Despite the well-documented and highly publicized risks of driving while intoxicated and despite the legal consequences people face if they are arrested for DUI, many people still decide to get behind the wheel after they have partaken in alcohol or drugs. And the results are often deadly.
In 2015, over 10,000 people in America died in traffic accidents involving a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Thousands more sustained serious injuries. Victims of serious drunk driving accidents and family members of those who have lost their lives in drunk driving accidents have the right to pursue recovery for their losses from the drunk driver. For help with your claim, call a drunk driving accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Call Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. today at 954-524-2820 for a free consultation to learn more.
Florida allows regular sobriety checkpoints, enforces tough drunk driving laws, and funds massive media campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving. Still, drunk driving accidents are prevalent. Even one accident is one too many. In 2015, 31,718 people were arrested in Florida for DUI, reports the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). But this figure represents only those who were caught by law enforcement.
It is impossible to drive safely while under the influence. Alcohol affects judgment, depth perception, reaction time, mental functioning, and motor skills. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FHSMV) statistics show that on average, there were 16,400 alcohol-related accidents in 2015. That is an average of 45 accidents each day. It is definitely a cause for public concern.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, in addition to using your own insurance, you have the right to file a claim against the driver and pursue financial compensation for your financial, physical, and emotional losses. Likewise, family members of people killed by drunk drivers have the right to file a wrongful death claim to recoup their financial losses.
Note: The personal injury or wrongful death claim you file is separate from and has no bearing on any criminal charges the defendant may be facing.
We are passionate about helping accident victims with their legal needs during these challenging times. Our investigation skills, diverse background, legal strategies, and determination are of great benefit to our clients. Our attorneys will fight diligently to secure the highest settlement or verdict we can for you, so that you can receive the best in care and ensure you are able to provide for your family.
There are three types of damages you can recover if you win your drunk driving accident case:
Special damages: Special damages are awards for your monetary losses. These are the expenses and losses that are easily calculable using bills and receipts. Examples include current and future medical bills, lost wages, transportation expenses for your medical care, medical devices and assistive aids, and the cost of household services.
General damages: General damages are the intangible losses you suffer that do not have a fixed dollar amount. Examples include pain & suffering, loss of opportunities, the effects of your injuries on your marriage and relationships, inability to carry out daily tasks, and lost enjoyment in life.
Punitive damages: Judges sometimes award punitive damages to victims to punish the defendant for drinking and driving. Punitive damages are for cases in which the wrongdoer was particularly careless or reckless, or showed wanton disregard. DUI typically fits this description. Punitive damage awards you receive are in addition to your general and special damage awards.
There are dozens of expenses and losses you may be able to recover. Start collecting all of your bills and receipts related to your accident. You will need them to support your case. The more thorough you are when listing your losses and expenses, the more your potential settlement will be.
CAUTION: Online settlement calculators are insufficient and do not provide an accurate estimate of the full value of a drunk driving case. We work with experts to determine an accurate estimate of your claim.
Your top priority after an accident is your physical health and safety. Once you have received medical attention, you need to start gathering evidence. Put all the evidence you gathered at the scene (e.g., photos, the other driver’s information, police report) in a folder and keep it in a safe place.
Report your accident to your insurer. Take care when reporting; do not admit fault and do not brush off your injuries. Both of these could jeopardize your claim.
Once you have reported your accident, run your case by one of our personal injury lawyers to make sure you understand your rights and what the claims process entails. Even when the other driver is clearly at fault due to DUI, the insurance company may try to use tactics to reduce the value of your claim, such as minimizing the severity of your injuries or trying to apportion partial blame onto you.
Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can assist with all aspects of your claim, protect your rights, and ensure the other driver’s insurance company does not take advantage of you. We offer our legal services on a contingency basis, which means we do not collect legal fees unless we win your case. You can have the benefit of a having a legal advocate without any financial risk on your part.
Call our office at 954-524-2820 to schedule a free consultation.