Drugged Driving Accidents
A driver who decides to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs endangers everyone on the road, including passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Drugged driving is a prevalent problem and one that has led to an increasing number of severe accidents. The Miami car accidents at the Law Offices are dedicated to holding careless and reckless drivers liable for the injuries that they cause. Our firm works tirelessly in fighting for the compensation to which our clients may be entitled from parties responsible for their injuries.Taking Legal Action after a Drugged Driving Accident
When discussing the dangers of driving under the influence (DUI), the thought usually goes to drivers who are intoxicated by alcohol. However, drug-related collisions are just as common, and just as dangerous, as those caused by a driver impaired by alcohol. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV), drug-related accidents are increasing. The FDHSMV reported that in 2011, there were 1,995 crashes related to drugs statewide, a 60 percent increase from the previous year. In these accidents, 190 fatalities were reported. Prescription drugs as well as illegal narcotics may be at issue in drugged driving situations. Drugged drivers are even more dangerous at night, when decreased visibility as well as high levels of intoxication lead to impaired judgment, slower reaction time, and other factors involved in these types of collisions.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a drugged driver, you may be entitled to damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In these claims, a plaintiff must show that a defendant was negligent, which means that the victim was owed a duty of reasonable care, and this duty was breached by the defendant’s actions, causing the plaintiff’s injuries and resulting damages. In the case of a drugged driver, a defendant often may be held liable under a simplified legal theory of negligence, known as negligence per se. This principle holds a defendant accountable for being “negligent as a matter of law,” which means he or she was found in violation of a penal statute that was enacted in order to protect people like the victim.
Florida law makes it illegal for drivers to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. This statute was enacted to protect motorists, pedestrians, and other road users from injuries caused by a drugged driver. If a driver has been convicted of a DUI causing injuries, he or she would be negligent as a matter of law, and therefore the plaintiff would not need to prove the duty and breach elements of the claim in order to receive damages.
Even without a criminal conviction, an injured plaintiff may still recover civil damages if he or she can show that a drugged driver acted negligently. Damages available to victims who sustain injuries in a drugged driving accident may include past and future medical costs, lost earning capacity, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and pain and suffering. In the devastating event that a drugged driving crash causes a tragic death, certain family members may bring a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium.Enlist a Miami Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a crash caused by a drugged driver, the Miami car accident attorneys at the Law Offices can help you preserve and assert your legal rights. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. We represent victims throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other cities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.