Drinking and driving is illegal in all 50 states; however, it continues at an alarming rate. Even though there has been a reduction of 50 percent since the inception of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980, impaired driving still claims more lives than any other non-medical cause of death in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 32 people tragically die in DUI crashes every day, on average, 1 every 45 minutes.
Victims of DUI accidents in Florida are spouses, children, parents, and dependent family members. These loved ones can hold an at-fault driver legally responsible. They have rights.
At-fault Driver Liability
DUI accident victims can recover compensation for their losses by filing a civil lawsuit against the impaired driver, whether it is alcohol impairment or drug impairment. Florida’s personal injury civil lawsuits are used to make victims whole by awarding compensation to them for accident-related losses in the form of monetary compensation.
Burden of Proof
DUI accident victims are required to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that it is more likely than not that the defendant was under the influence at the time the accident occurred. Plaintiffs need to prove that:
- The accused side owed a duty of care to the victim.
- The accused breached the duty.
- The breach led to the incident harming the victim.
- The victim suffered harm such as injuries and/or expenses.
Some of the specific evidence that can be used in providing proof are:
- On-scene breathalyzer test results
- Police reports
- Law enforcement officers’ testimony
- Witness testimony
- Photos of the scene
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Video from any security or traffic cameras
DUI accident victims who provide this evidence can be entitled to wrongful death damages on their loved one’s behalf or compensation for their injuries.
Wrongful Death Damages
Fort Myers Wrongful Death Attorney Randall Spivey encourages accident victims to contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. immediately after an accident. Spivey Law aggressively fights for family rights and has obtained substantial wrongful death settlements in Florida, for such items as:
- Victim’s medical bills
- Victim’s lost income and benefits
- Victim’s pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
- Surviving family members’ emotional trauma and loss of companionship
Personal Injury Damages
A DUI accident victim can receive compensation for, but not limited to, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.
- Loss of wages – Many accident victims can seek financial recourse for missed work because of their injuries, including time off for medical treatments and physical therapy. If the victim sustains permanent injuries, wages that could have been made over the victim’s lifetime can be considered.
- Medical care cost – Present and future medical expenses may be compensated. This can include payments for medical care for the rest of the victim’s life.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Florida’s statute of limitations as of 2023 relating to personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit in civil court. Should accident victims fail to do so within this specific time frame, the case may be dismissed, and compensation may not be recovered.
Florida Personal Injury Law Firm Aggressively Protects DUI Accident Victims and Their Families
Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident because of the negligence of another, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. immediately after seeking medical attention. Contact us 24/7 at 239.337.7483, toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or online at SpiveyLaw.com. There are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you.