If you have sustained devastating injuries and damages due to another motorist driving under the influence of alcohol, you have the right to hold them accountable by pursuing a drunk driving accident claim or lawsuit. The settlement can cover medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other damages you endured because of someone else’s careless decision to drive inebriated and put pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers in harm’s way.
Tampa drunk driving accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm would be honored to discuss your case and assist you with seeking the full extent of damages you deserve by building an evidence-backed, air-tight case. Consider giving us a call at (813) 259-0022 for a free consultation.
A Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer from Our Firm Can Handle Your Case
Distasio Law Firm uses a customer-centric approach in all its services. Our legal team will discuss your case, listen to your needs, and provide the extent of legal assistance you require. Note that our full-service legal firm is capable of handling your entire litigation process, from investigating your accident to representing you in court, if necessary.
We can take over your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery following the life-altering accident. Some of the ways our legal team will serve you include:
- Offering free case reviews: Whether or not you decide to hire us, our Tampa lawyer is ready to review your case to verify whether or not it is lawfully valid for further action.
- Explaining the legal process: Most victims are not well-versed in the legal technicalities of how to proceed with holding the at-fault party responsible for their actions. This is where we come in. Our Tampa car accident lawyer will help you understand their rights and legal options and guide you through the entire claim filing process.
- Keeping you up to date: We prioritize transparency with our clients at every step of the way. Our legal team makes it a point to update our clients about the progress of their claims.
- Helping you make decisions: If and when you need help selecting a course of action, we are here to listen to your difficulties and give you all the information you need to make an educated decision.
- Exploring all your financial recovery options: At Distasio Law Firm, we understand that sometimes multiple parties may hold responsibility for the crash. Our lawyer will review all avenues of financial reparations in your case, so you get a fair chance at receiving the compensation you rightfully deserve.
We Can Guide Your Case Through the Claims Process
Our firm can manage all dealings with the liable party, their insurance company and, if necessary, the court. This process may include:
- Sending notifications: An initial notification is necessary to officially start your case and let the other side know what you want.
- Filling out forms: Lawsuits involve plenty of paperwork. We can manage it all for you, ensuring that your claim or lawsuits do not get dismissed due to a preventable error.
- Relaying messages: We will handle the correspondence with the defendant’s legal representation.
- Evidence gathering: The key to a successful claim or lawsuit is to prove that the defendant’s negligence resulted in the accident and the injuries you suffered. Our legal team will investigate your case, obtain evidence, and use witness or expert testimonies to build a persuasive case.
- Negotiating: Insurance companies do not always offer a fair settlement right away. We can sit with their representatives to present evidence in your favor and negotiate until an appropriate settlement is reached.
- Advocating in court: While not every case ends up going to trial, we can represent you in the courtroom if necessary.
When our firm represents you, you will have direct access to your lawyer. We work closely with clients toward our shared goal of holding drunk drivers responsible for their reckless actions, so we can make Tampa a safer place for everyone.
Take It From Our Previous Clients
Several clients we served in the past were kind enough to leave reviews of our services. These, along with our client testimonials, help to illustrate the level of support we offer each time we represent a case:
- “Scott at Distasio Law Firm in Tampa, FL is great to work with! He actually cares, does a great job and explains everything in detail. Enjoy working with him and having him represent me in my car crash case.” – Melody L.
- “If you seek superior legal representation, that is “leagues above the norm,” and a “lawyer’s lawyer,” call Scott. A highly respected attorney referred me to Scott, and I’m so grateful he did.” – Carolyn E.
- “They met with me, listened to me, explained things to me, and made the effort to make me feel comfortable in a situation I had never been in before. I knew that I could call or email at any time, and Scott or Leslie would have answers for me.” – Lynn L.
Additional Parties That Can Be Held Liable
The primarily liable party is often the drunk driver in a drunk driving accident. If the law enforcement finds evidence that the other driver was intoxicated when operating the vehicle, it is likely the driver will suffer penalties that include both fines (including punitive damages) and jail time.
That said, there may be others involved who enabled the driver to be on the road in that condition. This may not be applicable in all drunk driving cases. Still, depending on how your accident unfolded, a lawyer will be able to hold the following parties accountable, along with the negligent driver:
- An establishment that serves alcohol: Florida follows dram shop law, which states that an alcohol service premise that provides alcohol for immediate consumption, like restaurants and bars, can be held liable if they intentionally served alcohol to a minor or a person they know is an alcoholic.
