Perhaps there is nothing more devastating than realizing that an accident could have been completely prevented. This is especially true when the crash left behind serious wreckage and injuries because another person was under the influence behind the wheel. When you are seeking an experienced and talented Florida drunk driving accident attorney, you need to be prepared for what is involved in suing a drunk driver that hurt you or someone you love.
Look for an attorney who has a background in filing car accident injury cases caused by people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Understanding Legal Responsibilities in Florida
Every driver in the state of Florida should do everything they can to remain safe on the road and avoid illegal activity that could harm others. Any time that the rules of the road like this are broken, this could constitute the legal breach of negligence. Sitting behind the wheel to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s judgment and stopping ability.
A driver can be so impaired that he or she can even drive in the wrong direction. Accidents that are caused by this behavior might also trigger criminal consequences as felonies particularly in those claims associated with critical injuries or deaths.
Criminal courts might take up the role of punishing the negligent driver who caused the accident by issuing fines, revoking the license, and even sentences in prison or jail, but these decisions don’t help you get back on your feet as a victim following an accident. Instead, such an accident can prompt a separate civil injury claim for the drunk driving accident.
Drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher can be classified as alcohol impaired in Leesburg, Florida and can be punished under the law. Unfortunately, far too many people who have been hurt in drunk driving accidents had little to no opportunity to get out of the way of an impaired driver.
What Can A DUI Injury Lawyer Do?
An experienced Florida drunk driving accident lawyer can play an important role in the development and pursuit of your case. Beyond protecting your rights and assisting your fight for maximum compensation, your attorney will investigate your claim looking at evidence, such as blood and urine test results and breathalyzer result of the drunk driver, your version of events, police video of the incident if possible, witness statements, pictures of the accident scene, police reports, and medical records.
It is important that you be able to gather all evidence that can illustrate that another driver was at fault for the accident due to his or her intoxication. This can be extremely difficult to show in court if the other driver declined a breathalyzer test at the crash scene.
At the time that the driver’s blood was tested their blood alcohol level might have fallen below the 0.08 threshold and you might have to rely on other evidence to support your claim. An attorney can be an instrumental part of building a solid case based on interviews with witnesses, medical evidence, the driver’s history involving past incidents with alcohol, and other factors. You can’t afford to take the risk of fighting back without support from an attorney.
Could Anyone Else Ever Be Held Accountable in A Drunk Driving Accident?
In most drunk driving incidents, it is the individual driver. However, there are some circumstances in which another party could be held accountable under Florida’s Dram Shop Law. Florida’s Dram Shop Law is statute 768.125, which typically protect other parties like bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and hosts from being held accountable for someone else’s behavior under the influence.
However, there are two specific circumstances in which a certain party other than the individual driver could be held responsible for an auto accident induced by alcohol. This includes when a business, bartender, server, or other person was aware that the patron had a problem with alcohol abuse but allowed that person to continue drinking, that person or organization could be held responsible for an accident that occurs as a result. The second circumstance has to do with selling to minors. If a host or business serves alcohol to someone under the age of 21, they could be held strictly liable for damages.
Common Injuries in Florida Drunk Driving Accidents
The impact of a drunk driving accident can vary significantly from one accident to another. This makes it imperative for anyone who has been critically injured to schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida drunk driving accident attorney.
It could be the victim’s only opportunity to discuss avenues for recovering compensation and necessary next steps. It can be overwhelming for an accident victim to figure out what to do next, especially if they are not yet aware of how this accident could influence their life.
Some injuries require longer than other for recovery periods and some accident victims may never fully recover. Common injuries in drunk driving accidents include traumatic brain injuries, head, neck and back pain, broken bones, fractures, internal organ bleeding, and more. Anyone with a catastrophic injury might not be able to return to work or live their life the way that they did prior to the accident. For any of these victims, speaking with a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney is the next step.
Getting Legal Support for Your Claim
You have a limited period of time in which to file an injury claim after an accident. This means that after an accident, you cannot wait any longer than four years from the date of the crash or when you discovered your injuries to bring legal action. Many of the personal injury claims brought about in relation to Florida drunk driving accidents can be resolved outside of court in settlement negotiations, but you should never enter into that process on your own without legal counsel.
Settlement offers presented by the insurance company or the other side might not fully compensate you for your injuries, especially when it comes to calculations of future medical expenses. An attorney who knows how to evaluate the ways in which your life changed due to the accident can help you decide whether or not a settlement offer is fair considering your condition. Don’t hesitate to contact a committed Leesburg, Florida drunk driving accident lawyer today.