Drunk driving claims the lives of over 10,000 victims nationally each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida had the third-most drunk driving fatalities of any state, behind only Texas and California.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 7,500 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in Florida between 2009 and 2018, including a significantly high number of victims between the ages of 21 and 34.
Known for its expansive beaches and year-round sunny weather, Fort Lauderdale has become a popular choice for living and vacationing. Residents welcome visitors for family events, adult getaways, and college spring breaks. However, while fun in the sun may go well with a drink in hand, the party ends when an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a collision caused by an impaired driver, a Fort Lauderdale drunk driving accident lawyer can help you seek justice and compensation. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 to discuss your free case evaluation with our legal team.
The Effects of Alcohol on the Ability to Drive
A person’s risk of involvement in a motor vehicle accident significantly increases if they consume alcohol before driving, even just a small amount. In Florida, anyone age 21 or over with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher cannot legally drive, nor can anyone under the age of 21 with any alcohol in their system.
The NHTSA emphasizes some of the dangerous effects of alcohol on driving.
- Judgment: Your ability to use your knowledge and experience to make quick decisions decreases with alcohol impairment.
- Vision: Alcohol can blur your vision, cause double vision, or make it hard to focus.
- Color distinction: Alcohol can reduce your ability to distinguish the colors of traffic lights and signage.
- Reaction time: When you drink, you cannot react as quickly to your environment, and you may feel tired or less aware of your surroundings.
When a person chooses to drink alcohol, they accept the obligation to do so responsibly. If they fail to adhere to that duty and cause injury to others, victims and their families can hold them accountable for their actions.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Fort Lauderdale, call (800) 598-7557
Liability Matters in Florida Drunk Driving Cases
Florida requires all drivers to carry no-fault auto insurance, meaning that after an accident, each driver must cover their damages regardless of who caused the crash. However, a Fort Lauderdale drunk driving accident lawyer can help you determine liability, as it may play a role in certain circumstances.
While no-fault states typically do not allow victims to seek compensation for pain and suffering from the liable driver, they may pursue legal action if their insurance policy does not cover the full extent of their injuries or property damage.
If your damages resulting from a drunk driving accident exceed your insurance policy limits, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today to speak with our legal team about your case.
Fort Lauderdale Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
Evidence a Fort Lauderdale Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Might Use
To establish liability in your case, you must first prove the drunk driver’s negligence by demonstrating that they:
- Had a duty to act reasonably to protect your safety.
- Breached that duty of care by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
- Caused the accident that led to your injuries or the death of your loved one.
- Left you with significant damages due to your injuries or loved one’s passing.
As proof of their negligent behavior, you could collect evidence to build your case, including:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Cell phone records
- Field sobriety test results
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Financial Awards in Drunk Driving Accident Cases
The types and amounts of compensation you could receive for damages resulting from your accident depend on the circumstances of your case, such as:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The amount of coverage provided by insurance.
- The extent of your financial losses.
A car accident lawyer can help you seek fair financial recovery in your case, which may include awards for:
- Emergency medical care and other injury-related health care costs.
- Lost wages for the time you missed at work.
- Loss of future wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or you lost a loved one who provided you with financial support.
- Property damage to your vehicle or its contents.
- Funeral and burial expenses if a loved one suffered fatal injuries in the accident.
In some cases, the judge may also impose punitive damages on the at-fault party in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages serve as punishment for especially egregious behavior and as a deterrent to prevent future occurrences.
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Florida Statutes of Limitations on Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Florida Statutes § 95.11 establishes that car accident victims must file personal injury claims against the liable party within four years of the date of the accident to seek financial awards in their case. If a loved one died in the accident, spouses, children, and parents have two years to file a wrongful death claim. If they miss the deadline, the court might not consider their claim, and they could miss their opportunity to take legal action.
This harsh penalty for inaction explains why personal injury lawyers suggest filing claims as soon as possible to avoid missing deadlines.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Can Help You
If a drunk driver in Fort Lauderdale caused an accident that left you with severe injuries or resulted in the loss of your loved one, you do not have to face the legal system on your own. The Fort Lauderdale drunk driving accident lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you prove liability, pursue accountability, and seek the compensation you deserve for your losses. Call us today at (800) 598-7557 for your free case evaluation with our legal team.
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