On August 23, 2019, a jury imposed a $30.8 million verdict on two Florida bars for the devastating brain damage a woman suffered in a hit-and-run accident, following a night of underage drinking.
The jury found a 20- year-old male guilty of drunk driving, which caused him to hit an 18-year-old woman, and her passenger, in November 2014 in the Tallahassee area.
Moments before the crash, the drunk driver left a bar near the campus of Florida State University, and the injured woman left another bar at the same time. Both had been drinking.
The collision left the young woman with severe brain damage, making it her unable to communicate verbally or care for herself.
The 20-year-old fled the scene, but he was ultimately arrested and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for the accident.
Florida’s dram shop law (S768.125) was passed in 1980. Under the dram shop law, injured people can seek compensation from a third party, like a bartender, social host, restaurant or liquor store owner, which provided the alcohol to the individual causing an alcohol-related accident.
768.125 Liability for injury or damage resulting from intoxication.—A person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person of lawful drinking age shall not thereby become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such person, except that a person who willfully and unlawfully sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person.
What damages are typically awarded in dram shop cases?
In dram shop cases, an injured party sues a third party for damages that are alcohol-related.
Some of the damages that can be recovered in a dram shop case include:
- Compensation for past, present and future medical bills, emergency room care, hospitalization, medication and rehabilitation;
- Compensation for lost wages, including any wages and benefits that may have reasonably been earned had the accident not happened;
- Compensation for destroyed property; including damaged vehicles and other damage to property, and
- Compensation for pain and suffering.
“If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk-driving accident, after seeking medical assistance, please contact our experienced team. There are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.