Kissimmee Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving is a problem that just won’t go away. For 2018, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 5,106 alcohol confirmed crashes resulting in 2,984 injuries and 372 fatalities. The figures for Osceola County show 55 alcohol-involved crashes causing 12 deaths and 27 injuries that year. If it seems like every week you hear about a severe drunk driving crash in your community, you are right. These tragic statistics are doubly and triply higher in neighboring Polk County.
Causing an accident while impaired by alcohol is negligent behavior, enabling injury victims to go after the driver for money damages if they were permanently injured in the crash. Draper Law Office can help with that. Our Kissimmee drunk driving accident lawyers have been helping victims of motor vehicle accidents in Osceola County for decades. We’ll use our knowledge, skills and experience to get results for you and hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions. You’ll get personal attention and continual communication from your attorney so that you’ll always know where your case stands and get a prompt response to any questions you may have. Call Draper Law Office in Kissimmee if you or a loved one has been injured or worse in an Osceola County car accident with a drunk driver.
Why Are Drunk Driving Accidents Especially Dangerous?
A drunk driver is a very dangerous person on the road. Not only are they more likely to cause a wreck, but these crashes are apt to be much more severe than if the driver was not intoxicated. Alcohol impairs mental judgment as well as coordination and physical reaction. Drunk drivers often fail to comprehend that they are about to be involved in a crash, so they don’t put on the brakes or steer to avoid the worst of the collision. These crashes are, therefore, much more forceful as a result. When drunk drivers do realize that they are weaving or drifting out of their lane, they are likely to over-react and overcorrect, often causing them to lose control of the vehicle. Head-on collisions, one of the deadliest types of car accidents, are not uncommon due to drunk drivers drifting across the yellow line into oncoming traffic or driving on the wrong side of the road.
After a crash, you can get a portion of your medical bills and lost income paid through no-fault insurance benefits. However, if you suffer a permanent injury as defined in Florida auto accident law, then you are authorized to sue the at-fault driver for the full range of your damages, including all medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, Florida law allows for punitive damages in cases of gross negligence or extremely reckless driving behavior. Punitive damages are meant to punish the offender and also deter future misconduct, so punitive damage awards can be very high. Punitive damages may be appropriate in drunk driving cases. Although these damage awards are harder to achieve in court, our dedicated car accident lawyers make the extra effort to recover the maximum compensation available to help our clients obtain justice and much-needed financial assistance after a crash.
Does It Matter if the Driver Is Arrested for DUI?
In Florida, a driver can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. The police can also charge DUI if the driver had a lower BAC if they have other evidence the driver was impaired. After a crash, it is not uncommon for the police to test a driver they suspect of having been drinking.
If the driver who hit you gets convicted of DUI, this fact is valuable evidence for you in your civil case. The DUI conviction can be evidence of “negligence per se,” meaning you won’t have to go to any other trouble establishing that the driver was negligent and liable to you.
A DUI can make your case easier, but it isn’t necessary. You can still press a case against a drunk driver, even if they weren’t arrested or found guilty of DUI. Civil and criminal courts have different standards required to hold someone accountable, so you shouldn’t be deterred if the driver is not found guilty of DUI. An experienced car accident attorney can still put the necessary facts together to show the driver’s intoxication, negligence and responsibility toward you.
Is the Bar That Overserved the Driver Also Responsible?
Florida’s “dram shop” laws only impose liability on bars and liquor stores in limited circumstances. If an establishment serves or sells alcohol to a minor who then gets in a crash, the business is liable to the victim for the damages caused. Likewise, a bar can be held liable for serving alcohol to an adult who later gets in an accident, but only if they knew the driver was habitually addicted to alcohol. In other states, bar owners can be liable for overserving a person who is visually intoxicated, but having to prove someone is ‘habitually addicted” to alcohol is arguably a tougher standard to meet. If we think you have a case against the bar or restaurant as well as the driver, we’ll pursue all avenues to get the maximum compensation available.
Call Draper Law Office Attorneys After a Drunk Driving Crash in Kissimmee or Osceola County
If a drunk driver has hurt you or a loved one in an Osceola County car accident, call the Kissimmee drunk driving accident lawyers at Draper Law Office for a free, confidential consultation on your claims. We don’t charge any fee until after we have secured compensation for you.