Drunk driving in Florida poses a significant and grave danger to both the individuals behind the wheel and the general public. Driving under the influence (DUI) threatens lives, resulting in accidents that often lead to tragic consequences including serious injuries and wrongful death. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Florida drunk driving accident lawyers understand how a drunk driver can cause significant injuries and damage.
We have represented crash victims and their families in claims against drivers and others responsible for drunk driving accidents. Our attorneys are prepared to take on your case and fight for your right to compensation. Contact a Florida drunk driving accident lawyer on our team if you or a loved one was involved in a Tampa drunk driving accident or a crash involving an intoxicated driver in Hernando County, Citrus County, or the surrounding Florida communities.
Why Choose Holliday Karatinos Law Firm to Handle Your Drunk Driving Accident Case?
With over five decades of combined legal experience, Holliday Karatinos Law Firm provides seasoned legal representation to victims of accidents and negligence, including those involving drunk drivers. We are well-versed in Florida law as it applies to DUI accident claims and will be your advocate. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers is ready to fight for compensation for your losses resulting from a crash with an intoxicated driver.
Our North Tampa personal injury attorneys serve people in Lutz, Brooksville, Spring Hill, New Port Richey, and Inverness as well as those cities located in Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando Counties. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, our clients get the personalized attention of a small firm with the financial ability to take any case, no matter the size. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
Alcohol significantly impacts a driver's ability to make decisions on the road and slows reaction time. A driver with decreased motor skills may also have trouble controlling the wheel or shifting gears, making it all the more probable that an accident will happen.
Inebriated drivers pose a risk to sober drivers and are a major cause of car crashes both nationwide and in Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that every day about 37 people in the United States are killed in drunk-driving crashes. That equates to about one person every 39 minutes. Nationwide, more than 13,000 people died in traffic crashes involving alcohol in 2021, up 14% from the previous year.
Crash risk increases exponentially at a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter (g/dL) of blood. In its most recent statistical report, NHTSA reported about 31% of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher.
However, even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. NHTSA notes in one calendar year there were 2,266 people killed in alcohol-related crashes where a driver had a BAC of .01 to .07 g/dL.
In Florida, driving under the influence has gone back to pre-pandemic levels. In 2021 a total of 43,787 Florida drivers were caught with a BAC above 0.08%, which is the legal limit in the state. In 2022, there were more than 4,000 car accidents involving a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. More than 200 of those accidents resulted in drunk driving fatalities.
Drunk driving crashes can result in serious injuries and leave victims with physical pain and the financial burden of expenses related to their medical treatment. In worst-case scenarios, families suffer the enormous grief of losing a loved one killed by a drunk driver.
If you've been involved in a drunk driving incident, we recommend that you immediately seek legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your options for compensation. An experienced DUI attorney can file a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim on your behalf.
Filing a Claim Against a Drunk Driver in Florida
If you or a deceased relative were involved in a drunk driving crash, Florida law allows you to initiate a claim against the driver and any other party that caused your injuries. You must show that the defendant in your case is liable for your injuries to recover damages.
Remember, In the state of Florida, a person can be charged with DUI not only for alcohol but also for driving under the influence of other substances, including drugs, both legal and illegal. The law considers impairment from any substance that affects one's ability to operate a vehicle safely.
In many motor vehicle accidents, negligence is the legal theory of liability under which drivers are held accountable for their actions. Negligence is a person's failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.
Drunk Driving is Considered Negligence
Negligence requires that the plaintiff show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of reasonable care; breached this duty of care; and caused the plaintiff's injuries as a result of the breach.
Drunk driving, however, presents a circumstance under which a plaintiff may be able to hold a driver liable under a theory of negligence per se. Under this theory, a defendant may be liable for injuries caused in an accident if he or she violated a penal statute.
A plaintiff must prove that the driver violated a law intended to protect a particular class of persons (individuals like you, for example) from a particular type of injury (car wreck injuries).
In Florida, it is a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A person is considered to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs if his or her faculties are impaired, or if he or she has a BAC of .08 or more.
