You may assume everyone driving on the road alongside you takes driving laws seriously, but that is certainly not the case. Even when the state of Florida has taken substantial measures, such as stricter DUI laws and penalties, some drivers are still driving recklessly hoping they are never caught. The chance that you will encounter a drunk driver on a Florida road is common too. In 2012, The CDC reported the national rate of individuals driving after drinking too much was at 1.9%, while Florida’s was at 2.1%. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reports close to 30 people in the U.S. die in drunk driving crashes every day.
The events following a drunk driving accident can be life changing. Not only can it result in major trauma for victims, but the expenses necessary for injury treatment can amount to thousands, if not more. If the accident leads to a death, not only are the deceased’s loved ones faced with the emotional anguish and the loss of support from the deceased, but also economic hardship when paying for burial costs. The victim of the accident nor his or her loved ones should ever have to pay for all the damages they endured out of pocket. If you got injured or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, then file a personal injury or wrongful death suit with a personal injury attorney right away.
Victims of Drunk Driving Lawyer in Miami-Dade County, FL
Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense that can result in jail time and penalties. However, criminal penalties alone don’t make up for the long-lasting damage on victims including lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. What happens after the individual at fault is in jail while the victim’s family is still having to suffer through pain and economic hardship?
At Abrams Justice Trial Attorneys we can help you to recover after your personal injury caused by a drunk driver. If the other driver’s insurance or lack of insurance is not giving you enough to cover your expenses and loss of income following the accident, a victims of drunk driving personal injury attorney can represent your best interests and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Contact Abrams Justice Trial Attorneys at (305) 709-0880 to obtain a consultation and begin discussing your case, or fill out a free case review form at the bottom of the page. We work with clients all throughout the Miami-Dade County area.
Overview of Victims of Drunk Driving in Miami-Dade County
- DUI Laws in Florida
- Effects of Alcohol on Driving
- Florida’s Negligence Laws
- What Suit Can You File Following a Drunk Driving Accident?
- Additional Resources
DUI Laws in Florida
According to Fla. Stat. § 316.193, a person is subject to a DUI offense “if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state, and:
- The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired;
- The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
- The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.”
Effects of Alcohol on Driving
According to the CDC, different levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) have different types of effects on individuals, which make it clear as to why they should not be driving in the first place.
- .02% (about 2 standard size alcoholic drinks) ———> Decline in visual functions, decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time
- .05% (about 3 standard size alcoholic drinks) ———>Reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations
- .08% (about 4 standard size alcoholic drinks) ——>Concentration, Short-term memory loss, speed control, reduced information processing capability, impaired perception
- .10% (about 5 standard size alcoholic drinks) ———>Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
- .15% (about 7 standard size alcoholic drinks) ———> Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and visual and auditory information processing
Florida’s Negligence Laws
Drunk driving is one of the common cases of negligence in personal injury cases. According to Fla. Stat. § 768.72(b) drunk driving can also be constituted as gross negligence, because the act of drunk driving is already considered reckless and a disregard for other’s safety. The state of Florida follows comparative negligence laws, in which fault is assessed comparatively. Recovery for personal injury damages are regulated based on the individual’s level of fault. If you are partly at fault, you can still recover for damages. However, if you are the plaintiff in the suit, your settlement amount can be reduced by your own contribution to the accident.
Fla. Stat. §768.125 states that a person selling or furnishing alcohol may not be liable for a sustained injury caused by intoxication, however exceptions include:
- Having willfully sold or furnished an alcoholic beverage to an individual that’s not of legal drinking age;
- Having willfully sold or furnished an alcoholic beverage to an individual that is knowingly a habitual addicted person;
Statute of Limitations
Fla. Stat. §95.11 states you have two years from the time of the injury to file a lawsuit if you sustained severe damages. However, if the drunk driving resulted in a fatality, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death suit.
Drunk Driving Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Suit
Insurances are there to make money not hand it out. If you were the victim of an accident and suffered a personal injury, you may not be receiving enough to cover your medical expenses following your injury. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can be beneficial to make sure you are getting the most that you can get out of the other person to make up for your losses. Filing for a personal injury based on the negligence or reckless act of the driver can result in recovering for damages for your personal injury. Similarly, a wrongful death suit can recover for damages incurred by the deceased victim’s loved ones.
The economic & non-economic damages for which an injured victim or the deceased victim’s eligible survivor or representative can recover for, can include:
- Loss of support and services (eligible survivor)
- Loss of companionship (spouse)
- Loss of parental companionship (minor children)
- Mental Pain and suffering (spouse & minor children)
- Medical/Funeral Expenses (victim/eligible survivor)
- Loss of Income (victim/personal representative)
Punitive damages are rarely guaranteed in a civil action; however, a drunk driving case may constitute for receiving recovery for punitive damages.
Spotting a Drunk Driver on the Road | MADD – MADD has a page dedicated for concerned citizens on the road, which includes most of us. MADD gives tips on how to spot a drunk driver on the road, and what to do at that point to maintain a safe distance.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) | Drunk Driving – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides more statistics and facts about drunk driving in the United States. Such statistics include the amount of injuries and fatalities associates with drunk driving.
Attorney for plaintiff / victim of drunk driving accidents in Miami, FL
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury because of a drunk driver, you need to seek legal counsel right away. Driving while drunk is against the law, and those who are negligent to the law need to be held accountable. At Abrams Justice Trial Attorneys, we can file a lawsuit for personal injury based on negligence against the drunk driver.
A drunk driving accident can change someone’s life forever. If there’s injury involved, your insurance’s bodily injury coverage may not be enough to pay for damages, so you may need to pay out of pocket. Similarly, funeral and burial costs can have a severe economic impact on the deceased’s family. The victim’s loved ones may already be going through a lot of trauma and do not need further conflicts.
Schedule a confidential consultation with our attorneys at Abrams Justice Trial Attorneys by calling (305) 709-0880. You can also submit an initial contact form at the bottom of the page. We work with clients in the Miami-Dade area including Miami, Hialeah, Homestead, Pinecrest, Doral, Coral Gables, and Cutler Bay.