After some delay, the man who rear-ended actress Jennifer Lopez in September was finally charged with DUI this week, according to news sources. Robert John Reitz, 53, was charged with driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more. Sources close to the investigation suggest that Reitz’s BAC may have been as high as .15 percent.
Lopez, along with actress Leah Remini and Lopez’s twins Max and Emme, were said to be uninjured in the crash.
While Lopez and her family escaped without injury, the truth is that DUI is one of the most deadly and costly causes of personal injury accidents in the country. Many victims are not as lucky; in fact, about a third of all fatal car crashes are related to alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While more than 10,000 people each year lose their lives in DUI crashes, millions more are injured, some of them suffering brain or spinal cord injuries that leave them disabled for life.
The sad reality is that, while DUI accident numbers have been falling for several years, many people still choose to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel. When they do, it is often innocent victims who suffer. Ironically, many of the drivers who choose to operate a vehicle while intoxicated have no insurance and no way to pay for the damages they cause.
Because DUI accidents can involve difficulty in collecting damages, it is very important for victims to have the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
DUI accidents and injury cases are often complicated. They may require research into lines of liability other than the driver. While drivers are often arrested and jailed, this may not help the victims of an accident who need immediate payment for medical expenses and other costs related to the accident.
A personal injury attorney with experience in handling DUI accident cases may be able to find other ways to seek compensation for the victims such as uninsured motorist coverage on their own policies or liability on the part of a third party.
If you have been the victim of a DUI accident, do not assume that all is lost. Contact Dan Gilleon in San Diego for help.