Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the state of Florida. Each year, hundreds of people lose their lives while thousands of others are injured in alcohol-related crashes. What makes this even sadder is the fact that all these accidents are completely unnecessary and can be easily avoided. However, even with the knowledge of the devastation that can be caused by drunk driving, people still make a deliberate decision to drive while intoxicated.
If you were hurt in a DUI crash, you need to contact an experienced Dover drunk driving accident lawyer to help you claim compensation. It is important that drunk drivers are held accountable for their wrongful acts. Besides, drunk driving is a serious offense in Florida. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys at Winters & Yonker can help you get the justice you deserve. Fill out our contact form or call us at (888) 373-7770 to learn more about what we can do for you.
Table of Contents
Drunk Driving Statistics In Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FKHSMV) releases an annual traffic crash report which details Florida’s traffic accident statistics for each year including those that involve drunk driving.
According to the most recent report, in 2019, there were 4,984 alcohol-related accidents in the state down from 5,106 similar crashes in 2018. Of the 4,984 drunk driving accidents, 351 crashes led to fatalities while 1,724 led to injuries. 262 people suffered incapacitating injuries while 2,639 suffered other injuries.
Each year, alcohol is involved in more than 25% of all accidents in the state of Florida. In fact, the rate of death due to alcohol-related crashes has been higher than the national average in the past few years.
What Are the BAC Limits in Florida?
As mentioned earlier, drunk driving is a serious criminal offense in the state of Florida. It is illegal for anyone to take control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above. Doing so warrants a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Keep in mind that you can still get a DUI even if the car isn’t moving.
You can also receive a DUI even with a BAC under 0.08 if your ability to drive safely is impaired. The resulting penalties for a DUI will depend on your drunk driving history.
For a first offense, you can face a fine of between $500 and $2,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 6 months.
What To Do After An Accident With A Drunk Driver?
After being involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it is important to take certain measures to protect your rights as well as your wellbeing. Here is what you need to do after a drunk driving accident:
Remain at the Scene
Do not attempt to leave the scene until the relevant authorities have allowed you to do so.
Call the Police
You are legally required to report any accident involving injuries, death, or drunk driving. Besides abiding by the law, having an official police report will help to prove your claim later on.
Assess your Surroundings
Check around to see if everyone else involved in the crash is okay. Also, check for any additional safety risks.
Next, you need to collect the names, contact details, and insurance information of the other drivers involved in the accident. You will also need to give yours.
Document the Scene
If you are in a capable state to do so, take photos and videos of the scene. Also, talk to any available witnesses and record their statements. Don’t forget to collect their names and contact details too.
Seek Medical Attention
At the end of the day, your health should be your topmost priority. Thus, ensure that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if you don’t feel seriously hurt. This will also help to document your injuries.
Talk to an Attorney
After seeking medical attention get in touch with an experienced Dover, FL drunk driving lawyer who will guide you on the best course of action.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida?
You may receive three types of damages in a drunk driving accident case:
Being involved in a drunk driving accident comes with a high risk of serious injuries and property damage. Dealing with both can quickly drain your finances and cause you to lose money in other ways. Economic damages are meant to cover these financial losses including medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, in-home care, repair, and replacements, etc.
Drunk driving accidents also lead to non-monetary losses and consequences. These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, emotional distress, etc. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for these damages.
These damages are usually awarded as a way to punish the defendant and discourage such behavior in the future. They are typically awarded in cases where gross negligence or recklessness has been established on the part of the defendant. Drunk driving accident cases are one of the few types of personal injury cases where it is easier to secure punitive damages.
Punitive damages in Florida are capped at 3 times the compensatory amount awarded or $500,000, whichever is higher.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Florida?
Florida’s statute of limitations provides a deadline for when personal injury claims should be filed. Drunk driving accident claims fall under personal injury claims, and the deadline for these is four years from the date of the injury.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost?
One of the biggest concerns for most drunk driving victims is usually; how much will an attorney cost me? Fortunately, we do not charge any upfront fees to secure our services. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only pay us after we have won your case. We will receive an agreed-upon percentage from your compensation amount.
Reach Out To An Experienced Dover Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Alcohol has a direct impact on people’s ability to drive. Some of the effects alcohol use causes include reduced ability to process information, slowed reaction times, reduced ability to detect danger, reduced coordination, impaired judgment, blurred vision, and many others. All these factors are critical when it comes to the safe operation of any vehicle. Thus, when someone chooses to get behind the wheel while drunk, they significantly increase their likelihood of causing an accident.
Suffering serious injuries because of a crash caused by an intoxicated driver can be very distressing, not to mention the financial hardships that come with your new situation. You need justice and we can help you get it. The skilled drunk driving accident lawyers at Winters & Yonker have long-standing experience helping people like you get the compensation they deserve. Call our Florida personal injury law firm today at (888) 373-7770 to schedule your free consultation.