What To Do After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver
What to do after being hit by a drunk driver. Drunk driving accidents are often among the most serious, with impaired drivers often engaged in various reckless driving behaviors that put everyone at risk. Although drunk drivers normally face criminal penalties if they’re behind an accident, this doesn’t help accident victims. Following a drunk driving accident, victims may have serious injuries or lose their lives. After your drunk driving accident, they or their families may seek compensation from negligent drivers.
The experienced and knowledgeable Florida drunk driving accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm understand the serious nature of drunk driving accidents. Our legal team can assess drunk driving accident cases and help victims get full compensation from at-fault drivers.
Why Choose the Car Accident Lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm?
If a drunk driver causes a car accident, injury victims or their loved ones may be able to recover full compensation for injuries and other damages sustained. The Florida car accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm may help handle your case and pursue compensation through a claim or lawsuit.
What sets Holliday Karatinos Law Firm apart is our collective experience spanning over 50 years, with plenty of experience handling all types of car accidents, including drunk driving accidents. We provide personalized attention to all of our clients and can help navigate the claims or legal process, giving you more time to focus on making a full medical recovery.
Our lead attorneys have also received statewide and national recognition for their achievements. James Wayne Holliday is honored to be a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, which goes to less than one percent of the country’s attorneys. Ted Karatinos has also garnered recognition as a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and the author appearing in publications such as The Federal Lawyer and Barrister Magazine.
We also have offices in Brooksville, Inverness, and Lutz to maximize convenience for our clients in Florida. Even if you cannot visit our offices, we can meet with you virtually to discuss your case. You’ll never need to pay when consulting with us, as we offer a free consultation to initially assess every case.
If you’re seeking assistance from a reliable car accident attorney in Florida, turn to the team at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today.
Florida Drunk Driving Accident Compensation
Following a drunk driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation from liable parties that cover medical expenses and other damages associated with your case. There are several types of damages you may be able to recover, including certain economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are fairly easy to calculate in most cases, and they account for the specific financial losses resulting from your injuries. These damages could include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other more quantifiable losses.
In addition to economic damages, you may be able to recover certain non-economic damages that compensate for a victim’s pain and suffering. For example, you might be able to recover compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, and trauma resulting from the accident and injuries.
If a victim dies from his or her injuries in a drunk driving accident, the victim’s family may be able to recover compensation for this loss. This could include a combination of economic and non-economic damages resulting from the family member’s death.
In some drunk driving accident cases, punitive damages may also apply. For instance, a drunk driver may have had a blood alcohol content (BAC) two or more times the legal limit of 0.08 and been traveling double the speed limit at the time of the accident, in which case the driver could have exhibited gross negligence.
Instances of gross negligence and other egregious behavior may warrant punitive damages that intend to punish defendants for this behavior. These damages also aim to prevent future incidents of a similar nature.
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, our attorneys can help identify all damages pertaining to a drunk driving accident case and calculate them. Based on the estimated amount, we can then negotiate with liable parties and their insurers to recover a fair settlement.
Why Drunk Driving Accidents Occur in Florida
Drunk driving accidents occur all over the U.S., with many of these accidents taking place in Florida. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 11,600 people died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in one recent year, a considerable increase over the previous year.
Meanwhile, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) found that around 450 to 550 alcohol-confirmed accidents occurred each year over a six-year span in the Tampa area alone.
Like many other locations across the country, Florida sees many drunk drivers who neglect the safety of themselves and others.
This negligence may cause accidents throughout the state, including:
- Head-on collisions. These accidents occur when a vehicle crashes directly into another vehicle headed in the opposite direction. These accidents are among the deadliest because of the force of impact.
- Rear-end crashes. A drunk driver may also cause a rear-end collision that involves a rear vehicle crashing into the back of another. Injuries could include whiplash and more serious injuries, depending on the speed of the rear vehicle and the level of impact.
- Pedestrian and cyclist accidents. Drunk drivers may also neglect to give the right of way to or notice pedestrians and cyclists on the road, resulting in accidents that cause serious injuries or fatalities to these individuals.
- Speeding accidents. Drunk drivers often speed while intoxicated as they rush to their destination and lose their inhibitions. This behavior could cause the driver to easily lose control of his or her vehicle, especially when alcohol impairs motor control and slows reaction times.
- Wrong-way accidents. In some cases, drunk drivers may also fail to notice when they’re driving in the wrong direction, even when facing “Wrong Way” signage. These can result in head-on collisions as drivers travel in the opposite direction and don’t expect to encounter a wrong-way driver.
