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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / West Palm Beach Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer

West Palm Beach Drunk Driver Injury Lawyer

We all know that drunk driving is reckless, unsafe, and often deadly. Yet Florida continues to see thousands of drunk driving accidents every year. In some cases the drunk driver only hurts themselves and their vehicle. Unfortunately, far too many drunk driving accidents injure innocent third parties as well.

If you have been hurt by a drunk driver’s callous disregard for the law and human life, you have the right to seek compensation through the legal process. A skilled West Palm Beach drunk driver injury lawyer can advise you of these rights. Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather is a team of experienced Florida personal injury lawyers who represent clients throughout Palm Beach County who have been injured in drunk driving accidents. We can help ensure that the drunk driver–and their insurance company–pays for your losses.

The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Liability for Drunk Driving in Florida

One of the most common questions we get in drunk driver injury cases is about the impact of possible criminal charges. Can you sue a drunk driver even if they are not charged with, or convicted of, a crime? The answer is a resounding “yes.” In Florida, the civil and criminal justice systems operate independently of one another. So a criminal case–or lack thereof–does not affect your right to sue a drunk driver. Of course, a criminal drunk driving conviction can make it significantly easier to prove a drunk driver’s civil liability in a subsequent personal injury case.

It is also important to note that criminal charges are primarily about sending a defendant to prison or imposing fines that are paid to the state. A personal injury claim is about making the victim whole for their losses. If you successfully sue a drunk driver, you can seek a wide range of compensation for your accident-related damages, such as:

  • Economic damages to cover your present and estimated future medical bills, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and the costs of any rehabilitation or therapy.
  • Non-economic damages to cover your pain and suffering, emotional trauma, permanent disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive damages to punish the drunk driver for their intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

In cases where someone has died as the result of a drunk driver, the surviving family members may also pursue a wrongful death claim, which can recover damages to cover the victim’s final medical and burial expenses, as well as the ongoing loss of the victim’s financial and emotional support to their loved ones.

Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Today

The State of Florida recently amended its rules governing personal injury claims. Among the key changes was a reduction in the statute of limitations from four years to two years. This means that you only have two years from the date of a drunk driving accident to sue the driver for damages. So it is important not to delay in seeking advice and representation from a qualified West Palm Beach drunk driver injury lawyer. Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather to schedule an initial consultation.