I’d like to tell you a bit about a young lady who came to my office. She was a waitress here, in Fresno. She was on her way home to see her three-year-old son for his birthday party. There was much anticipation, and she couldn’t wait to see him. As she was heading down West Shaw Avenue, suddenly the car ahead of her made a sharp left turn into her. She swerved her car to avoid it and fractured all the bones in her right hand.
It turned out later that the driver that hit her was drunk, and she was subsequently prosecuted by the district attorney’s office. She asks me, “Can I still make a claim even though the driver who hit me was drunk?” Well, the answer to that is most definitely, “Yes”. The claims are made just as if the driver had not been drunk, to the other driver’s insurance company. She could make a claim for her car damage, she could make a claim for her medical bills, she could make a claim for the many weeks that she missed as a waitress because she was unable to hold the tray and perform her duties. Not only could she make a claim for all those components, but she was also entitled to make a restitution claim in criminal court as a victim. We were successful in this case in making a claim for restitution, and she got back many of the bills that I just spoke to you about. Plus, in her instance, she was able to recover attorney’s fees for the time she spent on her civil case.