The penalties for drunk driving in Florida are also serious to deter drunk drivers, particularly among individuals under 21. Like other states, the legal limit for drivers over 21 is a BAC of 0.08 percent, but this limit is reduced to 0.02 percent for drivers under 21 because of the state’s zero-tolerance policy. Penalties could include steep fines, community service, vehicle impoundment, license suspensions or revocation, and jail time.
Also, remember that you only have a limited amount of time to file a car accident claim in Florida. This time limit is the statute of limitations—something every state has. In Florida, the statute of limitations for negligence cases is four years from the accident, meaning you have four years to file a claim before you’re unable to recover compensation. This risk makes it critical to act fast before your case exceeds the statute of limitations.
The attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm have plenty of experience with drunk driving accidents and other accidents in Florida. As a result, we can effectively serve clients who are residents or visitors in this state.
Common Injuries After Drunk Driving Accidents in Florida
Drunk driving accidents may result in many types of injuries that range from minor to serious or even fatal.
Some examples of these injuries include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Lacerations and cuts
- Road rash
All of these injuries can come with specific economic and non-economic damages that our lawyers can help calculate. Our firm can work with medical teams to determine the extent of your injuries and how they will impact your life, which can help us quantify all potential damages when building a drunk driving accident case.
Why Work With an Attorney After a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you want to recover compensation following a drunk driving accident in Florida, your first instinct might be to file an insurance claim against the negligent party’s insurer. During negotiations, an adjuster would work with you to learn about the accident and determine liability while negotiating a potential settlement.
While your adjuster may appear to be on your side during negotiations, it’s important to keep in mind that adjusters work for insurers and not claimants. Insurers will want to minimize the amount they need to pay out and will look for any reason they can find to deny an insurance claim.
If you have a lot of money at stake in your claim, it might be challenging to get full compensation for a drunk driving accident. You may also be unaware of exactly how much your case is worth, leading you to potentially accept a much lower settlement than what you actually deserve.
The lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm know how to negotiate accident claims with insurers and can determine the full amount of compensation you may recover.
What to Do Following a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida
In the event of a drunk driving accident of any kind, there are some steps you should take to begin the medical recovery process and begin seeking compensation. After you’ve sought treatment for your injuries and begun your treatment plan, the following are some key steps to help you build a successful accident case.
Collect Evidence That Supports Your Case
One important step for you to take is to gather as much evidence as you can to build your case.
There are many types of evidence that you can collect in a case, including:
- Witness statements
- Photos and video footage of injuries and the accident scene
- Vehicle damage and other property damage
- Calls to the authorities
- Police reports
- Records of lost income
- Medical bills and records
- Vehicle maintenance records
You may also keep track of non-economic damages by writing in a pain journal that details your daily experience with pain and suffering. This journal can also help document the recovery process.
Even if you cannot get ahold of any of this evidence, an attorney may be able to help. Your attorney could contact witnesses, record footage of the accident scene, obtain police reports, and perform other tasks to get the necessary evidence.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Upon seeking treatment from a medical professional, your doctor will likely give you a specific treatment plan. It’s important to heed this advice and take any prescriptions, attend any appointments, and meet other requirements your doctor puts into place to help you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) or full recovery. Failure to do so could indicate to insurers that your injuries aren’t serious.
Avoid Social Media
Insurance companies will likely begin investigating your claim when negotiations begin. In the process, they’ll search for any reason they can find to reduce your settlement or deny your claim. To avoid any potential issues during the investigation, you may want to avoid posting on social media. Even if your injuries are serious, any potentially compromising social media posts could indicate that your injuries aren’t serious or even existent.
Maintain Copies of All Receipts
Keep a copy of every receipt for medical bills and other expenses related to your case. This documentation could help prove the extent of your injuries and other damages resulting from the drunk driving accident.
With all of your evidence gathered and once you’re ready to negotiate a claim, bring your documentation to the lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. We may be able to take on your case and gather any additional evidence while building your case and negotiating with insurers.
Consult Our Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one is in a drunk driving accident, reach out to Florida personal injury lawyers you can trust. The legal team at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm may be able to represent you in an accident case and help recover the compensation you deserve.
To find out what options are available to you after an accident involving a drunk driver, get your free consultation with our firm by calling us at (352) 597-0009 or contacting us online today.
Jim Holliday has recovered millions of dollars for his clients in restitution for their injuries.