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The Summer Holidays Are Here: What You Need to Do If You're Involved in an Accident with a Drunk Driver

May 17, 2023 | Category: DUI Accidents | Share

Each summer, tens of millions of people visit Florida on vacation. Many of these people plan their vacations to coincide with the summer holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

While such tourism is good for Florida’s economy, it isn’t so good for Florida’s roads. Popular vacation areas experience heavy summer traffic, and, unfortunately, many experience an increase in drunk drivers as well. If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, knowing how to protect your legal rights is important. Fort Myers car accident attorney Randall L. Spivey provides some helpful information below.

Protecting Your Legal Rights as the Victim of a Summer DUI Accident in Florida

When you get hit by a drunk driver, you hope that the driver will get arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Drunk driving is a serious offense, and individuals who choose to drive drunk deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But, while a DUI prosecution can lead to fines and jail time, the consequences of a conviction do not include compensating victims for their accident-related losses. Instead, to recover their losses, DUI accident victims must pursue civil claims outside of the criminal justice system.

Obtaining Auto Insurance Coverage for a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida

For many drunk driving accident victims, recovering their losses starts with filing an auto insurance claim (or perhaps multiple auto insurance claims). While filing a civil lawsuit will be necessary in some cases, the vast majority of successful claims are resolved through out-of-court insurance settlements.

Unfortunately, Florida does not require most drivers to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance. This is the insurance that covers accident victims when an insured driver causes an accident. Instead, Florida has a “no-fault” insurance system that only requires drivers to carry minimal insurance coverage. Even so, many drivers choose to buy liability insurance to protect themselves, out-of-state drivers may have liability insurance under their states’ auto insurance laws, and you may have coverage that you can use to increase the amount of your financial recovery.

When it comes to auto insurance, the options you may have available after a drunk driving accident in Florida include the following:

1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is mandatory in Florida. So, if you live in Florida and have auto insurance, you have PIP.

PIP is “no-fault” insurance, meaning you can file a claim regardless of who was at fault in your car accident. This coverage is also available regardless of the severity of your injuries. However, PIP coverage limits are usually relatively low (the required coverage amount is $10,000 in Florida), and PIP only covers medical expenses and lost wages.

2. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)

Even though it isn’t mandatory in Florida, many drivers choose to purchase BIL insurance. Additionally, BIL insurance is mandatory in several other states. If you were hit by a drunk driver who has BIL insurance, you can (and should) hire a Fort Myers car accident attorney to help you file a claim under his or her insurance policy.

3. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM)

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance is also optional in Florida. But, if you have this optional coverage, filing a UIM claim could be your best option after a drunk driving accident. When you file a UIM claim, you are dealing with your own insurance company, and you can seek coverage up to your policy limit for all of your accident-related losses.

To clarify, these are the main types of auto insurance that cover injury-related costs after a drunk driving accident. Florida law requires all drivers to carry property damage liability insurance (which covers vehicle damage), and if you have collision coverage under your auto insurance policy, you may be able to use this to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle as well.

Regardless of the claim (or claims) you need to file, it is important to have an experienced accident attorney on your side. While it may be obvious that the drunk driver is to blame for your crash, you still need to present proof that you are entitled to coverage. You also need to prove how much you are entitled to recover, and this requires a clear understanding of both the long-term costs of your injuries and Florida’s personal injury laws.

Filing a Claim Outside of Auto Insurance After a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida

In addition to filing one or more auto insurance claims, you may also have the right to file a claim outside of auto insurance after a drunk driving accident. Your ability to file a claim outside of auto insurance (if any) depends heavily on the facts of your particular case. Some examples of potential claims include:

  • A claim against a bar or restaurant that overserved the drunk driver
  • A claim against a social host who provided the driver with access to alcohol
  • A claim against the drunk driver’s employer (if the drunk driver was working at the time of the accident)
  • A claim against a rideshare company (if the drunk driver was logged in or providing a ride at the time of the accident)
  • A claim against a government agency, road contractor, vehicle manufacturer, dealership, or repair shop (if an issue with the road or one of the vehicles involved in your collision played a role in the crash)

To determine which claim (or claims) you can file for your drunk driving accident in Florida, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. for a Free Consultation with Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey

Fort Myers car accident attorney Randall L. Spivey has extensive experience helping victims and their families recover just compensation in Florida. To discuss your case with Mr. Spivey in confidence as soon as possible, please call 888-477-4839 or reach us online now at

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