Accidents attributed to drunk driving have the potential of being devastating to the victims and their families. In Florida, those found drunk driving and endangering the lives and safety of other innocent road users are held accountable. The legislators, politicians, and experts in the justice system have enacted stringent laws that ensure drunk drivers face hefty penalties. If you or a loved one were injured in a drunk driving road accident, you should get in touch with a driving New Port Richey drunk driving accident lawyer at the injury law firm of Winters & Yonker for a free consolation.
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What Does The Law In Florida Have To Say About Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is a serious traffic offense in the state of Florida. Anyone operating a vehicle on the roads of Florida should have a blood-alcohol level of below 0.08. Anyone found with a level higher than that is guilty of drunk driving (driving under the influence of alcohol).
As per the law, the vehicle does not have to be in motion for the DUI charge to be valid. Furthermore, the DUI will stand even if the driver has a blood-alcohol level below 0.08, and the alcohol impairs his or her ‘normal faculties’ to the point where he or she cannot operate the vehicle safely.
First-time DUI offenders are often slapped with a fine of anywhere between $500 and $2000. A jail sentence of up to six months may also be issued. The fine and jail time term can be higher if it is discovered that there was a minor present in the car, or the driver has a blood-alcohol level of 0.15.
The driver also might get driving probation of up to twelve months and with at least fifty hours of doing community service. If the accusations are serious, then the driver risks losing his or her driving license, and the DUI can remain on his or her driving record for years.
In as much as the penalties are valid, they do little regarding helping those whose lives have been affected by the drunk driving accident. At Winters & Yonker, our team of car accident attorneys in New Port Richey will be the best option for getting the compensation such individuals rightly deserve.
What are the Most Common Drunk Driving Accidents?
Alcohol lowers a person’s ability to respond appropriately to different things. It will impede the driver’s ability to assess situations resulting in a lack of awareness, confusion, and poor judgment that contribute to an accident. Drunk drivers are unpredictable when on the roads hence the need to stay alert and be on the lookout for reckless drivers.
Some of the traffic accidents associated with driving under the influence include:
A driver makes a poor judgment and decides to turn the wrong way on the freeway off-ramp or a one-way road and ram into another vehicle. Many of the wrong-way accidents tend to happen on the freeway.
It happens when a vehicle is hit on its side by another oncoming car; that is why it also is known as a side-impact collision. It most occurs because a driver might be drunk and fails to see or heed a red light or stop sign. A T-bone accident is among the most dangerous traffic crashes with severe injuries or fatalities.
It happens when a driver swerves the car to the oncoming traffic, and the other driver does not have enough time to react and avoid a head-on collision. Such accidents usually result in life-threatening injuries.
If a driver has delayed response due to driving under the influence of alcohol or is distracted while behind the wheel will not manage to brake and avoid ramming into the car in front of them. At times, this kind of traffic collision occurs because the driver follows the lead vehicle too closely.
What Injuries do Drunk Driving Injuries Cause?
Injuries sustained in an automotive collision can range from minor bumps and abrasions that a person can walk away from the crash without suffering any significant long-term effects. In most cases, the injuries can be severe and life-changing. And in other situations, the injuries can result in death.
Depending on the severity of the drunk driving accident and injuries sustained, the victims might need extensive medical care for the rest of their lives. Some of the typical injuries associated with drunk driving accidents include:
The collision can lead to fires in the vehicles or explosions that burn the victims, leaving them with permanent scars.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Many people often walk away from traffic accidents having sustained soft tissue injuries that include bruises, strain, scrapes, sprains, and inflammation.
The impact of the crash can lead to the victim’s bones fracturing. In some case, the broken bones might require an extended treatment and recovery process, and might result in short-term or long-term pain and discomfort.
Herniated discs and a damaged spine are the common types of spinal injuries that can lead to persistent pain or paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A knock to the head can lead to headaches, loss of consciousness, dizziness, speech impairment, and sensory problems.
What Damages Can Drunk Driving Victims Sue For?
The process of recovering from any type of road accident, let alone a drunk driving collision, can be overwhelming. With a lawyer on your side, you will get the legal expertise needed to ensure you recover the damages or losses you sustained in the traffic collision. Most importantly, the attorney is on hand to help ease the recovery processes by allowing you to focus on healing and not get stressed by legal battles in the injury claim case.
The damages can be based on an economic and non-economic point of view.
Damages that have a set value and are easily calculated are called economic damages. These include:
Your medical expenses can quickly add up and become a huge financial burden. You should consider seeking reimbursement for the costs incurred for your medications, surgeries, and hospital stays, as well as the doctor’s consultations. The medical expenses can also include physical therapy sessions and other alternative treatments like massage and chiropractic treatments
You can get compensation for the time you missed from work due to the injuries sustained in the drunk driving accident. The lost time can be due to getting treatment, the recovery period that might include several surgeries, and routine doctor’s visits. The compensation for lost wages can also consider the potential loss of future income.
Any immobility and physical incapacities attributed to the injuries sustained after the drunk driving accident might require you to invest in some modifications at home of the workplace. Some of the changes needed might include installing a wheelchair railing or ramp.
It can include essential aids such as wheelchairs and walkers, as well as hospital beds and crucial medical gear.
If the injuries render you incapable or resume your job, or lead to you need training for a different career or new job position, the transition might be costly. A personal injury lawyer from Winter & Yonker will help you recover the costs you incur for these new changes in your professional life.
Car accidents also cause noneconomic damages, these don’t have a set value and can be more difficult to determine. Noneconomic damages include:
Loss of Enjoyment
It is compensation for being unable to take part in various activities that you used to that gave your joy.
Loss of Consortium
It applies to cases where there is a loss (death) or a family member or spouse in the drunk driving accident. Our lawyers will represent your interest by filing a claim for loss of consortium for the lost companionship, affection, love, and sexual relations you incurred due to the accident.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and anguish sustained in the crash can linger for years after the incident. It can be physical, mental, or physical pain and suffering. The law gives you the right to seek compensation for such agony.
Can Other Parties Be At Fault In A Drunk Driving Accident Case?
The person behind the wheel is always the one to blame for the road crash; however, other parties could have a part to play in the accident. That means other road users could contribute to a drunk driver losing control of the vehicle. A New Port Richey personal injury lawyer will investigate the incident and determine if the other parties can be held financially responsible for damages or loses.
Some of the instances where other potentially responsible parties can be held liable for the drunk driving accident include:
An adult that served alcohol to a minor
If there is drinking on a private occasion, then all adults are responsible for ensuring that no minor drinks and that they arrive home safely. If an adult serves alcohol to a minor who ends up injuring somebody in a road accident, then the adult will be partially liable.
A bartender or establishment that serves alcohol
Florida has a dram shop law that will consider companies or establishments that serve drinks liable for drunk driving collisions. According to the law, restaurants and bars should not serve alcohol to minors or any adult patron known to have a drinking problem. If such a person drives under the influence of alcohol and causes an accident, then the bar or restaurant will be partly liable.
Contact a New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today!
At Winters & Yonker, we have a team of aggressive personal injury lawyers that will pursue your claim case to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible for the damages sustained in a drunk driving accident.
Get in touch with our New Port Richey injury law firm today and schedule a free initial consultation with our legal experts. We are available 24/7 and can schedule a meet at your home, the hospital or any other place you feel is convenient.