The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 30 people die every day in drunk-driving collisions. While the number of drunk driving-related fatalities has steadily decreased over the last 30 years, these crashes still result in more than 10,000 deaths every year. Additionally, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that 57 percent of fatally injured drivers had alcohol or drugs in their system.
If a person recklessly chooses to get behind the wheel after drinking and harms you in a car accident, you can pursue compensation for the damages you sustained. A Miami drunk driving accident lawyer from Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can review the circumstances of your collision and explain if you have a viable claim. Call us today at (305) 944-2035 to get started.
Higher Levels of Blood Alcohol Concentration Impairs Your Driving Abilities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list predictable driving impairments at different blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. These impairments include:
- .02% BAC: Decline in visual functions and ability to perform two driving tasks at the same time
- .05% BAC: Decreased coordination, lowered visual ability to track a moving object, difficulty with steering, and reduced reaction response to potential accidents
- .08% BAC: Difficulty with concentrating, short-term memory loss, difficulty with controlling speed, reduced ability to process information about traffic signals, difficulty with seeing clearly
- .10% BAC: Problems with coordination, slowed thinking, reduced ability to stay in the same lane, reduced ability to brake appropriately
- .15% BAC: Substantial impairment in the ability to control the vehicle, pay attention to driving, and process visual and auditory information
Because of these potential effects, people should avoid driving if they have consumed any alcohol.
Florida Laws Prohibit Drunk Driving
Some important laws regarding drunk driving in Florida include:
Impairment of Normal Faculties
Florida Statute § 316.1934 criminalizes the act of being in actual physical control of a vehicle when your normal faculties are impaired. Normal faculties include the ability to:
- Make judgments
- Judge distances
- Act in emergencies
- Perform mental and physical acts of daily life
If the driver tests with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or more, Florida Statute § 316.1934 also presumes that the driver’s normal faculties are impaired.
Dram Shop Laws
Florida Statute § 768.125 expresses the state’s dram shop law, which lets a personal injury victim pursue compensation against a bartender, liquor store owner, social host, or another party who provided alcohol to an underage person or someone habitually addicted to alcohol.
Victims May Be Able to Collect Damages in a Florida Drunk Driving Case
Drunk driving accidents tend to cause substantial damage because they often occur at higher speed rates, causing a more significant collision impact. Additionally, drunk drivers might try to flee the scene, which can cause delays in naming the liable party if the victim does not know who caused the accident.
Because drunk driving is an illegal activity, victims may be able to receive compensatory and punitive damages, which are:
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the victim for the damages they sustained. Some damages may be easier to quantify, such as:
- Costs to repair or replace your vehicle or other damaged personal property
- Medical expenses, such as for ambulance rides, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, and physical therapy
- Lost wages and benefits that would have been earned had the victim not been injured
Other expenses that are not as easy to quantify but may still be available to compensate victims are:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical disfigurement
Punitive damages may also be awarded in drunk driving accident cases. Florida Statute § 768.72 permits punitive damages to be awarded in cases that show a person’s willful and wanton disregard for others’ safety, which may be present in drunk driving cases.
Contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers to find out what damages may be available for your claim. When you hire us, you will work directly with one of our founding partners. Call us at (305) 944-2035 today.
Our Personal Injury Team Offers Multiple Services to Help Build Your Case
Our personal injury lawyers can provide vital legal assistance to you when you need it most. We will:
Complete a Thorough Investigation
We will investigate the underlying factors that contributed to your accident, including any effect intoxication had on it. According to MADD, the average drunk driver operates a motor vehicle under the influence more than 80 times before getting arrested for the first time.
Also, 50 to 75 percent of people convicted of drunk driving and who have a suspended license continue to drive during their suspension. We can investigate if the driver had a documented history of an alcohol problem and was already on a suspended license at the time of the collision.
Determine All Potential Sources of Compensation
Our team can also determine whether other parties may be held liable for a drunk driving accident, such as a bartender who provided alcohol to a known alcoholic or a social host who provided alcohol to an underage drinker.
MADD reports that approximately 25 percent of motor vehicle accidents with teens involve an underage drinking driver, and more than 40 percent of 10th graders admit to drinking alcohol. When people choose to blatantly disobey the law, you may want to have an advocate on your side who can hold them accountable for their actions.
Better Assess Damages
If you have never been injured in a car accident before, you might not know right away how a single accident can alter your future. Our lawyers are familiar with the toll that a drunk driving accident can have on our clients. We may identify all of your damages to prepare an accurate estimate of the long-term effects of your injuries.
Manage Your Claim
A personal injury lawyer can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If a fair settlement is not reached, your lawyer may litigate the case.
Contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today
If you or your loved one was injured by a drunk driver, a Miami drunk driving accident lawyer from Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can investigate your accident and the factors that contributed to it.
We work on a contingency fee basis. You can learn more about pursuing a civil claim related to your drunk driving accident in a free initial consultation with a member of our team. Do not wait to get the help you need. Contact us today at (305) 944-2035 to learn more.