A car accident can change your life in an instant. Unfortunately, every year a number of people are injured or killed in Florida due to drunk driving accidents.
These tragic events can devastate victims and entire families. If you or someone you know was harmed in a crash involving alcohol, you can seek the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney at Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano.
We believe in holding drunk drivers responsible for the harm they cause. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family and we will try to resolve your case as efficiently as possible.
How Common is Drunk Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2012. This accounted for almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Statistics released by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also illustrate how prevalent the problem of drunk driving truly is.
Anyone who decides to get behind the wheel when intoxicated makes a reckless decision that endangers everyone on the road. When a drunk driver causes an accident, he or she likely will be deemed negligent and held liable for any resulting harm. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care while driving, or use the same degree of precaution that a prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances.
In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish the following elements:
- Driver owed the victim a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving
- Driver breached that duty
- Victim suffered harm as a direct result of the driver’s breach
- Quantifiable damages were incurred
Every motorist has an obligation to avoid posing foreseeable risks of harm to others who could be affected by his or her conduct. It is extremely unlikely that a prudent person would choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, so this probably would be considered a breach of the duty of care. The victim then would need to show that the car accident would not have happened if the defendant had not been intoxicated.
Once negligence is established, the plaintiff can assert the right to damages. Determining the exact amount of compensation an individual can receive will vary based on the nature of the injuries. In general, an accident victim can try to recover medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost income and benefits, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other costs arising out of the drunk driving accident.
Statute of Limitations for Drunk Driving Accidents
It is important to note that personal injury claims must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. Under Florida law, an individual has 4 years from the date of an accident to take legal action. If you have lost a loved one due to a drunk driver’s negligence, you have 2 years from the decedent’s death to bring a wrongful death claim. Failure to file within this time period can bar you from receiving compensation for your harm.
Our Legal Team
Our car accident lawyers work vigorously on behalf of drunk driving victims. While we aim to settle every drunk driving case, we are not afraid to zealously advocate for your rights in the courtroom if necessary.
Our Florida car accident attorneys serve clients near Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. To learn more about your rights and options, do not hesitate to call us toll free at (800) 283-7442.