Because of the influence of alcohol on brain function, drunk driving causes accidents. Liquor can hamper judgment, cognition, and body control, all of which are required for safe driving.
A car accident can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most frequent causes is driving while inebriated or influenced by drugs or alcohol. Drinking and driving may appear harmless. However, intoxicated drivers can easily and quickly cause a fatal collision. The intake of alcohol hampers their swift response-ability. It is usually a terrible and life-changing experience for those who have experienced critical injuries in a car accident.
Speeding, failing to respect traffic laws, not utilizing signal lights or headlamps at night, or failing to acknowledge pedestrians in crossing zones are all examples of car accidents by drivers impaired by alcohol.
Drinking and driving, or driving while intoxicated, whether by alcohol, narcotics, or prescribed medication, endangers everyone driving on Tampa’s roads. This action puts them at risk of serious injury and even death. Unfortunately, this state has a high car accident rate compared to the rest of the country.
Following a drunk driving collision, police officers will usually conduct a sobriety test on the motorist who is suspected of being inebriated. A breath test that may include a breathalyzer can be used to detect a person’s BAC and level of drunkenness.
Statistics Concerning Driving Under Influence (DUI) In Tampa
Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiles statistics on the most frequent causes of car accidents. This includes car accidents caused by motorists who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that was higher or equal to 0.08%. This is the statutory limit in Florida. Since 2010, the fatality rate caused by drinking and driving has fluctuated between 672 in 2013 and 901 in 2016. Over 800 individuals perished in fatal incidents because of drivers intoxicated with alcohol in 2018.
Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person dies from drunk driving every 50 minutes, for a total of 10,000 lives lost each year. These situations might be avoided, but they nevertheless happen. When inebriated drivers get behind the wheel, they cause serious accidents involving other drivers, motorbike riders, and pedestrians.
Overall, the rate of fatal incidents in Florida caused by intoxicated drivers has risen consistently over the last decade. Several neighborhoods around the Tampa region are by far the worst for fatalities in line with driving and drinking. So, how serious are drunk driving collisions in Tampa? What laws regulate these types of collisions, and what legal options do injury victims have? You would find answers as you read along.
They often leave survivors and their families unsure of necessary actions after car accident cases. This is especially in cases involving a driver influenced by alcohol. In this circumstance, the best course of action is to call A Coleman Law Group car accident lawyer immediately.
You may have a very strong claim if a drunk motorist hurt you. To begin working on your case, contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What Can I Do If I’m Injured In a Drunk Driving Car Accident?
We recommend contacting 9-1-1 right away if you’ve been in a car accident of any kind. In case you have any suspicions that the other motorist is intoxicated, we advise you to contact the authorities immediately. No matter your location or what time of day it is, it is advisable to take caution as a priority.
The police, with their expertise, will determine if alcohol or drugs intoxicated the other motorist. This will help keep the area safer and provide proof for your car accident lawsuit.
Your next step should be to contact an expert car accident lawyer. This step is after you’ve called the police to the location for a police report and received medical attention. A car accident lawyer can assist you in making a lawsuit against the other driver to get the compensation you deserve to recuperate from your injuries.
If An Intoxicated Driver Caused My Car Accident, Who Can I Sue?
In Tampa, a car accident victim has the legal right to sue the party at fault in a car accident for drunk driving. You could be eligible to launch a complaint against the following parties, depending on the facts of your accident. These facts are:
- The motorist is responsible.
- Or the insurance company for the driver at fault.
It is also possible to sue the restaurant, hotel, or alcohol shop owner who provided liquor to the motorist responsible for the car accident. This is particularly true if the inebriated motorist had already consumed alcohol when they bought more alcohol and crashed.
How Do I Sue After A Car Accident Caused By Drunk Driving?
The victim or people closely related must provide evidence. This evidence must show that the motorist was responsible. Sufficient evidence is paramount to start a claim against someone who caused a drunk driving car accident. The officer in charge collected this evidence during the investigation.
However, the driver at fault or their lawyer may contest such proof. As a result, many victims of car accidents and victimized families employ a lawyer to perform an impartial inquiry in supporting their lawsuit.
It’s also vital to keep in mind that the victim has only a small time window to sue in Tampa. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline to file the claim. Most car accidents associated with driving while influenced by alcohol in Florida are subject to two deadlines:
- If the car accident did not result in a fatality, you have four years from the accident date to launch a civil complaint against the party responsible.
- If a fatality occurs, you have two years from the accident date to start a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
The Next Step?
It is essential to make the complaint in the county where the accident occurred. Victims of auto accidents and their families can seek monetary recompense (sometimes referred to as “damages”) for all injury expenses by suing. This incorporates expenses like emergency hospital bills and income replacement if the wounded person cannot work while recovering.
Contact a car accident lawyer if you were in a car accident caused by a drunk or drugged driver. This protects your legal rights and ensures that you receive all the medical care you require for recovery. A skilled attorney will evaluate your circumstances and advise you on your legal alternatives if you want to seek compensation.
