If you were involved in a DUI accident, then you need to know how your actions will affect your legal rights in the State of Florida. It is a serious offense to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the drunk driver will face severe consequences.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience and knowledge in managing DUI accidents for clients who live across the State of Florida. Our law firm has managed hundreds of DUI accident cases with great success, and we know that we can help your case too.
If you have questions in regard to a DUI accident, then you should get in contact with a car accident lawyer now. Our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so that you can speak to a lawyer at a time that suits you.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.
Steps You Should Take After a DUI Accident
It is completely understandable that you might feel overwhelmed by the stress of a DUI accident. If you suffered an injury as a result of a drunk driver, then it can be even more difficult to focus on what to do after an accident. However, we have written the most important steps down for you:
- Stay at the location – You are required to stay at the location of the DUI accident. However, if you are facing danger, then you should move to a safe place near the scene of the crash.
- Check for injuries – You must check for injuries following the DUI accident. Remember to also check your passengers for any injuries.
- Call an ambulance – You should immediately call for an ambulance if someone suffered an injury in the DUI accident.
- Call the police – You are required to pick up the phone and call the police to the location of the DUI accident under Florida Statute 316.062. Once a police officer arrives at the scene, they will conduct an investigation and file a report which will help you to develop a personal injury claim later.
- Collect evidence – You must try to collect pieces of evidence while you are still at the location of the DUI accident. Pieces of evidence will include taking photographs of the scene, road marks, damage to motor vehicles, injuries, and more.
- Eyewitnesses – You should collect the contact information of people who witnessed the DUI accident, such as their names and phone numbers. The eyewitnesses could be helpful to your personal injury claim.
- Go to the hospital – You must go to the hospital to get a checkup as soon as possible, even if you think that you did not suffer an injury in the DUI accident. A medical professional will be able to diagnose you and prevent the possibility of a life-threatening injury developing later.
- Notify your insurance company – You are required to call your insurance company and let them know about the DUI accident as soon as possible. When you talk to them, stick to the basic facts and do not share the serious details of the accident. You can also ask your DUI accident lawyer to speak to your insurance company on your behalf.
- Hire a DUI accident lawyer – A DUI accident lawyer from The Law Place will offer you legal advice and support your case in the State of Florida. If you have any questions, then you can call our office to set up a free consultation now.
Injuries Sustained in DUI Accidents
Every type of car accident has the potential to result in different kinds of injuries. The main factors that will determine the level of an injury will be the type of motor vehicles, the speed of the motor vehicles, and whether the people had their seatbelts on.
The most common types of injuries sustained in DUI accidents include:
- Broken bones.
- Strains, sprains, and tears.
- Back injuries.
- Neck injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Fractures to the skill.
- Traumatic brain injury.
If you were injured in a DUI accident, then you should get a checkup at the hospital as soon as possible. There are some injuries that will not have symptoms until a few days later, and it is important that you receive medical attention straight away.
Types of DUI Accidents
A driver who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will suffer from confusion, poor judgment, and a lack of awareness on the road. It is important that you stay vigilant when you are behind the wheel and look for the signs of drunk driving. The most common types of DUI accidents include:
- T-Bone accident – A drunk driver usually fails to stop at a red light or stop sign, which can result in a T-bone accident (also called a side-impact accident) where a motor vehicle will crash into another motor vehicle at the side.
- Rear-end accident – A drunk driver usually has a delayed response time, which means that they will find it hard to stop in the middle of traffic, and that can lead to a rear-end accident.
- Wrong-way accident – A drunk driver usually turns the wrong way on a one-way street or enters a freeway off-ramp, which can result in a wrong-way accident.
- Head-on accident – A drunk driver usually swerves into the opposite lane, which makes it difficult for other drivers to react in time, and that can lead to a head-on accident.
Responsible Parties for a DUI Accident
The driver who was intoxicated is the obvious party to blame for a car accident, but there may also be other responsible parties who contributed to causing the DUI accident. Some of the most likely responsible parties who can be held liable for injuries and damages include:
- Drunk driver – The driver who was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is clearly the one who is at fault, and they will bear the most responsibility for a car accident. The penalties will include spending time in jail and paying hefty fines. In addition, the drunk driver could possibly be ordered to compensate the injured person for the losses that they suffered in the DUI accident.
