Your Rights If You Were Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
Thousands of people are killed in drunk driving accidents each year. Driving under the influence is a widespread, serious problem affecting every state in the country. Tragically, every accident caused by an impaired driver is preventable. If you are injured by a drunk driver in the state of Florida, you might be entitled to compensation. However, you need to act quickly to determine the best course of legal action.
How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one person is killed every 45 minutes in the United States. Approximately 32 people die every day as a result of impaired drivers. In 2020 alone, there were 11,654 people killed in drunk driving accidents. Alcohol-impaired deaths account for 30% of all traffic-related fatalities.
Alcohol-Impaired Accidents in Florida
In Florida, 7,573 people were killed in drunk driving accidents from 2009 to 2018. The state makes it unlawful to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If you are hit by a drunk driver, you might be able to sue for damages.
Holding a Drunk Driver Accountable After an Accident
Drunk drivers may be held both criminally and civilly liable. In most cases, an injured party will file a claim for damages directly against the impaired driver or through their insurance policy. You have the right to legal representation. An attorney can help ensure that you receive the largest possible recovery after an accident.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for Personal Injury Cases?
In Florida, a person has up to four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit based on personal injury. Unfortunately, failure to file a claim for damages within the statute of limitations may result in your case being denied.
Dram Shop Liability in Florida
In some cases, a person injured in a drunk driving accident may be able to seek damages from the impaired driver and from a bar or restaurant that served the driver. As noted in the Florida Statutes, a vendor who willfully and unlawfully sells alcohol to a minor or someone who is “habitually addicted to the use of alcohol” may be liable for damage caused by their intoxication.
Referred to as dram shop liability, the rule only applies to places like bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It does not apply to social hosts. These cases, imparting third-party liability on an alcohol vendor, can be challenging to prove and should be reviewed carefully by an experienced attorney.
Getting Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident
Impaired driving is a severe problem that affects far too many families each year. If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, you need to understand your rights. You might have multiple legal options for holding negligent parties accountable for their wrongdoing.
At Mase Seitz Briggs, we provide dedicated representation for individuals who have been injured or lost a loved one in drunk driving accidents throughout South Florida. Contact our office today at (844) 627-3529 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.