In 2020, almost 750 people died on Florida’s roads and highways due to car accidents caused by drunk drivers. Many other Florida motorists suffered serious and permanent injuries as a result of drivers whose abilities were impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Florida is a No-Fault insurance state, but that does not prevent someone who suffered serious injuries from suing the intoxicated driver. The car accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo in Boca Raton can answer your questions about your right and opportunity to file a lawsuit to collect damages from a drunk driver that are more than your No-Fault insurance.
By law and custom, every motorist is obligated to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner. Drugs and alcohol impair a person’s driving ability, and anyone who drives while impaired has breached that obligation. On Florida’s Treasure Coast, a drunk driving accident lawyer in Boca Raton can show that another driver was intoxicated with evidence that might include:
You can best protect your right to recover the largest available damages award when you retain an experienced Boca Raton car accident attorney.
Florida requires all drivers to maintain at least $10,000 of personal injury protection (“PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance on each vehicle that they register in the state. When a drunk driver causes an accident, the costs of your losses and injuries can quickly exceed the limits of your PIP and PDL coverage. Further, your own insurance will likely not cover your losses associated with your pain and suffering and other non-economic injuries. When you retain a drunk driving accident attorney in Boca Raton, they will aggressively pursue all sources of recovery, including the drunk driver’s insurance carrier.
The insurance company that covers the drunk driver might offer a quick car accident settlement. It is an attempt to resolve the matter before you assess the full magnitude of your losses and injuries. However, when you settle your case, liability insurers will require you to sign a release that waives your right and opportunity to pursue any additional recovery.
You have, generally, four years after your accident to file your negligence lawsuit in Florida, or two years to file a wrongful death action. To avoid any chance that you might settle your case for less than you deserve, you should retain a DUI accident lawyer long before these deadlines approach and direct that lawyer to act as your advocate with liability insurers.
An injured drunk driver might argue that you caused the accident even if the evidence clearly shows that they were impaired. The facts of the accident will ultimately determine the relative fault of each party. Under Florida’s comparative negligence standard, you can still recover damages proportionate to your fault. For example, if you suffered $500,000 in total damages, but a jury determines that you were 20% at fault for causing an accident, your recovery will be reduced by 20% to $400,000.
Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time. As a result, drunk driving car accidents often happen at higher speeds and with a more direct impact. It is not unusual for drivers and passengers to suffer:
These injuries can lead to permanent disabilities that impose a severe hardship on you and your family.
Florida wrongful death lawsuits are a special form of personal injury action that a deceased party’s personal representative can file to recover damages for matters such as
In certain drunk driving cases that result in another party’s death, a Florida prosecutor may bring criminal charges for manslaughter and other felonies. The standards for proving that a drunk driver was criminally liable are much higher than the proof required to demonstrate civil liability for wrongful death. Further, criminal charges will not address or resolve civil liability. If a beloved friend or family member dies in a drunk driving accident, you can and should file a wrongful death civil lawsuit.
A person whose blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher will face DUI charges in Florida. That limit is reduced to 0.04% if the driver is operating a commercial truck or another similar vehicle. A driver charged with a DUI will face criminal penalties that increase with every DUI charge. Those criminal penalties are in addition to the civil liability that a drunk driver will face for an injured party’s damages.
Florida also has an “implied consent” law that requires drivers who have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence to submit to blood, urine, or breath tests. The results of those tests are frequently a key piece of evidence in a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver.
Despite years of public service ads and law enforcement actions, some motorists continue to pose a threat to other drivers by operating their vehicles while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The DUI accident attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo believe that holding drunk drivers fully accountable for their actions is one of the best ways to continue to combat drunk driving In Florida.
Our lawyers have fought to recover damages for injured Florida motorists for more than 28 years. Please call our Boca Raton headquarters office or any of our satellite offices in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Stuart, or Delray as soon as possible after you have suffered injuries in an accident with an impaired driver. We will fight tirelessly to recover the largest compensation available for your losses and injuries.