- An adult that served a drink to a minor: If an adult, in a private or public location, serves alcohol to a minor, who then proceeds to commit a drunk driving accident, the adult then holds partial responsibility for the resulting wreck and injuries.
Recovering Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident
To improve our clients’ chances of receiving compensation, it is crucial to have enough evidence to prove the injuries, losses, and expenses that the accident caused. This evidence may include:
- Relevant medical records and bills
- Medical expert witness testimony
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts
- Car repair estimates
- Receipts for additional expenses
- Paperwork showing missed paychecks and time away from work
- Other documentation of injuries and pain and suffering
Our team can collect all such evidence on your behalf. Then, using this evidence – as well as evidence of negligence and liability we have gathered – we may be able to reach a settlement agreement or secure a court award that includes damages such as:
- Current and future medical care costs, including certain travel expenses
- Current and future lost wages and benefits
- Inability to retain gainful employment
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical disability
- Mental or intellectual disability
- Overall reduced quality of life
Additional damages may be available depending on the details of the case and/or whether you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Statute of Limitations Limits Your Right to Damages
Similarly, if a loved one passed away because of a drunk driving accident in Tampa, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death action under Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). This statute gives you only two years to start a lawsuit.
No matter which type of suit you are filing, it is always a good idea to start sooner rather than later. If you wait too long and allow the statute of limitations to expire, you cannot collect compensation in a lawsuit, even if you have strong evidence of the at-fault driver’s liability. Certain evidence may also become unavailable or deteriorate over time.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Florida
Florida has strict drunk driving laws, which can be found in Florida Statutes § 316.193. Those who violate these laws and cause accidents can face serious criminal penalties, in addition to the civil action victims may be able to take against them. Despite these deterrents, drunk driving incidents still occur frequently on Florida streets.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 4,500 accidents statewide in 2020 involved drivers impaired by alcohol. Accidents involving alcohol impairment in the Tampa Bay area alone include:
- 417 in Hillsborough County
- 339 in Pinellas County
- 176 in Pasco County
- 44 in Hernando County
If we believe you have a case against the drunk driver and can hold them accountable for their actions, our team at Distasio Law Firm would like to represent you. We can handle these cases on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning your family owes us no attorney’s fees unless and until we recover a payout for you.
What to Do If You Were Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
When you are in an accident are feeling a rush of emotions, it can be a challenge to focus and think about what to do next. What you do immediately following the accident is extremely important to protect your rights and ensure your safety. Here is what to do immediately after a drunk driving accident:
- Do not leave the accident scene: Even if you did not cause the accident, you are legally obligated to stay at the accident location. Or, if possible, pull over to the side of the road.
- Seek medical attention: At this stage, check if you or any of your fellow passengers have sustained any serious injuries. If there are injuries, call 911 right away. You could also consider checking the occupants of the other car for injuries but be very careful when doing so. If they’re drunk, they might be violent. If you do not feel safe approaching the other vehicle, remain in your car.
- Call the cops: Contact the police to report the accident. Once the cop is on-site, they will likely administer a drug alcohol test to the offending driver. The test result and the details on the accident report can be used as evidence when you later initiate legal action.
- Collect evidence: Consider taking pictures or videos of the accident site and the damages from multiple angles. If there are witnesses on-site, make sure to take their names and contact details.
- Go to the doctor: You must visit the doctor even if you think you aren’t injured. Sometimes, adrenaline and a heightened mix of emotions can prevent you from recognizing injuries right away, so it’s best to get checked out by a healthcare provider.
- Contact a Tampa drunk driving accident lawyer: Consulting an attorney right away will help you understand your full legal options and how to proceed to pursue compensation from the drunk driver and any other liable party.
At Distasio Law Firm, we know how difficult and frustrating it can be when someone else’s reckless behavior causes expensive and irrevocable damages. Therefore, we work hard to help victims of drunk driving accidents and other collisions hold the at-fault driver accountable and recover compensation for their losses.
Call us at (813) 259-0022 to see how a lawyer from our office can make your Tampa case easier for you. Our team is available to provide a free case review 24/7.