If you've been the victim of a drunk driver and are considering filing a property damage or personal injury claim, you must understand how a DUI arrest will affect your…
Miami Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
While no one ever wants to be hurt in any type of car accident, being hurt in a car accident with a drunk driver is usually the most upsetting. This is because you know that the accident probably would not have happened if the other driver had made the right decision not to drink and drive. Drunk driving accidents are also usually more shocking because they frequently result in more deaths than car accidents where alcohol wasn’t involved. According to NHTSA 10,874 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2017. Alcohol-impaired crash fatalities accounted for 29 percent of all fatalities. If you or someone you love was injured in a drunk driving accident call the Law Offices of Suarez & Montero and find out if you are entitled to damages for your injuries.
Statistics: Drunk Driving Accidents in Miami
Most of you are familiar with the problems caused by those persons who are commonly referred to as “drunk drivers”. In South Florida, drunk driving is a really big problem. How serious of a problem is drunk driving in South Florida? Let’s take a look at the drunk driving accident statistics for a better idea. Every year, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles gathers information and statistics in order to provide legislators, the media, and citizens with important facts and valuable information related to public safety and motor services.
Specifically, FLDHSMV compiles and analyzes alcohol-involved deaths and drunk driving data and shares their findings to support public safety and educate citizens. Alcohol-impaired crashes are those that involve at least one driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or above, the legal definition of impaired driving. The 2016 Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Facts report, released in December of 2017, reported 5,223 alcohol confirmed crashes. Whereas alcohol confirmed fatalities reached 461, alcohol confirmed injuries totaled to 3,160. The main reason for the drop in DUI cases is because fewer people are taking a chance when it comes to driving after having consumed alcohol or drugs. When people enjoy a night out on the town, many are using ride-sharing services such as UBER and LYFT. While this is almost a 5% decrease from the previous year, that is still far too many alcohol related accidents.
State Laws against Drunk Driving in Miami, FL
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense in Florida. The offense is proved by impairment of “normal faculties” or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level. A DUI can be issued for simply drinking too much alcohol or being under the influence of a drug (legal or illegal). The law in the state of Florida is that a person cannot operate a vehicle if their BAC level is at or above .08. A driver is considered to be in possession of or to be operating a motor vehicle, if they are within reach of the keys for the vehicle and could drive off at any moment. That is not permitted under the law in Florida. First time offenders must pay a fine between $500-$2,000. If an offender’s blood alcohol level is .15 or higher, or there is a minor in the vehicle, the fine will be between $2,000–$4,000. Additionally, the offender will need to serve 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of required community service.
For first time convictions, the total period of probation and incarceration will not be greater than 1 year. As for imprisonment, Imprisonment is at the court’s discretion. Sentencing terms may be served at a residential alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program, credited toward the term of imprisonment. For the first conviction, you will receive not more than 6 months. If your blood alcohol level is .15 or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle, you will receive not more than 9 months.
How we deal with Drunk Driving Cases?
If you or someone you love is hit by a drunk driver, it can be rather difficult to understand how to bring a legal claim against the driver. In Florida, 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. Being injured by a drunk driver can be life changing. You are likely to be feeling a mix of emotions including stress and anxiety over medical expenses and lost earnings all while trying to recover 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. It is important to understand that while the offending party will likely be criminally liable for the accident, in order to obtain compensation for your injuries, you will need to seek an attorney who is well-versed in both DIU law and personal injury law in Florida. This is because a prosecutor is not able to obtain damages for an injured party in a drunk driving accident.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Injury Victims in Miami, Florida
Recovering for car accident-related losses can be complex in Florida because the law sets out different requirements depending on your situation. For example, some methods of financial recovery after a crash include: Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance – Florida law requires drivers to carry PIP insurance that will cover their medical costs, lost income, and other qualified expenses up to a certain amount, whether or not you were at fault for the accident. A negligent driver’s insurance – If other parties caused your crash, you may hold their insurance company liable for any damage to your vehicle, as well as any medical expenses that exceed your PIP coverage. If your injuries are particularly serious, you may have the right to seek compensation through the civil court system by filing a personal injury claim against the liable party. Drunk driving accident victims incur many different losses that directly stem from the accident. Examples of losses in drunk driving accident cases include:
Even a relatively minor injury can require a trip to the hospital which may require follow-up visits, medication, diagnostic tests, and more. Serious injuries may require hospitalization, surgeries, or even long-term care or assistance. Having an attorney who will consider all of your past and future medical expenses will ensure you seek the full amount of compensation for your injuries.
Injuries can keep victims from attending work for an extended period of time—or may even prevent a victim from returning to their previous line of work. Even losing a day’s worth of wages can hurt your finances, especially when coupled with stacks of medical bills. Whether you must miss work due to medical treatments or because your injuries prevent you from performing your job, you deserve compensation for any income you lost. If your injuries are permanent and caused impairments that force you to stop working or seek lower-paying work, you may recover compensation for future lost earning ability.
Car repairs can be extremely expensive. After another party causes your car to crash, you deserve compensation for not only the costs of all repairs to your vehicle—but also for the vehicle’s diminished value. Certain types of damage can immediately and significantly decrease a car’s value, and you deserve payment for that lost value from the insurers of any drivers who caused the crash.
Contact our Accident Lawyers for Drunk Driving Cases
If you or a loved one was injured in a drunk driving car accident, there is no replacement for quality legal advice. The car accident attorneys at Suarez and Montero would love to have an opportunity to explain the law in Florida to assist you in presenting a strong claim against the at fault party. Every firm is distinctive and auto accident victims have needs that are also distinct. The Florida auto accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero encourage you to reach out so that we can explain more about the different ways that our law firm and attorneys can provide legal help and guidance after an auto accident.
Make an appointment with us at one of our many locations. Remember, we work on a contingency basis so you will owe us nothing If we are unable to obtain successful results for your case. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents including:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Drunk driving is when a person operates a motor vehicle while in a state of intoxication where a person’s clarity and control are lessened.
Florida prohibits driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while: having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or under the influence of alcohol, harmful chemical substances, or illegal controlled substances. Many people don’t know exactly how many drinks it takes to get to 0.08%, the magic number for legal intoxication where it is no longer legal for a person older than 21 to drive. That is because an individual’s blood alcohol content can be affected by various factors: age, gender, weight, food consumption and more.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent drunk driving statistics say that out of the 37,133 people who died in traffic accidents in 2017, 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Drivers who had a BAC of 0.15% or higher were responsible for 7,368 of those deaths (68%).
According to the most recent drunk driving accident statistics regarding fatalities, the chance of getting involved in one is four times higher during the night than it is during the day. 80% of drunk driving accidents happen between 8 pm and 8 am. Additionally, on average, about 28% of the drivers in fatal weekend crashes were drunk, which is almost double the percentage of drunk drivers involved in road fatalities on weekdays (15%).