A driver convicted of a DUI who causes injuries is negligent as a matter of law and may be held liable without the plaintiff having to prove the elements of duty and breach. A DUI accident lawyer can help hold negligent parties responsible for their actions and recover compensation for your injuries.
Florida's Dram Shop Law
Florida also has what is known as a dram shop law. Generally, individuals or establishments that serve alcohol are not liable for any injuries or damage caused by a drunk driver.
However, you can hold a person or establishment civilly liable under a negligence claim if you can show that the defendant intentionally sold or provided alcohol to the driver and the driver was under age 21, or if they knowingly served alcohol to a person habitually addicted to alcohol.
Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
Car accidents involving drunk drivers can provoke severe crushing injuries and leave victims with lasting damages. A car accident victim may have mild whiplash and bruising or suffer severe burns and multiple broken bones. While your injuries are particular to the nature and circumstances of the crash, some of the more common physical injuries that we see in these accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Complete spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Chest contusion
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
These injuries may leave you with substantial medical bills, and you may even need long-term treatment or physical therapy to restore normal mobility after a drunk driving accident. Your personal injury claim can help you recover compensation that will support you through your healing process and ensure that your material needs are met during this time.
In Florida, pursuing a wrongful death claim in connection to a DUI accident is a legal recourse for surviving family members who have lost a loved one due to the actions of an impaired driver.
To initiate this claim, the first step is to consult with an attorney who has experience in wrongful death cases, particularly those involving DUI accidents. They can guide you through the legal process.
To pursue a wrongful death claim, you'll need to prove that the DUI driver was negligent and that this negligence directly resulted in the fatal accident. This typically involves demonstrating that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.
Florida law also specifies who can bring a wrongful death claim. Typically, it includes surviving spouses, children, and, in some cases, parents or other dependents of the deceased.
Wrongful death claims related to DUI accidents are complex legal matters, and it's essential to seek the help of an attorney who can compassionately guide you through the process, ensuring that the rights and interests of the surviving family members are protected.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Florida
A victim of a drunk driving accident may be able to recover damages for his or her injuries, including medical and material expenses. You can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.
A patient's long-term prognosis may also affect what compensation she or he is able to obtain. If your injuries prevent you from working or returning to your normal job responsibilities, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages or lost earning capacity.
In addition to the physical injury that car accident victims suffer, many are also left with trauma and emotional distress long after the initial accident. Non-economic damages seek to address these losses and compensate victims accordingly.
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded if a Florida driver was found to have behaved negligently in order to deter similar behavior in the future.
Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities often leave surviving relatives with additional expenses. Certain relatives of a person who died in a drunk driving crash may be able to recover for their loved one's medical expenses, burial bills, loss of companionship, loss of instruction, and other damages. A skilled attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help
The aftermath of a severe accident can leave you with more questions than answers. Filing insurance claims, the physical pain caused by your injuries, and increased anxiety and mental strain are things that car crash victims commonly experience.
Insurance policyholders are often dismayed to find that insurance companies frequently devalue their claims and offer lowball settlements that are not substantial enough to do justice to the extent of the damages received.
An experienced DUI attorney with knowledge and practice in these types of accidents can help you deal with the insurance company and work to obtain maximum compensation for your losses.
A Florida attorney at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm is also equipped with local knowledge and a keen insight into local law and how it impacts your claim. We take pride in our serving Florida residents by providing them with legal aid in all kinds of personal injury claims. Our skilled lawyers are available to answer any questions you may have during an initial free consultation.
Contact Our Florida Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC is committed to providing drunk driving accident victims with the legal representation and support they need to fight for their right to compensation.
Our drunk driving accident lawyers have more than five decades of combined practice. We can bring our substantial personal injury experience to help you assert your injury claims. A DUI accident lawyer at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm will aggressively negotiate settlements and can take your case to trial if necessary.
Call our Florida personal injury lawyers or complete our online form to set up an initial consultation with our car accident attorneys at no cost. We serve clients in Brooksville, Lutz, Spring Hill, Tampa, Inverness, and a number of surrounding areas.