There are some car accidents that happen due to unforeseen hazards, motor vehicle malfunctions, changing weather conditions, and more. However, when someone decides to drink and drive, they are aware of the consequences.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience and knowledge in helping people who have been injured in drunk driving accidents throughout the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth understanding of DUI law, and we will guide you through the legal system.
The State of Florida has harsh penalties for people who decide to get behind the wheel when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hundreds of drunk driving accidents happen every year, and they result in many injuries and the death of many innocent people on the road. If you or someone you know were injured in a drunk driving car accident, and you are wondering if you need to hire a lawyer, then the answer is yes. If you have been hurt, then you need a lawyer.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.
The Law on Drunk Driving
The State of Florida classes drunk driving as a serious offense. The law declares that a person who gets behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or above is guilty of driving under the influence. The motor vehicle does not have to be in motion for a driver to receive a DUI under Florida law.
Furthermore, a driver can get charged with a DUI when their blood alcohol level is below 0.08 in the event that their ‘normal faculties’ are impaired, and they are failing to drive safely. A first DUI conviction will result in a fine between $500 and $2,000, and a driver could spend up to six months in jail.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Drunk driving is a growing problem that affects thousands of Americans every year. Here are the main statistics in regard to drunk driving:
- Two out of three people will suffer a drunk driving accident in their lifetime.
- A person is hurt by a drunk driver every two minutes.
- 30 people die every day due to drunk driving (one person every 48 minutes).
- 220 children who were 14 or under were killed by a drunk driver in the year 2017. 54% of the children were inside of the motor vehicle with the drunk driver.
- One-third of all drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders.
- 61% of the deaths were the drunk driver, 28% were people inside of the motor vehicle, 11% were other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, out of the total 10,874 deaths caused by drunk drivers in the year 2017.
- There are 300,000 drunk drivers on the road every day, but only 2,800 of the drivers get arrested.
- The total cost of drunk driving accidents was estimated at around $44 billion in the year 2010.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were injured by a drunk driver, then you should know that your actions will affect your legal rights and personal safety. Our law firm highly recommends that you take these steps following a drunk driving accident:
- Stay at the scene – The law demands that you stay at the scene of a drunk driving accident, even if you were not the one who caused the car accident. However, you can move to the side of the road in order to prevent further injury or damage.
- Check for injuries – Your top priority after a car accident is to stay safe. If you or anyone else sustained an injury, then you should call an ambulance to the scene of the car accident. However, if the other driver becomes violent or you think that approaching the other driver would put you at risk, then you should simply remain in your motor vehicle and call the police.
- Collect evidence – It is always a good idea to stay at the scene and collect evidence from the car accident. The best way to gather evidence is to take pictures and videos of the location of the car accident, the injuries, damage, road marks, motor vehicles, and any other details.
- Eyewitnesses – If there are people who witnessed the car accident, then you should collect their contact information, such as their names and phone numbers. They might be willing to write a statement that will help your pursuit of compensation.
- Go to the doctor – You should get a check-up at the hospital following a car accident, even if you think that you are fine. It is possible that adrenaline or shock might hide the symptoms of an injury. A medical professional will be able to rule out a serious or life-threatening injury.
- Hire a drunk driving accident lawyer – If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident as a result of a drunk driver, then you should get in contact with a drunk driving accident lawyer at The Law Place. We can help you to pursue compensation for all of the injuries and damages that you suffered.
Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents
There are a number of different drunk driving accidents, and it is important to understand the distinctions between them.
- Wrong-way car accident – A wrong-way car accident happens when a drunk driver turns the wrong way on a one-way street or drives into a freeway off-ramp.
- T-bone car accident – A T-bone car accident, also known as a side-impact car accident, happens when one motor vehicle hits another motor vehicle at the side. A T-bone car accident is usually the result of a driver failing to stop at a stop sign or a red light.
- Rear-end car accident – A rear-end car accident is usually caused by driving too closely behind another motor vehicle, and a delayed response time can make it hard for a drunk driver to stop in time.
- Head-on car accident – A head-on car accident happens when a drunk driver swerves into the opposite lane of traffic.
Common Drunk Driving Injuries
Injuries related to a drunk driving car accident can range from burns and bruises to long-term and catastrophic injuries. The most common types of drunk driving injuries include:
- Broken bones – The force of a car accident can force someone’s bone to bend in an unnatural way. Broken bones usually require a long recovery process that might result in serious pain.
