Fort Lauderdale, FL Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyers Offering Legal Help to Victims Seeking Compensation
Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, but some drivers still choose to do it and put everyone else’s lives at risk. If you’re in pain due to someone’s decision to drink and drive, it’s important to get legal help as soon as possible. After all, the injuries that occur with drunk driving accidents can be serious and even fatal since they usually involve an intoxicated driver operating their car at a high rate of speed until they collide with another vehicle. Instead of dealing with the consequences of a drunk driving accident alone, let a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer help.
At Milano Legal Group, PLLC, our practicing attorneys are highly skilled and compassionate when it comes to handling devastating car accident cases. We know our clients are not only in physical pain but also struggling emotionally and financially for a long time after the crash. We’d like to help in any way we can, typically by recovering compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Take a look at some facts to know about drunk driving crashes, and then schedule a free legal consultation with our team of drunk driving accident lawyers.
What Are the Drunk Driving Laws in Florida?
Florida has strict drunk driving laws in place in order to discourage people from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. The delayed response time drunk drivers tend to have, along with poor decision-making skills, can lead to head-on collisions, T-bone accidents, and other dangerous crashes that hurt or kill victims.
Unfortunately, criminal penalties don’t always prevent people from making bad decisions while drinking, which is why there are still drunk driving accidents in this state. If you were the victim of a drunk driving crash, it may help to know that the drunk driver who caused the accident will likely be facing criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol.
More specifically, when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is .08% or more, they could get a DUI. If it’s their first offense of this kind, they could get up to 6 months of jail time and fines of $500 to $1,000. Drunk drivers may also have to complete 50 hours of community service and one year of probation after their first DUI. Their driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year.
A drunk driver who gets a DUI for the second time within five years can expect anywhere from ten days to nine months in prison, plus fines of $1,000 to $2,000. Repeat offenders will also lose their license for up to five years.
A third DUI within 10 years will get a drunk driver between 30 days and 12 months of prison time, plus $1,000 to $5,000 in fines. In addition, they will lose their license for up to ten years and be charged with a third-degree felony. In fact, any drunk driver who injures someone else in a drunk driving accident will face felony criminal charges, even if this was their first offense.
Regardless of whether the intoxicated driver who collided with your motor vehicle has a history of DUI in Florida, they should be held responsible for all expenses related to the crash. Hiring a drunk driving accident lawyer will help you get started on recovering the compensation you deserve as you heal from serious injuries. Come to Milano Legal Group, PLLC, for a free consultation so you can find out your legal options from our drunk driving accident attorneys.
What Injuries Do Drunk Driving Accident Victims Often Suffer?
If you suffered injuries as a result of a drunk driving accident, you’re not alone. Car accidents caused by negligent drunk drivers can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death for many accident victims. Whether your injuries are serious or minor, you should be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses since it was not your fault that you were hurt in the car accident.
After all, you’re likely going to need everything from diagnostic tests and prescription medication to surgery and physical therapy, depending on the severity of your injuries. These medical bills can add up fast, and you shouldn’t have to be financially responsible for them. A drunk driving accident lawyer can ensure that the drunk driver who caused the crash is held liable for the bills that you get for your medical care. The following are some of the most common injuries that motor vehicle occupants often seek compensation for after being injured by a drunk driver:
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Vision loss
If you suffered these or other types of injuries, you deserve to be compensated enough money to afford your medical expenses. It would be unfair for you to be stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills after a drunk driving accident that wasn’t your fault. Instead, the driver who made the decision to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated should have to pay, or at least their insurance company should.
This is where a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer comes in, as a legal representative with experience handling car accident cases like yours can help you seek the damages you’re entitled to. Not only do you deserve to get all medical expenses paid for, but you should also get money for property damage to repair or replace your car. Additionally, you should get reimbursed for any lost wages you’re facing after taking some time off work to continue your recovery.
A passionate personal injury lawyer will offer you legal representation to work toward the fair settlement you deserve as the injured party. If you’re ready to talk to a caring, experienced drunk driving accident attorney, come to our law firm for a free legal consultation. We have years of experience taking on cases for clients who were seriously injured by drunk drivers in the Fort Lauderdale area, so contact us if you want the chance to get compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What If I Lost a Loved One in a Deadly Drunk Driving Accident?
Drunk driving accidents often involve at least one driver operating their motor vehicle recklessly or at high speeds. In some cases, the drunk driver ends up in the wrong lane of traffic, leading to a fatal head-on collision in a wrong-way crash with oncoming motor vehicles. In other cases, drunk drivers might cause a serious T-bone crash that leads to life-threatening injuries and death. Clearly, fatal drunk driving accidents can vary when it comes to the details, but one thing they all have in common is that they kill innocent people.
Drunk drivers who cause deadly accidents will usually face serious legal consequences, such as years in prison. But beyond that, they should also pay for the expenses that grieving family members are struggling with after a loved one has died in a drunk driving accident. So, if a drunk driver killed your family member, you should talk to a personal injury attorney about filing a wrongful death case against the drunk driver who caused the tragic car accident.
