At the Durham Law Group, our experienced lawyers represent individuals who suffered injuries in car accidents. We understand how devastating a car accident can be on a person’s life and the family of the injured person or persons. When an irresponsible driver causes your injuries, there is an additional emotional toll. Perhaps you are frustrated by the fact that you are a cautious driver, but another person engaged in dangerous behavior that carelessly placed you in jeopardy.
There are few things that a driver may do that are more irresponsible than drunk driving. Drunk drivers kill more than 10,000 people every year in the United States, even after decades of campaigns dedicated to eradicating this road hazard. Not to mention, drivers now have more options than ever for getting to their destinations safely without operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
If a drunk driver injured you or your loved one, you have the right to hold that person accountable and seek compensation from that person that can help you cover some of the costs you incurred as a result of that individual’s conduct. To learn more about your legal options, contact the Durham Law Group today at 813-333-6250 to speak to an experienced Tampa drunk driving accident attorney.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
Florida Statute 316.193 dictates that it is illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle when their blood alcohol level is at or above .08 percent per volume or where the individual’s normal faculties are impaired by alcohol. Drivers who are impaired by drugs are also violating Florida Law.
When a drunk driver causes a car crash in Florida, that driver will likely face criminal charges for their actions. However, anyone injured by the incident can also file a civil lawsuit against the driver who caused them harm. In fact, proving that the driver was liable is often simpler in cases where the driver was drunk at the time of the crash.
Negligence and Drunk Drivers in Tampa, Florida
Plaintiffs injured by drunk drivers can sue for damages. These lawsuits are based on the concept of negligence, which dictates that a person who breaches his or her duty to use reasonable caution and injures another is liable for those injuries. In the case of drunk drivers, the plaintiff might have an easier time proving fault under the theory of negligence per se. Negligence per se applies in cases where the defendant violated a law designed to protect the person who suffered harm.
In some cases, the drunk driver might not be 100 percent at fault, but in Florida, that will only mean that the injured person’s compensation might be for a slightly smaller sum. If you were hurt by a drunk driver, but you were speeding at the time, your damages might be reduced, but you will still have a claim against that motorist.
Dram Shops and Other Liable Parties in Tampa, Florida
In Florida, it may also be possible to collect damages from the business that provided alcohol to the drunk driver in certain circumstances. The state’s dram shop law will only apply in circumstances where the bartender serves an individual under 21 years old or serves a person that he or she knows is addicted to alcohol. If a regular comes into a bar every night and drinks heavily, and then one day, causes a car crash, the injured person might have a claim against that bar. The law does not, however, apply in cases where the drunk driver was consuming alcohol at a private residence.
The state’s laws do indicate, however, that cars are a dangerous instrument and that if a person loans a car to a driver, that person might be held liable for the harm caused by that vehicle.
To learn more about options for recovering following a car crash in Florida, contact an experienced Tampa, Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your claim.
Damages in Tampa, Florida Drunk Driving Claims
Damages are intended to help make an injured person “whole.” Of course, anyone who suffered injuries in a car accident or who tragically lost a loved one in an incident knows that this is not always possible. The compensation does, however, cover many of the expenses that the injured person suffered as a result of the crash. Economic damages cover things like hospital bills, surgeries, physical therapy, and lost earnings. But plaintiffs may also recover non-economic damages for their pain and suffering. Spouses of those injured can recover for the loss of consortium.
In some instances, plaintiffs might also be able to collect punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants whose behavior was particularly egregious. Florida statutes state that the conduct of the driver must be intentional or grossly negligent. Driving under the influence can meet this standard.
Call the Durham Law Group Today for Help After a Drunk Driving Car Accident Injury in Tampa
The injuries caused by drunk drivers are severe and often devastating. Because of the nature of alcohol intoxication, drivers who are under the influence tend to cause some of the worst crashes on the road. If you suffered injuries because of one of these negligent and irresponsible motorists, you have the right to recover compensation. Call the experienced Tampa drunk driving accident attorneys at Durham Law Group today at 813-333-6250 to discuss your claim.