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Tourist Winetasting – What About the Danger of Car Crashes?

By Kelly Balamuth on March 18, 2018

Northern California is famous around the world for its lovely scenery and amazing vineyards. But what you might not think about when visiting Napa Valley and other popular spots in California’s wine country is that all those tourists lead to an increased risk of deadly crashes—especially because many tourists participate in wine tastings, and will end up intoxicated.

There are wineries and tasting rooms located all around Moraga, and there are plenty of tours that will bus visitors around the region safely. But many people prefer to drive on their own. This can pose a challenge when your primary activity is going to be imbibing alcohol.

After an Accident, Who Pays?

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in wine country, and you suspect (or know for a fact) that alcohol may have played a role, then the question of liability or “who pays?” can be complicated.

First of all, tourists visiting the Northern California countryside come from all over the world and many rent cars when they arrive. This means that they may be using their own insurance or the insurance of the rental company, or some combination of both.

That last thing you want to deal with while recuperating from an accident is which insurance company is going to pay for your treatment. And you can bet that no matter the circumstances, these companies will be doing everything they can to limit the amount they pay out, even if it means that you are left undercompensated.

If you were hit by a drunk driver who was consuming alcohol at an area vineyard, can the vineyard be held to blame? Studies have actually shown a link between drunk driving incidents and the high number of wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valley. According to the Department of Motor Vehicle’s 2012 California DUI Management Information System report, Napa and Sonoma counties had the highest rate of DUI arrests in the Bay Area in 2010. California state law requires that premises that serve alcohol do so in a responsible manner, and they can’t knowingly allow an overly inebriated customer to drive. Doing so may be considered negligence.

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, don’t expect the insurance companies to have your best interests at heart. You need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who will fight to ensure you are fully compensated. The legal team at Balamuth Law can work to help you secure a fair and prompt settlement. Contact one of our knowledgeable representatives at (925) 254-1234 to schedule a free consultation.

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Posted in: Auto Collision

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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Moraga, California 94556
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