Drunk drivers threaten the safety of others on Florida roads and highways. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our 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 our Florida drunk driving accident lawyers 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.
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 found that in 2011, nearly 14 percent of drivers in fatal crashes were under the influence of alcoholic beverages, drugs, or medication at the time of the crash. Drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more were responsible for almost 9,900 deaths that year.
In Florida, 29 percent of traffic fatalities in 2011 involved a motorist with a BAC of .08 or higher. 2022 saw more than 4000 car accidents involving a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, more than 200 of which 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. If you've been involved in a drunk driving accident case, we recommend that you immediately seek legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your options for compensation.
You Can File 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.
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.
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 Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer 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 attorney with knowledge and practice in DUI 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 drunk driving 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.