CDC statistics show that more than 10,000 people die in car accidents that involve a drunk driver every year. It’s approximately 30% of all road traffic fatalities in the United States. It is horrifying that 110 million Americans annually admit to driving while intoxicated. In the case of Florida, there were 746 alcohol, drug, or combination-related deaths in that state in 2020, a 33% decrease from 2019. You can contact a car accident lawyer in the Nunez law firm to get professional assistance.
Punishment for bodily injury
Florida’s «no-fault» insurance law provides that victims of drunk driving can count on compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory (economic) damages are the most common in a personal injury lawsuit. These include:
- material damage;
- medical bills;
- lost wages;
- loss of future income potential;
- loss of pleasure from life, etc.
Penalties are not as common in drunk driving cases but may be available. These damages are awarded to punish the party at fault for gross negligence or illegal actions that led to the accident.
How to start litigation?
Florida is enacting strict laws to protect the public to reduce drunk driving accidents. It began with establishing a statutory blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for all drivers. Blood alcohol content can be determined with the help of a breathalyzer or blood test. Once you can prove that the person in question was drunk, this confirms his guilt. Therefore, intoxicated victims of road traffic accidents almost always file an injury claim.
What to do if a drunk driver injures you?
Suppose you have been the victim of an accident involved by a drunk driver; you first need to seek medical attention. Once you are safe, you need to get in touch with an injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if the case seems simple at first glance, your rights should be defended by an experienced lawyer.
Florida’s «no-fault» insurance law requires a person injured in an accident to complete their PIP insurance policy. Such a policy covers 80% of medical bills up to $10,000 and a portion of lost wages.
Anyone injured in an accident and suffering a «serious injury» can file a separate claim for damages under the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy. These policies often have higher coverage limits, over $10,000, pay for the remainder of medical expenses, and may include compensation for suffering.
In the next step, try to gather as much evidence as possible. However, you never know what might happen. The state may lose a blood test; an officer may not want to testify about field sobriety tests, etc.
Therefore, you should collect a lot of evidence. It includes photos of the scene of the accident, your vehicle, and your injuries. Get witness statements and ask them to write them down.