- Public establishment – When a bar, restaurant, or other public establishment knows that a customer has an alcohol problem, but they kept serving the customer, then they could be held liable for the injuries and damages of the injured person in a DUI accident. Florida Statute 768.125 (Dram Shop Law) states that an alcohol-serving bar, restaurant, or other public establishment is responsible for customers who leave the premises and drive while under the influence of alcohol.
- Social hosts – If someone throws a private party and serves alcohol which results in one of their guests traveling home from the party while under the influence of alcohol, then they can be held liable for the injuries and damages of the injured person in a DUI accident.
- Employers – An employer is responsible for the actions of their employees during the time of their employment. An employee who drinks and drives in the middle of working hours means that their employer can be held liable for the injuries and damages of the injured person in a DUI accident.
- Negligent entrustment – A car owner who lets someone else drive their motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can be held liable for the injuries and damages of the injured person in a DUI accident.
How to Tell That Someone is Drunk Driving
If you notice a driver who is traveling in a negligent manner, then they might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you should immediately call the police. The best way to tell if someone is traveling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is to watch for the following signs:
- Swerving – When you see a driver recklessly moving in and out of their lane, then they are probably under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Ignoring traffic laws – When you see a driver failing to obey traffic laws such as speeding, running red lights or stop signs, failing to signal, driving the wrong way, or committing another type of traffic infraction, then they are probably under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Driving too slowly or too fast – When you see a driver traveling too slowly or too fast, then they are probably under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Following too closely – When you see a driver following too closely (also known as tailgating), then they are probably under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wide turns – When you see a driver making high speed or wide turns, then they are probably under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
How to Choose a DUI Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a DUI accident, then you need to choose the right DUI accident lawyer for your case. We know that it can be challenging to get back on your feet after a DUI accident, but we are here to make the legal process easier for you. Our law firm highly recommends that you should look for the following qualities in a DUI accident lawyer:
- Does the DUI accident lawyer have experience when it comes to representing clients who have been hurt in car accidents?
- Does the DUI accident lawyer have experience when it comes to negotiating and litigating cases that are complicated?
- Does the DUI accident lawyer have the time and energy to invest in your case?
- Does the DUI accident lawyer ask that you pay their fees upfront, or do they work on a contingency basis?
- Does the DUI accident lawyer have good feedback from their peers and former clients?
The questions that we have listed are only a few examples of the questions that you should ask a DUI accident lawyer when you are thinking of hiring them for your case. A drunk driving accident is a complicated case, and a lawyer should be willing to devote their time and energy to help you through the process. You should call The Law Place to hire a drunk driving accident lawyer now. Our phone lines are available 24/7.
Compensation Available After a DUI Accident
If you or someone that you know were hurt in a drunk driving accident, then you could be entitled to recover compensation for injuries and damages. The amount of compensation that you could possibly receive in a drunk driving accident will depend on the extent of the damage caused in the crash, but the most common forms of compensation include:
- Medical bills – A person who was injured in a DUI accident could be entitled to compensation for the costs of hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescription medication, and more.
- Lost wages – A person who was injured in a DUI accident could be entitled to compensation for lost wages, a reduced earning capacity, and future lost earnings.
- Property damage – A person who was injured in a DUI accident could be entitled to the costs to repair or replace a damaged car.
- Pain and suffering – A person who was injured in a DUI accident could be entitled to forms of pain and suffering and reduced quality of life.
- Wrongful death – A person who lost a loved one in a DUI accident could be entitled to compensation to pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more by filing a wrongful death lawsuit as written in Florida Statute 768.21.
- Loss of consortium – A person who was killed in a DUI accident means that their surviving spouse and surviving family members could be entitled to compensation to cover funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Statute of Limitations for a DUI Accident
The statute of limitations for a DUI accident is different in every state. The State of Florida declares that you have four years from the date of a DUI accident to file a personal injury claim, and you have two years from the date of a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim according to the statute of limitations. If the allocated time passes, then your case will get dismissed by the court.
Florida Statue 95.11 sets the statute of limitations in the State of Florida.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you were involved in a DUI accident and you are thinking of what to do next, then you should seek legal counsel from a DUI accident lawyer as soon as possible. It is not easy to recover after a DUI accident, and you will need all of the help that you can get.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience when it comes to working on DUI accidents throughout the State of Florida. We understand the complex nature of drunk driving accidents, and we will help to guide you through the legal system.
If you need legal assistance, then you should speak to a DUI accident lawyer from our law firm now. We have the necessary knowledge and resources to handle your case and achieve a favorable outcome. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.