- Burns – A serious car accident can lead to an explosion. The burns can result in permanent scars.
- Soft tissue injuries – The most common injuries reported after a car accident are soft tissue injuries which include bruises, sprains, strains, and inflammation.
- Spinal injuries – An injury to the spine varies from herniated discs and bulging to spinal cord injuries. A spinal injury can result in constant pain or even paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A traumatic brain injury can lead to headaches, dizziness, sensory issues, speech impairments, loss of consciousness, and other types of complications.
Collecting Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents
If you have sustained injuries or other damages, then you need help to recover compensation for you and for your family in the State of Florida. A drunk driving accident lawyer will help you to recover:
- Medical bills – If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, then you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills. The most common medical expenses include doctor’s visits, surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prescription medication, and more.
- Lost wages – If you had to take time off work due to a drunk driving accident, then you could be entitled to compensation for lost wages. The most common types of lost wages include time missed due to doctor’s visits, surgery, recovery time, a reduced earning capacity, and future lost earnings.
- Property damage – If your motor vehicle or other personal property was damaged in a drunk driving accident, then you could be entitled to compensation for property damage.
- Pain and suffering – If you are experiencing physical pain, emotional suffering, or mental anguish, then you could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. The most common forms of pain and suffering include reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment for the activities that brought the person joy before the accident, such as sports and other hobbies.
- Wrongful death – If you lost someone that you love in a drunk driving accident, then you could be entitled to compensation for wrongful death. The most common types of compensation that you can receive for wrongful death include funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. The law on wrongful death is written in Florida Statute 768.21.
Other Parties May Hold Responsibility in a Drunk Driving Accident
The obvious person to blame for a drunk driving accident is clearly the drunk driver. However, there could be other parties that contributed to the drunk driving accident. Other parties that could hold responsibility include:
- A bartender or establishment that serves alcohol – The liability of a company in a drunk driving accident is covered by the Dram Shop Law in the State of Florida. The law declares that a bar or restaurant can only be held liable in the event that they serve alcohol to a minor or a person who they know has a drinking problem.
- An adult who served a minor – Every adult is responsible for making sure that they do not drink and drive when they are drinking at a private residence. However, an adult can be held partially liable in the event that they serve alcohol to a minor who injuries someone else in a car accident.
Recognizing a Drunk Driver on the Road
A driver’s ability to react is greatly reduced by alcohol. A lack of awareness, poor judgment, and confusion also contribute to causing a drunk driving accident. If you think that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, then you should not hesitate to call the police. The actions of a drunk driver are unpredictable, and you should watch for the following signs of dangerous driving:
- Swerving – A drunk driver struggles to stay inside of their lane on the road. If you notice a driver who is recklessly moving in and out of their lane, then they are probably intoxicated.
- Ignoring traffic laws – A drunk driver usually finds it hard to see or pay attention to signs on the road. In most cases, they choose to ignore the signs. The most common types of traffic infractions include driving the wrong way, failing to signal, running red lights or stop signs, speeding, and more.
- Following too closely – A drunk driver struggles with depth perception, and they find it hard to judge their distance between other motor vehicles on the road. A delayed response time also means that a drunk driver takes a longer time to slow down.
- Driving too slowly or too fast – A drunk driver is usually aware that they have drunk too much. In some cases, they drive too slowly in an attempt to be safe. In other cases, they drive too fast in an effort to arrive at their destination as soon as possible. Sometimes, they are unable to accurately tell how fast they are actually driving.
- Wide turns – A drunk driver struggles with depth perception, poor judgment, and a reduced peripheral vision which means that they can make dangerous wide or high speed turns.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you are wondering, “do I need a lawyer for my drunk driving accident injury?” – the answer is yes. A drunk driving accident lawyer will help you to recover the compensation that you deserve for all of the injuries and damages that you sustained in a car accident in the State of Florida.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience when it comes to managing drunk driving accident cases all over the State of Florida. Our law firm has the necessary knowledge and resources to guide you through the legal system and support you every step of the way.
If you have any questions in regard to a drunk driving accident, then you should speak to a car accident lawyer now. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so that you can receive the best advice from our team of car accident lawyers.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.