Drunk-Driving Car Accidents
Many drivers make poor decisions about when and how to operate their vehicles. Among the most common of these is the decision to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which is illegal under Florida law. Victims of car crashes caused by a drunk driver can hold that driver accountable for his or her actions by pursuing a personal injury action. If you have been harmed by someone driving under the influence, you should discuss your situation with the seasoned Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. We can help investigate your specific circumstances and suggest the best way for you to proceed with your case.DUI Has Become a Pervasive Danger in Florida
Driving under the influence (DUI) is responsible for a large proportion of car crashes. In Florida, a DUI is defined as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, or driving in any situation in which alcohol or drugs impair the driver’s faculties. Individuals who chose to operate their vehicles with that level of alcohol in their blood caused nearly 10,000 deaths across the United States in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More specifically, 29 percent of traffic fatalities in Florida that year involved drivers who had a BAC of .08 or higher. This was significantly higher than the national average, suggesting that the problem is especially severe in Florida.Holding a DUI Driver Liable for Injuries
If you were harmed by a drunk driver, you can pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. While most of these lawsuits are based on a negligence claim, there are some special rules that are applicable to car accidents caused by DUI driving.
Proving negligence requires the victim of a crash to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached the duty, and caused the victim’s injuries through the breach. When a victim sues a driver convicted of a DUI, it is easier to succeed in making this showing. The theory of negligence per se states that any person will be automatically presumed to have breached a duty if he or she broke a law designed to protect a certain group of people from a certain type of harm. The Florida law prohibiting drunk driving is designed to protect other people on the road from injury. Thus, someone who is convicted of a DUI is presumed to have acted negligently if the DUI driving resulted in the victim’s injury. In these situations, the victim does not need to show that the driver owed them a duty and breached it.
Sometimes a driver convicted of a DUI will be unable to pay compensation for the injuries that he or she has caused. If you are worried that this might happen, you may want to file a claim against the person or establishment who supplied alcohol to the driver. Florida dram shop laws allow you to hold that individual or establishment liable under a negligence claim if you can prove that they knowingly served alcohol to someone who is addicted to it. You also can pursue a claim based on dram shop laws if the drunk driver who caused your accident was under 21, and a person or establishment intentionally supplied the driver with alcohol.Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving
If you were harmed in an accident caused by a DUI driver, you may be able to get damages for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. You should be aware that you must file a personal injury action within four years of the date that the accident occurred. In some cases, close relatives of a person who died in a car accident can file a wrongful death action to recover compensation. These claims must be started within two years of the crash to protect your rights.Discuss Your Case With Miami Car Crash Lawyers
The knowledgeable Miami vehicle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are ready to help you aggressively pursue compensation if you have been harmed by another person’s drunk driving. We believe strongly in helping ordinary people protect their rights against those who have injured them. Even if you are not sure whether you have a claim, we will be happy to explore your options in an initial consultation at no cost to you. We serve clients throughout Florida from four offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando. Please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up a conversation with our lawyers.