Recovery is usually multilayered if anyone has been involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. One may experience serious injuries, vehicle damage, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Florida law, anyone is considered a victim if they were involved in a motor accident due to drunk driving.
According to reliable statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving remains a serious problem in Florida. Therefore, drunk driving is considered a criminal act, and a victim may be entitled to compensation for losses sustained due to the crash.
In addition, different kinds of compensation are available to victims of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, drunk driving crashes. However, some compensation can be overlooked without the help of a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. Therefore, it is recommended to hire an attorney before taking legal action.
A Professional Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Explains Suing a Drunk Driver in Florida
If anyone has been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, they can sue the motorist in Florida. However, before proceeding with the case, there are crucial elements to consider.
Firstly, it is crucial to contact an experienced car accident lawyer with experience in drunk driving accident cases. Next, gather relevant information regarding the following:
Is Intoxication Responsible for the Accident?
This is the first key point a victim should determine, and this information is primarily found in a car accident report. According to Florida law, a driver cannot have a blood alcohol level above 0.8%. If the at-fault driver does have a high blood alcohol level, they can be criminally charged in addition to your case against them.
When proceeding with a car accident claim caused by drunk driving, alcohol levels are essential to note. This is because it can directly affect the damages sought by the victim. Also, the at-fault driver will be investigated to see if they have been convicted of this crime before.
If the driver has a past conviction, they will face more severe penalties. Consequently, this information will impact a victim’s claim or lawsuit.
Proving You Didn’t Cause The Accident
This point sometimes seems irrelevant since the victim was not the person driving under the influence of alcohol. However, when pursuing a case like this, it is essential to offer evidence to clear you of faulty driving. An attorney can assist in this case as they have the right resources to prove if a victim was not at fault.
If the victim was partially at fault at any point, their attorney could help protect them from any insurance adjuster that could attempt to exploit that. In addition, a good car accident lawyer has connections to finding experts who can recreate car accidents and scientific analysts who can testify and prove that the drunk driver caused the accident.
Proving the At-fault Driver’s Negligence
There are several ways a victim can prove the at-fault driver’s negligence, which is vital to the case. First, a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer will obtain the necessary evidence, including detailed accident reports, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and accident recreation reports.
Having a report that states the driver was drunk is not enough. This is because some insurance companies may deny claims that the driver was drunk and hence, negligent.
An experienced accident attorney has all the skillsets and resources to prove who was responsible for an accident. Before speaking to an insurer, you should consult a personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies are more interested in paying lesser claims than the victim’s well-being. Finally, until a victim can prove negligence on the at-fault driver’s part, they may not be able to have a solid case to proceed to court.
Are There No-Fault Laws Affecting Your Case?
Florida is a no-fault state regarding accidents and insurance. However, with DUIs, there are other factors to consider when proceeding with a claim.
No-fault accident claims usually require that the victim approach their insurer to pay for all medical bills and damages first. However, DUI crashes can sometimes differ depending on the accident’s severity. Therefore, a victim can file a claim with their insurer and also file a lawsuit under qualifying circumstances.
How Severe Are Your Injuries?
This is another key point for the victim to establish to seek fair compensation. They have to share the extent of their injuries and use medical records. A victim may be unable to access this information independently, so working with an experienced auto accident lawyer can be very beneficial.
What Are Florida’s Drinking Laws?
As mentioned above, driving a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is illegal. Additionally, drivers who are unable to pass sobriety tests may be arrested regardless of their alcohol level. Also, teen drivers with any level of alcohol in their system while driving can be arrested.
Florida has a zero-tolerance policy, especially for underage drivers who drink. Finally, a person with a commercial driver’s license can be arrested if they have an alcohol level of 0.04 percent. The higher the BAC, the greater the chances of a severe crash.
Victims of a drunk driving accident may incur serious injuries such as:
- Head injuries which can sometimes cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damages
- Cuts, bruises, burns, or lacerations
- Broken bones or fractures
- Internal injuries
What Are the Recoverable Damages After a Drunk Driving Car Accident?
There are benefits available to car accident victims. Whether or not the at-fault driver is convicted in a criminal trial, these damages may possibly be recovered. Below are some of the damages a victim can seek compensation for.
Medical Treatment Expenses
Recovering from any accident usually requires a significant amount of medical attention. This attention can include surgery, medical management, or long-term therapy. Victims can potentially recover for their expenses caused by the drunk driver.
A victim can also qualify to recover lost wages they will lose from being unable to work due to the accident. The accident victim should inform their attorney how the accident has impacted their inability to work.
Due to the accident, the victim’s vehicle could be destroyed and need a total replacement. Also, other personal property, such as a family heirloom, might have been damaged in the crash. In either case, the law allows the victim to seek recovery for the property’s market price when it was damaged.
Victims can also seek compensation for pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental anguish, loss of consortium, etc.
Call a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer to Help You With Your Case
If a loved one or you have been involved in an accident resulting from drunk driving, a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help you seek a fair resolution. Don’t wait for the at-fault driver or insurance company to act while medical bills pile up.
Have a qualified car accident attorney help with the legal process. Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000 to schedule a complimentary consultation.