Drunk and impaired motorists are one of the major threats on the roads of Lakeland. These drivers lack the capacity to operate a motor vehicle safely. When they cause accidents with other drivers, they typically face criminal charges. However, they might also face a civil lawsuit based on the harm they caused to the other parties in the collision.
If you were hurt in an accident with an impaired motorist, you deserve justice. You have the right to seek compensation based on your injuries, and you do not have to take on that task alone. Let a Lakeland drunk driving accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo help you pursue the financial award you deserve.
What counts as drunk driving in Lakeland?
Like all states, Florida outlaws the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is a criminal offense to drive drunk, and there are two ways the state can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. These include:
- The motorist had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, or
- The motorist was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Most of these criminal prosecutions are based on breath, blood, or urine tests that show a BAC above the legal limit. However, the state does pursue charges when the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing.
In order for a prosecutor to show that a motorist was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they must be able to show that the person was deprived of their full possession of normal faculties. This usually involves evidence of careless driving, slurred speech, or admissions of drinking.
It is important to understand that criminal cases and civil cases are different. Criminal cases involve offenses against the state and can result in criminal penalties, while civil cases involve disputes between private parties and seek compensation or other remedies. You have an opportunity to file a civil lawsuit and seek damages regardless of the outcome of a criminal trial. That said, a conviction could be used as proof of negligence in your personal injury lawsuit.
What to do after being involved in a drunk driving accident
If you are involved in a collision with an impaired motorist, the steps you take following the crash are important. Your actions could improve your chances of fully recovering from your injuries or pursuing a civil suit against the other driver. Missteps could also have dire consequences for your financial recovery.
1. Contact law enforcement immediately
Your first phone call should be to the police. This is true for any motor vehicle collision that involves bodily injuries or serious property damage. However, it is vital that police arrive at the scene right away if you suspect the other motorist is impaired. The police can conduct an investigation that could provide you with invaluable evidence of negligence if an arrest is ultimately made.
2. Seek medical care as soon as possible
If you were hurt, you should see a doctor right away. If your injuries are serious, you may need emergency treatment at the scene of the crash. While emergency medical care is important, it is vital that you follow any recommendations made by your physician. Following your treatment plan could improve your health and strengthen your case for compensation if you file a lawsuit against the drunk driver.
3. Contact an attorney
Your best chance of securing fair compensation from a drunk driver is with the help of experienced legal counsel. A car accident lawyer from our firm could pursue fair compensation on your behalf. The right attorney could protect your rights and help you pursue the damages you deserve.
Why should I pursue legal action in Lakeland?
If you were injured by a drunk driver, the chances are good that expenses are mounting. You could be weighed down by medical debt while also being physically unable to work. What’s more, there are other costs—both financial and emotional—that can come with these accidents. When you file a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver, you could be entitled to recover the following compensation:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Diminished future earnings
Let Kogan & DiSalvo Win You the Compensation You Deserve
Our team of attorneys can help you with any type of collision with a drunk driver, from a rear-end collision to a head-on accident. If you are ready to discuss your legal options, call Kogan & DiSalvo today for a free consultation with our Lakeland drunk driving accident lawyers.