In the state of Florida, 5,018 accidents were reported to be caused by drunk drivers in 2022. If you were in a car accident that involved a drunk driver, the severity of that accident can have extremely negative consequences and lead to serious injuries. Since this is not a normal collision, it can be even more difficult to navigate what the steps following the accident are. That is why it is important to have an experienced accident attorney on your side to aid with any and all complications relating to this situation.
Can you sue a drunk driver?
The short answer is yes, you can sue a drunk driver. In order to file a claim, you are going to need evidence to support that claim. Any evidence you have to support that the other driver is intoxicated or any acts of negligence, such as traffic violations, can only aid your case. Additionally, treat this a normal car accident and gather photos of the scene, any witness information, etc. Once you have all of that information compiled, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to aid you with your case.
What evidence do you need to prove a drunk driving accident?
After a car accident with a drunk driver, you want to ensure you have all the evidence you need. Some examples of this are:
Evidence that the other driver was intoxicated: this can include interactions with the other driver, the smell of alcohol, seeing open bottles in the car, etc.
Police report: this report is always good to have in a car accident situation but it will also document any observations that the officers on scene notice. It also might have if the officers made the other person involved in the accident take a breathalyzer or sobriety test.
Record of Arrest: if they are charged with a DUI there will be a record of their arrest, on what charges and what their BAC levels were.
These are just some examples that go beyond the usual needs after a car accident. It is definitely important to still follow the usual rules after an accident. This means still ensuring that you are not injured, getting medical attention if needed, taking photos of the scene, ensuring information is exchanged, etc.
How does a DUI impact a driver's lawsuit?
A DUI is a criminal matter, but your personal injury claim is a civil one and the two should not affect each other. Since they are two separate charges, you don’t have to wait for the outcome of the DUI case to pursue your personal injury claim.
What is a “dram shop” claim in Florida?
This type of claim doesn’t go after the driver involved in the accident, instead, it goes after the establishment that served that driver. The only way in which the “dram shop” law goes into effect is when:
The establishment serves someone under age.
The establishment served alcohol to an adult “habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages.”
Unlike in many other states, Florida doesn't typically hold establishments responsible, even if the individuals leaving were visibly intoxicated. That is why these types of claims are very difficult to prove and the amount of evidence you are able to gain is very minimal to be able to support your claim. That is why it is important to have an experienced accident attorney on your side, they will be able to help explain what your legal options are based on the evidence available.
Are there additional compensations you can receive in a drunk driving case?
Since there are numerous different types of damages you can claim relating to these types of damages, such as, emotional and physical, you have compensation in which you can be awarded. Some additional damages can be recovered, such as if you are able to pursue a “dram shop" claim, or an employer failing to check an employee's background before allowing them to operate a motor vehicle.
How can an accident attorney assist with my case?
While the police and the prosecutors play an important role in your claim, they are not the sole individuals who ensure your case gets you the compensation you deserve. Even if the driver of the other vehicle was drunk, your case may not be as simple as that in determining fault. That is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
If you were injured in an accident or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you should call an experienced car accident attorney. So call the law offices of Demesmin and Dover, at 866-954-MORE (6673), they will talk you through every step in your case and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.