Suing a Drunk Driver in Florida
Driving under the influence (DUI), is a serious criminal offense in all 50 states including Florida.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs can severely impair a driver’s ability to control their vehicle and is extremely dangerous. In many cases, driving impaired by alcohol and drugs can lead to serious personal injury and death. Over 25% of traffic deaths in Florida involve at least one intoxicated driver.
In addition to criminal action being taken against intoxicated drivers, injured people or the family members of those incapacitated or killed in DUI-related accidents can sue for damages.
The Role of Alcohol
Before exploring the issue of suing the at-fault party in a DUI accident, it’s important to understand how alcohol affects accident statistics. Alcohol abuse is the number one cause of DUI-related accidents and has led to the widely-used term “drunk driving”. Different people respond differently to alcohol at different times. Because of this, it is not possible to determine how many units of alcohol need to be drunk before a driver officially can be said to be too intoxicated to drive. To legally be considered too drunk to drive under Florida law, a driver must be proven to have their normal faculties impaired at the time of driving or be tested at an alcohol breath level of .08% or above.
According to the official statistics of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2018 there were:
- 5,106 accidents involving a confirmed drunk driver
- 2,984 confirmed cases of injury in alcohol-related auto accidents
- 352 alcohol related crashes that led to a death
In other words, alcohol led to nearly one auto accident death per day in the state of Florida in 2018. Of these, 17 occurred in Miami-Dade County, 15 in Palm Beach County, 10 in Broward County and 3 in Monroe County (the Florida Keys).
Personal Injury Law and Alcohol
You can take legal action if you or a completely incapacited relative has been injured in a drunk driving accident or if a deceased relative has been killed in an accident involving a drunk driver. In order to have a case, you must show that the other driver acted or failed to act in a way that proves they were negligent. Since being a drunk driver is considered negligence in itself, you are very likely to have a powerful case when bringing a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver.
Alcohol led to nearly one auto accident death per day in the state of Florida …
Alcohol and the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies have a vested interest in paying as little as possible when a claim is made. Because of this, there is a likelihood that the legal team of the insurance company will obscure or downplay the fact that the covered driver was drunk at the time of the accident. Another tactic used by insurance companies is to attempt to settle for a much smaller amount than is appropriate. This is settled “out of court” in situations where the insurance company knows that a judge and jury would rule that they owe far more. Beware of these tactics and schemes used by insurance companies acting in bad faith. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who understands “big insurance” and knows how to beat them at their game.
If you or a loved one has experienced injury or incapacitation or if a loved one was killed due to a drunk driver, call Jared Newman from the Personal Injury offices of South Florida law on (954) 900-8885. You can also upload your evidence into our contact form for use to evaluate your case.
Jared Newman, Esq. is a seasoned attorney at South Florida Law, with an emphasis in Personal Injury Law. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Florida. Mr. Newman attended and received his Juris Doctorate from the South Houston College of Law.
Mr. Newman understands insurance companies tactics and has the experience to counter them. This background allows South Florida law to fight smart against the Big Insurance Companies. If necessary, we are prepared to meet insurance companies in court and recover the compensation you deserve.