Fourth of July is a party holiday weekend. Going out to see fireworks, boating, sporting events, and other occasions where alcohol is present. This can also mean that more people leave these parties and outings and drive while drunk, which is against the law and one of the biggest factors involving car crashes in Leesburg, Florida.
BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL IN FLORIDA
Most drivers in Florida do not realize that the legal limits for alcohol are pretty low. It is against the law to drive with a blood-alcohol or breath alcohol content of 0.08% or more. It is also against the law if you carry alcohol in open containers or drinking any booze in the car.
DRUNK DRIVING AND CAR WRECKS
Each year, thousands of Floridians are seriously injured in alcohol or drug-related car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Leesburg, Florida drunk driving accident, know that you have legal rights. A victim of a drunk driving accident may press criminal charges as well as file a civil lawsuit against the driver. A criminal conviction for DUI may help strengthen your car accident claim, but a criminal conviction is not necessary.
PUNITIVE DAMAGES IN FLORIDA DRUNK DRIVING CASES
Florida case law supports a claim for punitive damages in drunk driving cases. When you file a lawsuit in Florida, you are not allowed to file a claim for punitive damages initially, however, once we receive a certified copy of the drunk driving conviction, we can move to amend the complaint adding a punitive damage claim. Strategically, punitive damage claims can put pressure on the insurance company and increase the value of your Leesburg car accident claim. However, you have to understand that Florida car insurance policies will not cover any compensation for punitive damages, so the claim is good to put pressure on the carrier to settle the case, it will not make a big difference in the outcome unless the drunk driving has personal assets.
Consulting an experienced Leesburg car accident lawyer after an injury caused by a drunk driver can make the complex process of making a personal injury claim easier. An experienced personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts of the accident. The attorney will discuss preserving any and all evidence that the other driver was drunk at the time of the accident and will work to establish responsibility in order to hold the other driver accountable.
Besides bringing a claim against the drunk driver, your car accident attorney will research the matter to determine if there is another party or parties responsible for the drunk driver's intoxication. Florida alcohol liability or dram shop law requires certain facts that are easier to gather at or near the time of the accident. For instance, a bar is not responsible if they over serve the drunk driver. Instead, we have to show that then bar knew or should of known the driver was habitually addicted to alcohol when they served him or that the drunk driver was a minor. It is much easier to get these facts, evidence and witnesses immediately as opposed to a year after the crash. So, if you are injured in a crash with a drunk driver, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer immediately.
Finally, your Leesburg auto accident attorney will be able to advise you on what types of claims to bring for your injuries. Your claims may include lost wages, if you are unable to work while you are recovering from your injuries, payment for past and future medical bills, and compensation for pain and suffering if you have a permanent injury, loss of a bodily function or significant scarring.
Know that we are here to answer your questions regarding a drunk driving accident in Leesburg, Florida at (352) 267-9168.