Port St. Lucie Drunk Driver Injury Lawyer
Drunk driving is against the law in Florida. Nonetheless, state statistics show that around 5,000 accidents are alcohol related, many of which leave victims with horrifying injuries. Drunk drivers often cause head-on collisions, T-bones, and rollover accidents. It is no exaggeration to say that many accident victims see their lives turned upside down after a collision with a drunk driver. If you were hurt in this type of accident, contact a Port St. Lucie drunk driver injury lawyer at Smith, Ball & Báez today for a free consultation. The good news is that you can often sue the drunk driver for compensation to cover your injuries and related losses.
Your Legal Rights to Compensation
Florida defines drunk driving as any adult operating a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. Also, someone with any alcohol or drugs in their system is a drunk driver if their normal faculties are impaired.
Anyone hurt by a drunk driver can bring a civil claim for compensation, regardless of whether the driver is prosecuted for DUI. So long as drugs or alcohol impaired a driver’s ability to drive safely, you can sue.
Drunk driving collisions are serious for many reasons. For example, many victims suffer more serious injuries because many drunk motorists are speeding, or they fall asleep and crash head-on with other cars. Our clients have suffered from:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
You can sue the driver who hit you for your damages, including possibly punitive damages. We typically seek compensation for your lost income or wages, medical care, car damage, and pain and suffering. These damages are often considerable.
Helpfully, Florida also has a “dram shop” law in effect. In addition to suing the driver, you might also be able to sue whoever provided them with alcohol under this law. Florida law allows you to someone who:
- Willfully and unlawfully provided alcohol to someone under 21, or
- Knowingly provided alcohol to a habitual drunkard.
This dram shop law applies to businesses like restaurants, bars, and taverns but not grocery or convenience stores. If the business serves someone who is a known drunk, or if they unlawfully sell alcohol to someone underage, you can sue if that person ends up hitting you.
There are advantages to bringing a dram shop claim against a business. They typically have sizable insurance policies that cover liability. The drunk driver who smashed into your car might only have the bare bones policy required by Florida to register a vehicle—meaning, it’s not nearly enough. Our firm will review whether you can bring a claim against these defendants and help find evidence to show they are liable under the relevant dram shop provision.
Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable
Florida has made progress getting drunk drivers off the road, but far too many end up colliding and causing serious injuries. You can help protect public safety by suing any drunk or high driver for an accident. Contact us to speak with our Port St. Lucie drunk driver injury lawyer.