information from any witnesses present during the crash.
  3. Never Admit or Accept the Blame. It is shocking to some people, but even in DUI accidents, insurance companies often push some blame onto the injured victim. If they can do so, it will allow them to reduce their liability. This means money is coming directly out of their pocket. Never admit or accept any of the faults for a DUI accident. A drunk driver should be held accountable for their misconduct. Victims should not discuss the issue of fault directly with an insurance adjuster.
  4. Do Not Make a Statement. You have no obligation to give a recorded statement to the insurance company immediately after an accident. You will likely get many calls from an insurance adjuster asking for a statement. Why does the company want one so bad? The answer is simple: they want to find information to use against you in the claims process. Keep quiet. Your words can be twisted or misinterpreted. Make the insurance company talk to you through your lawyer.
  5. Avoid Early Settlement Negotiations. With DUI accident cases, insurers often struggle to avoid liability altogether. As such, they alter their tactics. In cases where liability is clear and obvious, insurers limit the value of an injured victim’s settlement. One common tactic is to offer a quick, lowball settlement to the DUI accident victim. Do not settle your claim for less than you are owed. Let your DUI accident attorney handle settlement talks.
  6. Do Not Sign Any Documents. You should not sign anything from an insurance company without consulting an attorney. Often, insurers will ask injured victims to sign a full release of their medical records. Do not listen to their claim that a document is ‘standard procedure.’ They are looking for information to use to reduce your compensation. You may not be obligated to give them full access to your records. Your lawyer will make sure that your rights are protected.
  7. Work Through Your DUI Accident Lawyer. There is no reason to go up against a big insurance company alone. There is a lot on the line in most DUI accident injury claims. Insurance companies will pour resources into finding ways to reduce your settlement. The best thing you can do to protect your rights and interests is to work with the insurance company exclusively through an experienced California DUI accident lawyer. You have the right to legal representation. Use it.


Fatal DUI Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accidents cause 32 deaths daily, one every 45 minutes. Drunk driving caused 11,654 traffic deaths in 2020, an increase of 14% over 2019.

The California DUI Management Information System found that fatal accidents involving alcohol increased by 5.8% between 2016 and 2017. Drinking and driving pose a risk to everyone on the road, including the driver.

California lost 949 lives due to drunk driving in 2019. This is 2.4 per 100,000 people, while the national rate is 3.1 per 100,000. Drunk driving was a factor in 28.1% of road fatalities in the US and 26.3% in California in 2014.