It is impossible to estimate the number of lives lost due to the decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. While a drunk driver may face criminal charges, a person seriously injured in a crash may file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, which is heard in civil court. In 2022, there were 5,746 drunk driving accidents in the Sunshine State.
A DUI accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo could help you receive the compensation you deserve from the negligent party. Our legal team will work diligently to build a strong claim and fight to recover the financial resources needed to get your life back on track. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Delray Beach
After a car accident, always call 911 right away. Check if you, the other driver, or any passengers are injured. Get yourself and others off the roadway and to a safer place. Never leave the scene of an accident, which is against the law.
Collect as much information and evidence as possible if you are physically able. Take photos of the accident scene and any visible injuries. In addition, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Note if they appear intoxicated or you smell alcohol on them. If there are witnesses to the crash, obtain their names and contact information.
Head to a hospital or urgent care facility immediately, even if you feel fine. Injuries, even serious ones, are masked by the adrenaline that floods your body. Failure to seek prompt medical attention endangers your health and can negatively affect a personal injury lawsuit. You must report the accident to your insurance company. However, do not agree to any settlement of your claim before consulting a lawyer.
Understanding Drunk Driving Laws in Florida
In Florida, 0.08 is the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) legal limit. Driving at or above that limit can result in charges of driving while intoxicated.
When it comes to civil lawsuits, circumstantial evidence of intoxication is permitted in court. Such evidence may include the amount of time the driver spent drinking in bars or restaurants in the hours leading up to the crash or fleeing the scene after the collision.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
Under Florida’s dram shop law, a third party may prove liable for providing alcohol to the intoxicated driver. Under state statutes–anyone who knowingly serves alcohol to someone under 21 or a person known to have addiction issues–may find themselves liable for the injuries the drunk driver inflicted on others.
However, the dram shop liability law only affects bars and restaurants. It does not pertain to liquor or grocery stores. In addition, social hosts are also excluded from the dram shop liability law. If the drunk driver who hit you consumed excessive amounts of alcohol at a private party, the host is not liable–even if they permitted them to continue imbibing.
Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
A drunk driving accident can cause severe and permanent injuries. Common drunk driving accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
If the drunk driving accident victim succumbs to their injuries, the personal representative of their estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members.
What a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Do For You
When a drunk driver upends your life and causes severe injury, you need legal help. An attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo could fight for your rights and identify all responsible parties, which could also include the bar that served an intoxicated person.
Dealing with an insurance company yourself will generally put you at a disadvantage. Typically, insurers want to settle claims quickly and cheaply. It is their business model. Hiring a skilled lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company improves your ability to receive a fair settlement based on your injuries and prognosis. They may take the case to court if the insurance company fails to agree to a reasonable settlement.
Finally, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida has recently changed. You must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident date. It is critical to consult a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can begin investigating your case before crucial evidence, such as surveillance video, disappears.
What Compensation is Available?
Compensation, or damages, in a car accident lawsuit resulting from drunk driving may include economic damages.
Economic damages include the following:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are more subjective and include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
Contact a Delray Beach Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries from a drunk driver, you need the services of an experienced Delray Beach car accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay no fee unless you receive compensation. We serve all of Palm Beach County.