According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), 5,106 crashes in Florida involved drivers who drank alcohol in 2018. Many of these crashes led to injuries and even fatalities.
If you suffered injuries in an accident with a drunk driver or if a loved one was killed, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. You also have the right to hold the offending driver accountable for their negligence. Look to hire a Largo drunk driving accident lawyer to protect your right to seek compensation.
Call Distasio Law Firm today for a free case review with one of our knowledgeable car crash attorneys.
Negligence in Drunk Driving Accidents
Even a small amount of alcohol can leave a driver unable to operate the motor vehicle as safely as a sober driver. If a police officer investigating your car accident determines that the driver who hit you was violating Florida’s DUI laws, the officer may issue a traffic ticket to the driver. Although the ticket itself is not evidence in your case, the information documented by law enforcement will be key information that you and your attorney can use to show that the other driver was behaving recklessly. This can help you demonstrate that you deserve a fair settlement amount.
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Negligence in a car accident injury case means that the other driver failed to take reasonable care while driving, leading to your injuries. When drunk driving is involved, the driver may be liable for a particularly serious form of negligence that may entitle you to punitive damages to punish the driver.
Florida Laws for Driving While Impaired
Sometimes, a driver may have been drinking before the accident, but officers investigating the crash determine the amount of alcohol in the driver’s system is not enough to consider the person intoxicated. Other times the amount of alcohol is enough to consider the person drunk. In Florida, the officer measures the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol content) to determine whether to charge the person with driving under the influence (DUI).
According to the FLHSMV, driving with a BAC under 0.08% means the driver is not violating Florida law. On the other hand, if the driver has a BAC of 0.08% or greater, they are considered to be driving while under the influence (DUI).
Still, even a small amount of alcohol can affect the driver. If the driver who hit you had even a small amount of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the crash, you and your skilled Largo drunk driving collision attorney may be able to use that information to show negligence and recklessness. Distasio Law Firm is ready to discuss your case.
Driving Behaviors of Drunk Drivers
When you are involved in a crash with a drunk driver, it may be easy to tell that the other driver is impaired. He or she may smell of alcohol, there may be empty alcohol containers in the car, or the driver may be slurring words.
If you believe the other driver was intoxicated or taking drugs before your accident, avoid confronting the driver about this. If the driver is intoxicated, he or she may react unpredictably to this type of accusation.
Instead, focus on trying to help anyone who was injured in the crash. Wait for the police to arrive at the scene and tell them about your suspicions.
Hit and Run Drivers
When someone who was drinking causes an accident, he or she may be tempted to flee the scene. A drunk driver who knows he or she is probably over the legal limit for intoxication may not want to wait for police officers to arrive, knowing they may issue a traffic ticket or arrest the driver.
If the driver was arrested previously for DUI, the penalties for a second or third DUI are significantly tougher than for a first offense. This means the driver may be even more tempted to flee.
If you suspect the driver will leave the scene of an injury accident, do not confront him or her. Instead, try to take note of the car’s make, model, and color, as well as the type of damage that the vehicle sustained. You can give that information to law enforcement.
A seasoned lawyer can speak with you more about how to proceed in a case where the offending driver fled the scene of an accident.
Common Injuries After a Drunk Driving Accident
Accidents with drunk drivers may lead to serious injuries for you and your passengers — as well as costly medical bills. Due to the compromised awareness of the drunk driver who caused the crash, the collision could occur at a particularly high speed or under other careless driving conditions.
Common injuries that may result from collisions with drunk drivers include:
- Broken bones or ribs
- Spinal injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
If you were in a wreck with a drunk driver who caused these or other injuries, your committed Largo lawyer can help you understand how your losses may be compensated through a claim. Your dedicated legal professional can also tell you more about how you can pursue non-financial losses such as pain and suffering as part of your case value.
Let a Largo Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Represent Your Rights
As an experienced Largo drunk driving accident lawyer, our team understands the claims and insurance negotiations process specific to drunk driving cases. If you are trying to receive a fair compensation settlement from the insurance company for the driver who hit you or from your own insurance company, it can be frustrating to deal with on your own.
For instance, insurance companies may attempt to offer a victim a settlement quickly. However, it may be important to wait to agree to a settlement until you know the full extent of your injuries and your long-term health prospects.
At Distasio Law Firm, our team can work for a fair settlement in your case. If the insurance company cannot offer a settlement that reflects your losses or reduced quality of life, we can represent you in court.
Call us to discuss your options during a free consultation.