Fighting for a Fair Recovery for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
Clearwater Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 5,000 confirmed alcohol-related crashes on Florida roads in 2016 (the latest year for which data is available). Of those incidents, there were 461 alcohol-confirmed fatalities. These staggering numbers reveal the sobering fact that thousands of Florida drivers continue to make the choice to get behind the wheel of a car or vehicle after consuming alcohol. This is not only a criminal act; it is also a form of negligence.
If you were hit and injured by a drunk driver or lost a loved one in a fatal, alcohol-related crash, you have the right to take legal action. A personal injury or wrongful death suit is a civil action, separate from any criminal action the drunk driver faces. The purpose of these types of claims is to help individuals and families recover fair compensation for the damages they have endured as a result of the accident.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Drunk Driving Accident Claims?
Sadly, many drunk driving accidents result in critical bodily harm and/or death. These types of collisions tend to be much more severe than other types of accidents for a number of reasons. For one, an intoxicated person has slowed reflexes, meaning he or she is much less likely to react to a new situation—such as the driver ahead of them braking—in a timely manner. Often, drunk drivers fail to react at all, hitting other vehicles at high speeds.
Secondly, intoxication inhibits a person’s spatial awareness, making it much more likely that a drunk driver will drift into oncoming traffic or turn in front of motorists who have the right of way. This results in extremely serious collisions, including head-on and side-impact (or “T-bone”) crashes. Victims of these types of accidents will often require extensive medical attention and typically suffer lasting physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Every situation is unique and the exact damages you will be able to recover will depend on the nature of your case. That being said, many victims of drunk driving accidents are able to recover compensation for:
- Ambulance fees and emergency room costs
- Medical bills for immediate and continuing treatment
- Ongoing medical expenses, such as physical rehabilitation
- Lost income/wages from time taken off work to receive care
- Lost or reduced earning capacity if injuries are disabling
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, including lasting trauma
- Loss of life quality
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
Additionally, surviving family members of individuals who are killed by drunk drivers may be able to recover compensation for medical bills incurred prior to death, funeral/burial costs, loss of a loved one, loss of companionship, and severe emotional distress, amongst other damages.