Whether you’re a victim of an accident involving a drunk driver or you were the actual person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, accidents like these can have a major impact on your life. You can possibly make things a lot better for yourself and your family if you have a Winters and Yonker Sarasota drunk driving accident lawyer at your side.
Statistics show how common such accidents are in the area where we live, and knowing the BAC limits in your state, as well as what you should do after an accident involving a drunk driver can help you both prepare for and react to being involved in such an accident. Following that, there are certain damages you can recover if you file a claim quickly enough.
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, it’s imperative you have a tough Sarasota personal injury lawyer on your side. Winters & Yonker have represented hundreds of clients injured by drunk drivers.
Table of Contents
Florida Drunk Driving Statistics
Drunk driving statistics in Sarasota, Florida are not something we should be proud of. 2017 data reported that the state as a whole had 515 drunk driving fatalities. Sarasota ranked highest per capita, with 12.2 such deaths per 100,000 people, making the city the drunk driving death capital of the entire state. While DUI fatalities, on the whole, have been trending downward over the last decade, Sarasota’s rate has nearly doubled in that same time frame.
For the state of Florida, drunk driving is generally defined as driving with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of 0.08 percent. In some cases, such as with minors who aren’t supposed to drink legally at all, it’s 0.02 percent, which can happen with a single alcoholic beverage. First-time DUI offenses can result in thousands of dollars of fines, vehicle impoundment, jail time, and months of license suspension.
What Should You Do After Being Involved in an Accident?
In the immediate aftermath of an accident involving a drunk driver, there are certain things you should and should not do. The first thing you should always do is make sure you are physically okay, as are any passengers in your vehicle. The same applies to any other vehicles involved in the accident.
Contact law enforcement in all cases, and have emergency medical services show up if anyone looks like they need it. Even if you don’t have an ambulance show up, go to an urgent care, doctor’s office, or ER immediately after you leave the accident scene to have someone make sure you’re okay and document any potential injuries. At the scene, get personal information, take photos, get witness statements, and make sure a police report is filed.
What you should never do is apologize or admit error, even if you think or know you are at fault in any way. Never ‘play nice’ even if you think money might be coming to you after an accident. All of this can result in weakening your potential case or even leading to one against you.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive?
The minimum damages you can pursue from a Florida drunk driver is $10,000. However, you can recover compensation for more than just that. You can seek financial compensation to recover for things like wrongful death, pain and suffering, the expenses involved with your medical care, and lost wages.
Missing time from work, a family losing a source of income, a relative or loved one who dies in a drunk driving accident, the trauma of recovery after an accident, and everything from doctor’s bills and prescription medications to rehab costs and hospital stays are all specific examples of things your legal team can go after the drunk driver and their insurance for.
When Should You Consult with a Sarasota Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?
There is a statute of limitations covering all of us in Florida in regards to filing claims against drunk drivers responsible for accidents that impact us. As a general rule of thumb, you have four years starting with the date of the accident.
You might think that it’s something that can wait immediately after an accident, because you might not want to deal with it right away. That’s understandable, given how you’ll likely be preoccupied with the shock of the accident, trying to get better or mourning the loss of a loved one, or just trying to hold your life together.
However, you shouldn’t wait. Witnesses and their memories start fading away, the evidence is harder to get a hold of, and the whole case just generally gets harder to prove. The insurance company of the drunk driver, if they have one, and their legal team, have more time to put together their own defense. The sooner you contact us, the more likely it is we can win.
How Much Does a Sarasota Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Cost?
You, of course, will wonder how much a Sarasota Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer will cost you. Personal injury attorneys, including Winters and Yonker drunk driving accident lawyers, usually work on what is known as a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing upfront and they only take a fee if your case is won in court or via settlement. Having said that, the industry average is 33 up to 40 percent. It often varies based on when the case is settled.
In our state of Florida, the state supreme court has laid out rules that have to be followed. For instance, contingency fees are often capped at 33 1/3 percent for pretrial settlements up to a million dollars, with 10 percent cap reductions for over a million dollars in settlement. Should the case be settled outside of court after an actual trial has started, then the Sarasota drunk driving accident lawyer might accept as much as 40 percent for settlements less than a million.
A Sarasota Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at Winters & Yonker is Here to Help!
Drunk driving fatalities are more prevalent around Sarasota than any other city in the state. No matter how defensive your driving is, you can still be hit by such a driver at any time or place.
Now that you’ve read this content, you have some idea how to handle the aftermath of such an incident, as well as the benefits of having a Sarasota drunk driving accident lawyer from Winters and Yonker in Sarasota, FL, drunk driving accident lawyer on your side to pursue compensation and damages. Contact us at (888) 373-7770 for a consultation as soon as you can.