You could make all the right decisions as a driver and still become a victim of a drunk driving accident. Following the rules of the road, wearing a seatbelt, and being a defensive driver are all good precautions to take when you get behind the wheel. Nevertheless, when a drunk motorist gets behind the wheel, even the most cautious drivers are at risk. If you or someone you love have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, call Prosper Shaked at (305) 694-2676 and find out if you are entitled to damages for your injuries.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Florida
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that between 2003-2012, there were 8,476 people who were killed by drunk drivers in the State of Florida. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also reported that between the years 2014 and 2016, alcohol was a factor in 16,405 crashes of which there were 9,869 confirmed injuries and 1,428 confirmed fatalities.
Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and it puts not only the driver, but also drivers and pedestrians in the vicinity at risk for bodily injuries and death. Miami is a fast-paced city, and when you are young and feel invincible, it seems like no big deal to take this sort of risk. Life can change in an instant, and when people repeatedly roll the dice and drive drunk, they put themselves and everyone around them in harm’s way.
Being injured by a drunk driver can bring on a mix of emotions. Anger, sadness, frustration, and hopelessness are all common feelings that injured people have felt after this type of accident. It is also normal to feel stress and anxiety over medical expenses and lost earnings while you are physically and mentally recovering from your injuries. The best thing you can do for yourself at this time is to be proactive and retain the legal services of an experienced Miami drunk driving accident lawyer. You may be entitled to damages for your injuries, and a skilled personal injury attorney can help you develop a game plan to maximize your chances of financial recovery.
Can I Sue a Drunk Driver Who Hit Me?
When someone is hit by a drunk driver, it can be confusing trying to figure out what legal claims might be available to pursue. Driving under the influence can be both a criminal and civil offense if the driver injured a person or damaged property. When a driver is charged with a DUI, they are prosecuted by the state. This is a criminal conviction that can result in harsh fines and penalties. If someone is injured by a drunk driver in a car accident, that person can sue the drunk driver in civil court for damages.
The standard of proof for proving that a driver was drunk is higher in criminal court than it is in civil court. Thus, even if a driver is found not guilty of criminal DUI charges, that person can still be held liable in civil court. The burden of proof in Florida civil courts is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard which is easier to prove than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that is applied in criminal cases.
How Do I File a Lawsuit for Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver?
Typically, parties who are injured in accident caused by drunk drivers sue the other for negligence. In order to succeed on a theory of negligence, an injured party must prove 4 essential elements. They elements are:
- The drunk driver owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The drunk driver breached the legal duty of care that was owed;
- The drunk driver’s breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages.
Florida is a Pure Comparative Negligence state. This means that even if a court found that a plaintiff was partially at fault in a car accident case, he or she is still able to recover damages for injuries. The amount of damages that plaintiffs can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is apportioned to them. For example, a plaintiff is hit by a drunk driver and suffers $100,000 in damages. A court finds that the plaintiff was 20% at fault for the car accident. Therefore, the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by $20,000 and the plaintiff will ultimately collect $80,000 in damages.
Miami Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, do not wait any longer to contact a Miami car accident attorney. Prosper Shaked is intimately familiar with both the criminal and civil process of a DUI prosecution as he has handled dozens of DUIs with injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones and even death. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA offer legal services to drunk driving accident victims and fight tenaciously for them to receive the recovery they deserve. Call Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 to speak to a drunk driving accident lawyer you can trust.