The compensation that families can recover after fatal car accidents will vary depending on the circumstances of the crash. Your drunk driving accident lawyer will add up the economic damages, which are the expenses you have already paid or can expect to pay in the future due to your loved one’s death. Lawyers can also calculate non-economic damages, which take into account the non-monetary consequences of the loss, such as emotional anguish. As a result, wrongful death damages can include the following:
- Medical bills from any medical treatment following the accident
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Loss of potential earnings
- Loss of companionship
If you want to know more about the damages you can seek after a drunk driver killed your loved one in a collision, you should talk to a Florida drunk driving accident lawyer. You can get a free case evaluation to discuss the details of the drunk driving accident and find out what kind of compensation you may be entitled to as you mourn the loss of a loved one. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is two years, so don’t wait too long to reach out to a local law firm that can help you take legal action.
At Milano Legal Group, PLLC, our lawyers can take on your case and start working toward a settlement from the insurance company of the at-fault party in the deadly crash. You should not have to worry about paying unexpected bills after losing a close family member in a drunk driving accident. Our legal team will work hard to hold the other driver accountable for their terrible mistake of driving drunk and changing your life forever. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with a caring, skilled attorney from our Fort Lauderdale law firm.
What Are Some Common Concerns That a Lawyer Can Help with?
It’s normal to have a lot of questions directly following a devastating drunk driving accident. Considering the damage that alcohol-related crashes can result in, you likely have a lot to be concerned about as you start to recover from an accident. Take a look at some common questions accident victims often have. If you have the same concerns, it’s time to contact a law firm so you can initiate an insurance company claim or even a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What Should I Do After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Some actions you should take after an accident can help streamline your personal injury claim or lawsuit. For instance, calling 911 immediately after the crash will ensure you have a chance to fill out a police report to describe what and who caused it. Try to avoid engaging with the other driver until the police officers arrive, as drivers who have a high blood alcohol content may be easily agitated and upset, especially if you accuse them of causing the crash.
While you wait for police officers to arrive, take pictures of your injuries and any property damage to your car. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, as well, such as skid marks, lights, or traffic signs. Giving these images to your lawyer can help prove your case.
In addition, make sure you get medical care for any accident injury you have, whether that means getting an ambulance for immediate treatment or calling your doctor once you get home. Finally, contact an attorney as soon as possible so you can seek damages for your accident injury treatment and property damage repairs for your car.
Should I Contact the Insurance Company Myself?
You might assume that the car insurance company is there to make the aftermath of an accident easier to deal with, but that’s not always the case. Their objective is to spend as little money as possible on accident victims, not necessarily pay a fair settlement. This is why you should call a lawyer rather than deal with insurance companies on your own, as you may end up getting a much smaller settlement if you don’t involve a law firm.
Once you talk to a lawyer and discuss the details of the car crash during your free consultation, you will have the information you need to move forward with the insurance provider. In fact, you may prefer to leave all communication with the insurance provider to your lawyer, as most legal professionals have experience getting in contact with and negotiating with them. This will allow you to spend your energy elsewhere, such as recovering from your accident injury and making plans to get your car repaired.
How Much Compensation Will I Get?
You might be worried about how you’re going to pay your bills as they start piling up, so wondering what kind of compensation you might get makes sense. There’s no way to say for sure how much money you will get after a drunk driving accident, but the law firm you hire will have the goal of getting you at least enough money to pay the bills related to the crash. This way, you can pay for your current and future medical costs, and you can afford to fix your car or buy a new one if necessary.
In most cases, your drunk driving accident lawyer will work hard to get you additional money for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages when you get your settlement. After all, when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel and a serious head-on collision or T-bone crash occurs, you’ll likely spend months at home or in the hospital recovering from the injuries. Time is precious, and while you can’t get it back, you should be able to get compensated for it so you can take extra time off work and spend quality time with loved ones as you heal.
This is why most lawyers request a mix of economic and non-economic damages for clients. You can find out what your lawyer recommends as far as compensation when you attend a free case evaluation at the law office you’re thinking about hiring. Be sure to schedule this as soon as possible to ensure you’re able to file a claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
Can I Pursue Damages from Anyone Other Than the At-Fault Driver?
In most cases, lawyers pursue compensation from the insurance company of the driver who caused the crash. But if that driver doesn’t have insurance coverage or doesn’t have enough to cover your expenses, there are a few options. First, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to use your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay some medical bills. If that’s not enough, and you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, you can file a claim for that. An attorney can walk you through this process.
If you need more compensation to cover your expenses, a drunk driving accident lawyer can bring a lawsuit against the other driver on your behalf. They can also investigate the accident to determine if a third party might be partially liable. For example, Florida’s dram shop law states that if a bar, restaurant, or individual knowingly served minor alcohol, and that minor caused a drunk driving accident that injured someone, they could have some liability. Note that if the drunk driver was 21 or older, this won’t apply, but your lawyer’s investigation may turn up other third parties that could be held liable.
If you still have questions about drunk driving accidents in Florida, you should talk to an experienced lawyer who has successfully handled cases like yours. At Milano Legal Group, PLLC, our team works hard to get every client a fair settlement after a devastating car accident has left them injured and dealing with property damage. If you’re ready to talk to a lawyer who has the legal knowledge and experience to assist you in bringing a claim against the other driver’s insurance provider, contact our Fort Lauderdale office today at 855-545-1777 to set up your free initial consultation with our team.