As families and vacationers begin to plan spring and summer celebrations, Florida roadways will become even more filled with vehicles arriving from all over the United States. Our Fort Myers DUI accident attorneys know that driving in Florida can be tricky on any given day. However, when drivers get behind the wheel after celebrating a little too much with alcohol and/or drugs, the results can be devastating for all involved.
In Florida and elsewhere in the country, if a driver causes a crash and injures or kills others while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can face serious legal consequences. In addition to possible criminal charges, those responsible for DUI-related crashes may face civil actions to compensate those hurt in the crash or, in the event of a death, their loved ones. But what are injured parties or families entitled to after such accidents?
Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorneys Must Prove Liability Before Discussing Compensation
When attempting to prove liability and determine compensation in a DUI case, there are a number of considerations for accident victims and skilled Fort Myers DUI accident attorneys to keep in mind. For instance, the driver’s level of intoxication will need to be established. If a police officer has probable cause to stop someone and determines that his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08 or greater, he or she can face DUI charges. Accordingly, that intoxicated person can be held responsible for any injuries and losses caused by the collision.
But how did the individual become intoxicated in the first place? Florida law permits DUI accident victims to seek compensation from the establishments that served the driver (i.e., restaurants, bars, etc.) in certain instances. These are known as dram shop laws, and they increase one’s chances of obtaining compensation for the injuries sustained in a DUI-related accident.
Potential Compensation for DUI Accident Victims
In Florida, injured individuals will typically be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages from their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance regardless of who is at fault in an accident. It should be noted, however, that harmed individuals can seek additional compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance and/or the driver himself for amounts that extend beyond those covered by the insurer.
The cost of medical care is generally expensive, but it can be extremely high for those who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. That said, those who have been hurt by a drunk driver are entitled to have their medical costs covered by that individual. This includes current and future expenses, and if the individual is facing lifelong medical treatment, that will also be taken into consideration when determining appropriate compensation for damages. Our Fort Myers DUI accident attorneys know that accident victims have a lot on their minds after an accident, so we are prepared to protect your legal rights and fight for all compensation to which you are entitled. Victims’ insurance companies will want to be reimbursed for all accident-related medical costs paid out, so it is our job to ensure that you get the maximum amount allowed based on the specifics of your case.
When an accident victim is unable to work due to a collision, it is not uncommon for them to seek compensation for their lost wages. Such compensation can include amounts for missed work due to injuries and/or time that was taken for rehabilitation or other types of treatment for the injuries sustained. In cases involving permanent injuries, an accident attorney can seek the wages that the harmed individual would have received over his or her lifetime.
Pain and Suffering
Those hurt in DUI crashes may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages. These are typically measured by several factors, such as one’s inability to perform certain activities and/or functions after the accident, as well as the level of treatment the individual is required to receive to live on a day-to-day basis.
In DUI cases involving someone’s death, the victims’ families can seek wrongful death damages. The amount can be substantial, especially in cases in which the accident victim was the primary breadwinner. Such compensation is typically sought by the spouse of the deceased or the parents, depending on the situation.
In Florida DUI cases, punitive damages are available to those hurt by intoxicated or impaired drivers. Such damages are intended to punish the driver for his or her reckless, negligent, or otherwise illegal behavior. It is important to note that while punitive damages may be limited in wrongful death and personal injury cases, in drunk driving cases where injuries or death have occurred, there are no limits on the amount that can be awarded under Florida law.
Hurt in a Drunk Driving Accident? Let Our Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorneys Help
If you have been hurt in a DUI-related crash or have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, help is available. Our Fort Myers DUI accident attorneys are available to help you with your case and ensure your legal rights are protected. Contact Attorney Randall L. Spivey at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. online for immediate assistance or call 239-337-7483 or 888-477-4839.