Attorney Jeff Nadrich Discusses Santa Rosa DUI Pedestrian Accident

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Jeff Nadrich of Nadrich & Cohen, Santa Rosa personal injury attorney, discusses a recent pedestrian accident case involving an allegedly drunk driver and the implications for pedestrians all over the state of the high DUI and hit-and-run rates in these accidents.

A man suspected of causing a hit-and-run accident that critically injured a pedestrian was arrested in Santa Rosa when an officer received a call of a car with major damage matching the description of the vehicle given by witnesses, according to ABC News.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Guerneville Road and Coffey Lane in Santa Rosa around 12:30 a.m. Officers were called to the scene when they received reports of a pedestrian accident. Upon arrival, they found the pedestrian with life-threatening injuries and transported the victim to a hospital. However, the car that hit the victim had fled the scene. A witness described the car as an older model and gave a description.

Another officer found a car matching the description at Steele Lane and Range Avenue. The car in question had major damage to the windshield and the front end. The driver was identified as Christian Ballesteros, 30, who was on probation for DUI at the time of the accident. The suspect was arrested for felony hit-and-run, DUI, and probation violation.

Police are still investigating the accident; any witnesses or anyone with information about the crash are encouraged to call the Santa Rosa Police Department at (707) 543-3636.

In California, an accident that causes injury or death and is caused by a DUI driver is charged as a felony. If only property is damaged, the accident is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, no matter what type of criminal charges are levied against a driver, a person who injures another while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is almost always liable for the damages and injuries caused. Liability is a different issue than criminal fault; in fact, criminal and civil charges are actually filed and tried in separate court systems, and the outcome of one has no bearing on the other.

In many cases, drivers who are guilty of DUI will plead their cases to lesser charges in exchange for shorter prison sentences. This system is not designed to bring closure or justice to their victims but to balance the need of the state to exact justice with the rights of a criminal defendant. Victims, on the other hand, have the right to file lawsuits and recover compensation from the negligent driver for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with a vehicular accident. A personal injury attorney is a lawyer who brings these suits into civil court to represent the victim or who negotiates with the defendant and his or her attorneys. The job of a personal injury lawyer is to ensure that justice is ultimately served for the victim and to help him or her make a fair settlement.

Source: ABC News, “Man arrested for alleged DUI hit-and-run,” November 4, 2012.

The California DUI injury attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen LLP represent victims in all personal injury matters throughout California and nationwide. Because of their success they have 18 offices in California. Nadrich & Cohen represents victims of auto, truck, bus, bicycle, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, defective products, chemical exposure, defective medical devices, pharmaceutical side effect recalls, dangerous roadways, airplane, boat, train and all other types of serious personal injuries. Nadrich & Cohen is proud to be featured in interviewed by the following media outlets: Oakland Tribune, Fox TV, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Sacramento Bee, European TV and many others. They are known throughout California as aggressive advocates for DUI accident victims. They are the “David” law firm fighting the “Goliath” insurance companies.

For over 30 years Nadrich & Cohen has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for its injury and mass tort victims.

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Jeff Nadrich
Nadrich & Cohen LLP
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