Financial compensation may cover the protracted cost associated with an injury. This includes loss of potential earnings if the wounded person cannot return to work. In the instance of wrongful death lawsuits, they intertwine the monetary losses with someone’s demise. Every legal case is unique and causes a distinctive approach. In the end, accident victims have entitlements as far as it injured them in a car accident committed by an intoxicated motorist.
What Are The Drunk Driving Laws In Florida?
According to Florida Statutes 316.193, when they give a charge to a driver and convict him of driving in a drunken state in Florida, the following penalties apply:
1. A conviction for the first time:
- Fines range from $500 to $1,000.
- They would impose a sum of $1,000 to $2,000 if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or greater.
- A maximum of 6 months in prison
- The driver will spend up to 9 months in prison (if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or greater)
- Impound or immobilize the driver’s vehicle for ten days.
- Driver’s license suspension for 180 days to one year (without bodily injury)
- 3-year suspension of driver’s license (with bodily injury)
2. A Conviction For The Second Time:
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000
- A sum of $4,000 (if the driver’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15 or above)
- A sentence of up to 9 months in prison
- If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or above, he might be in prison for up to 12 months.
- If the second conviction occurred within the last five years, they would impound or immobilize the driver’s vehicle for 30 days.
- Five years without a driver’s license.
3. A Conviction For The Third Time:
- If the second conviction occurs within ten years of the first, the acceptable ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
- a fine of $4,000 (if the driver’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15 or above)
- Mandatory 30 days in prison (if a second conviction occurs within ten years)
- If it’s been over ten years since your second conviction, you could face a sentence of up to 12 months in prison.
- If the second conviction occurs within ten years of the first, they will impound or immobilize the driver’s vehicle for 90 days.
- Loss of driver’s license for ten years (if a second conviction occurs within ten years of the first conviction)
- Driver’s license suspension for 180 days (if it has been over ten years since the second conviction).
4. A Conviction For The Fourth Time:
- They impose a sum of at least $2,000.
- They would set a minimum fine of $4,000 if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or greater.
- A sentence of up to 5 years in prison
- Permanent loss of the driver’s license is mandatory.
Your Legal Rights If You’ve Been In a Drunk Driving Car Accident.
Drunk driving car accidents are all too familiar; that is why it’s crucial to know what damages you’re eligible for if a drunk hurts you. Suppose you were wounded in a car accident caused by a careless driver, particularly if alcohol or drugs intoxicated the motorist. In that case, you need a car accident lawyer on your team to defend you after the accident. A car accident lawyer can help you pursue legal action so that you can get recompense for issues like:
- Getting medical treatment in an emergency
- Physiotherapy, preventative care, and other services are available.
- Any missed payments if you cannot return to work immediately
- Vehicle refurbishment and maintenance
- Visits to the doctor, including specialists and even procedures
- Loss of future earnings if you cannot work
Victims of DUI car accidents can claim restitution for misery and suffering. It could also include emotional and mental agony, besides other medical expenditures. Even though the individual responsible is yet to be arrested for a DUI on a criminal level, the chances of winning a civil lawsuit against the DUI driver are still high.
In Tampa, several distinct criteria influence the outcome and the verdict amount in each case.
- Details Of The Case: The court will have to decide whether the driver was careless. It is easy to show, in most cases, involving a DUI-related death or injury.
- Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Law: Florida is a no-fault state, so in the event of an accident, you must seek compensation from your insurance company’s injury protection (PIP) coverage for your medical expenses and other damages.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule. In addition, the law states that you may sue the motorist for additional damages if you suffer permanent harm.
- Permanent Injuries
- Scarring that lasts a lifetime
- Loss of a significant function
- Punitive or exemplary damages for death
In a DUI-related harm lawsuit, Tampa allows for additional damages (as punitive or exemplary damages). This is an additional payment inclusive of missed payments and mental distress.
Complications In Criminal Cases
DUI charges can make it difficult for anyone seeking financial compensation after an accident caused by a drunk driver. Even before they complete the injury matter, the state will usually have an accused motorist in court and prosecuted.
This implies that a guilty motorist would already owe the state money in penalties. They may detain him for a length of time, depending on how inebriated the driver was when the incident occurred. This could be troublesome if both motorists were drunk.
DUI consequences can include the suspension of driving privileges, stiff penalties and processing fees, and, in some instances, extended jail time. This can significantly influence an injury claim, and having an attorney on your side can make all the difference.
When You Were Partial To Blame For The Dui Accident
In some situations, you may have contributed to the accident. If this is the case, Florida’s comparative negligence statutes allow you to get compensation in exact proportion to the drunk driver’s fault. This means that if they entitled you to $60,000 but were 20% liable for the accident, you are only entitled to $48,000. This may happen if you drive above the speed limit when an inebriated motorist hits you. While the collision would not have happened if the other driver had been sober, your speed may have contributed to the accident’s severity.
A car accident lawyer in the Coleman Law Group will assist you or your injured relative. Where it is because of any other party’s negligent driving, Coleman Law Group comes to the rescue.
Getting a monetary settlement on injuries, anguish, distress, and other losses may enable you to prevent future misery. It would also allow you to move on with life more quickly. Get in touch with the Coleman Law Group right away. Call us right now for a complimentary consultation with a member of our team.