Sometimes, unforeseen hazards like vehicle malfunctions and poor weather conditions can lead to an accident. But, when someone chooses to drive drunk, they know the repercussions. Florida has strict rules for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Even with stringent laws, drunk driving accidents still happen every year, killing or injuring many innocent motorists. If you or a loved one is the victim, an experienced Odessa drunk driving accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for injuries and financial hardships caused by the accident.
To talk with a skilled car accident attorney about your case, call Winters & Yonker at (888) 373-7770 or use our online form. We offer free case reviews too!
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Drunk Driving Stats in Odessa, Pasco County Florida
According to the numbers released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 4,996 drunk-driving crashes in Florida in 2019.
Here are other stats about DUI crashes in Florida for 2019:
- 3,074 injuries from alcohol-only impaired crashes. Out of these, 117 occurred in Pasco county.
- 384 fatalities from alcohol-only impaired crashes. Out of these, 19 occurred in Pasco county.
What Are the BAC Limits in Florida?
In Florida, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for people 21 and older is 0.8%. If you are under 21, the limit drops to 0.2%, thanks to Florida’s zero-tolerance policy.
Motorists arrested for DUI with a BAC limit of 0.5%, or higher must complete substance abuse programs before they are allowed to have their licenses back.
What To Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver?
When you get into a car crash with an intoxicated driver, the first thing you should do is remain at the scene. If you leave, it will be difficult to determine liability and ultimately recover any compensation. You should then proceed to:
Call an Ambulance
The chances that a DUI accident will result in serious injuries are usually high. For this reason, you will need to call for immediate medical assistance by dialing 911.
Call the Police
If there seem to be no serious injuries, you still need to call the police to report the drunk driver and have them arrested before they can do more damage. The responding officers will also confirm that the driver was indeed drunk when the crash occurred.
As you wait for the responding officers to arrive, collect evidence from the accident scene. Take close-up photographs of the damaged cars, the injuries you and other drivers sustained, any debris from the accident, and the entire crash site.
Swap Information With Witnesses
To have a strong claim, you will need to present as much supporting evidence as possible. Talk to any eyewitnesses and see if you can obtain witness statements. Remember to get their full names and other contact information.
Contact an Attorney
Following a drunk driving accident, you will need to get medical care, file an insurance claim, repair your damaged vehicle, among other things. You will need the help of an experienced attorney to guide you through the legal processes and provide you with vital information about your case or claim. A drunk driving accident lawyer with Winters & Yonker will be able to protect your legal interests as well as help you navigate the tricky issues that might prevent you from getting full compensation.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident?
The aftermath of a drunk driving accident could prove to be overwhelming, especially if you got injured. In Odessa, Florida, a personal injury attorney can help you recover damages to ease your recovery process. The following damages are recoverable in a Florida drunk driving case:
They include all the financial losses you incurred as a result of the drunk driving accident.
- Current and future medical bills: involves reimbursement for doctor’s visits, medication, surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, massage, and other treatments.
- Lost wages: Lost income for any time missed at work due to an accident.
- Retraining: A personal injury claim can help you recover retraining costs if you cannot return to the position you held before the accident.
- Medical equipment: This includes wheelchairs, walkers, etc.
- Home modifications: You may need to install a wheelchair ramp or railing in your home if you cannot walk or need assistance after the accident.
These include non-financial losses that the victim suffered following the DUI accident like:
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering cover compensation for physical pain and emotional or mental distress.
- Loss of enjoyment: The injured party can claim damages for loss of enjoyment when he/she cannot indulge in activities that brought them enjoyment before the accident.
- Loss of consortium: DUI accident victims can claim loss of consortium when they can no longer provide the same level of love, affection, companionship, or sexual relations they could provide before the accident.
Punitive damages are common in DUI cases. These damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for their grossly negligent actions.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Florida?
In Florida, drunk driving accident victims have four years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. After four years have elapsed, the court doesn’t have to consider the victim’s case except if:
- The victim was a minor
- The at-fault party could not be located
- Fraud was involved
Drunk driving accidents involve many components, so it’s best to allow your attorney enough time to build your case by promptly filing your claim.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost?
Here at Winters & Yonker, our drunk driving accident lawyers will not cost you any upfront fees. Instead, you pay them a percentage of your settlement or compensation award. This payment structure is known as a contingency and is used by most personal injury lawyers. If your attorney doesn’t win your case, you don’t owe them anything.
Contact Our Experienced Odessa Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
After an auto accident involving a drunk driver, you will need a competent attorney to help you file a lawsuit, negotiate a settlement, prepare for trial, and represent you in a court of law. You can trust Winters & Yonker to help you recover a fair and reasonable settlement. We have a good track record in recovering damages for Odessa’s DUI victims.