Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is illegal in Florida. Authorities have long since recognized the dangers of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 is enough to impair the average person’s cognitive abilities, increasing the risk of a driving accident.
Despite the state’s punishments for drunk driving offenses, intoxicated motorists still get behind the wheel. If you have been a victim in a DUI-related collision, know that you have the legal right to pursue compensatory damages from the at-fault driver. Consider consulting a Jacksonville drunk driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, to help you understand your options for legal recourse. Reach out at (800) 598-7557 to speak to a member of the team.
Protecting Your Rights After the Accident
A drunk driving car crash can be a traumatic experience for many, leaving them confused and unable to respond appropriately to the situation. However, it may lead to costly repercussions. Preserve your rights to recovery with the following:
Contact the Police
Those involved in the accident must remain at the scene and notify the authorities immediately. Aside from obeying the law, calling the police will also help with your recovery. The police report will document what happened and the probable reasons for the crash, which can be essential as evidence.
Seek Medical Attention
Never delay seeking medical treatment, even when you do not see visible injuries. Some insurance companies will only acknowledge your claim if you saw your doctor or visited a hospital for proper evaluation within a reasonable amount of time. Moreover, symptoms of some injuries take a while to appear and may be more difficult to treat.
Inform Your Insurance Company
After a car accident, contact your insurer right away under Florida’s insurance system. However, you also have to be cautious of them. They want to minimize their payouts, including offering low compensation and having you sign a release.
Never Admit Fault
Even if you think you caused the entire collision, that may not be the case, especially since you do not have enough information to assess the situation. Admitting fault—or even merely apologizing—could shift the liability to you, affecting your rights to compensation.
Retain a Legal Professional
Some crash victims may believe that not hiring a legal professional will save costs; however, it may have an opposite effect. Work with a Jacksonville drunk driving accident lawyer before pursuing a claim—they will offer you legal counsel to help prevent costly repercussions. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC for more information about legal help. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, so you will not be charged anything unless we obtain a financial settlement for you.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Jacksonville, call 800-598-7557
Florida Is a No-Fault State
Florida is among the few states that follow the no-fault insurance system. Under this policy type, the insurer must compensate its policyholder regardless of who is to blame for the auto accident. Instead of seeking recovery of damages from the DUI driver, injured victims may claim against their personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
According to the Florida Bar, every Florida motorist must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. It will cover their medical expenses, lost earnings, and in worst cases, death benefits amounting to $5,000. However, the insurance only allows you to partially recoup accident-related losses—up to 80 percent of medical expenses and 60 percent of lost income. Before you can receive the benefits, you may also have to pay the required deductible, further reducing your claim’s value.
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Bringing a Legal Claim for Compensation
Florida allows injury victims to bring a claim against the other party, especially if the latter caused the following:
- Permanent or catastrophic injuries
- Significant scarring, disfigurement, or deformity
- Partial or permanent loss of function in a body part
For cases like above, you may also seek compensatory damages for pain and suffering you have experienced because of the drunk driver’s negligence or careless conduct.
Should you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party, a Jacksonville drunk driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you. They will collect evidence to help strengthen your claim for fair compensation.
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Drunk or intoxicated driving is an example of negligent behavior, and those guilty of such can be held liable for DUI accident-related damages. However, it is not always that they are solely responsible for the collision. It is possible that your actions could have contributed to the collision, as well.
Florida recognizes this possibility, which is why the state follows the comparative negligence rule in determining fault. Moreover, Florida is a pure comparative negligence state—your degree of fault in the accident does not limit your right to seek compensation. Even if you are more than 50 percent responsible for the DUI-related crash, you can still recoup your losses.
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Seek Legal Assistance
Regardless of your option for financial recovery, it is advisable to hire a Jacksonville drunk driving accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. They will help you navigate the claims process and help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. If you decide to pursue legal action, they can help you meet the state-imposed time limits that may impact your recovery. In Florida, you only have four years from the date of the DUI accident to file a lawsuit, under Florida Statutes §95.11.
To get started on your claim, call (800) 598-7557 today.
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