Orlando DUI Accident Attorney
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one-third of car crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk driving. That’s more than 10,000 fatalities annually.
When a drunk driver in Orlando causes an accident, they face legal consequences from the courts and victims who’ve suffered injuries because of their negligent acts.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, an Orlando DUI accident attorney can help you fight for compensation to support your recovery.
Florida Drinking and Driving Laws
It is illegal in Florida to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Florida’s zero-tolerance policy reduces the BAC threshold to .04% if an individual is driving a commercial vehicle and .02% for anyone under 21. The state of Florida defines “driving under the influence” as a driver being extremely intoxicated and deprived of all their normal faculties.
The consequences of a DUI conviction are primarily influenced by the number of prior convictions a driver has amassed. However, any driver with a BAC greater than .08% is guilty of a “per se” DUI charge. To get a per se DUI conviction, a drunk driving accident attorney must prove that the at-fault motorist possessed the prohibited concentration of drugs or alcohol in their system.
The penalties for a Florida DUI charge are based on the number of prior DUI offenses and the circumstances leading up to the incident. Depending on the severity of the case, a judge can assign a six-month to a two-year jail sentence, $500 to $5,000 in fines, and a license revocation of 180 days to 1 year. An Ignition Interlock Device can be installed for BAC of .15% or more.
Drunk driving crimes that result in grievous bodily harm or the death of another person are considered felonies. A DUI accident that results in property damage is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, with a maximum $1,000 fine and one year in jail.
Is a Drunk Driver Automatically at Fault for a Crash in Florida?
Florida is a “no-fault” state. This means each driver’s insurance company pays for their accident expenses—regardless of who caused the collision. If an accident results in injuries and damage or injuries that are more than what the at-fault party’s insurance policy covers, you may be able to sue for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. It’s imperative to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orlando DUI accident attorney, so you know your rights to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Note that drunk drivers are not automatically at fault in a Florida car accident. Even if the defendant is arrested for driving under the influence, the person seeking compensation must prove who was to blame for the accident.
They must also convince the court or insurance company that:
- The at-fault driver owed other road users a duty of care while on the road
- They breached their duty of care by not acting reasonably
- Their breach of the duty of care (negligence) caused their accident injuries
- The victim has a legal right to recover compensation for their injuries
Understanding Alcohol Liability Laws in Florida
Sometimes more than one person/entity is at fault for a car crash in Florida, and a percentage of the blame is assigned to each of them. The state of Florida allows crash victims to seek compensation from third parties who provided alcohol to an intoxicated person who caused an accident.
Suits filed against business establishments, bartenders, or social hosts who offer alcohol are referred to as “dram shop” claims. The name was coined at a time when alcohol was sold by the dram. Such claims against parties or entities who supply liquor to someone who caused an accident are called “social host liability” claims.
Section 768.125 of Florida Statutes/dram shop law states that if a person unlawfully gives alcohol to a minor under the age of 21 or knowingly serves alcohol to an individual who is habitually addicted to alcohol, they may be held liable for any injuries caused by the intoxicated person. Dram shop cases are civil claims.
Compensation for Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you might be entitled to compensation for the losses you sustained due to the crash. Upon proper substantiation, recoverable damages include:
- Lost wages if you can no longer work
- Property damages reimbursement
- Medical expenses to cover hospital stays, medication, related surgeries, or rehabilitation
You may also be awarded punitive damages, but these are rare and meant to punish the wrongdoer.
Call an Orlando DUI Accident Attorney at JustCallMoe
As a victim of a drunk driving accident, seek legal counsel to help you recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, repair bills, and even pain and suffering.
Our drunk driving accident attorney can make sure:
- Your case is thoroughly investigated
- Police and medical records are preserved
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Make sure all your compensation needs are calculated
- File relevant documentation on time in the civil court system
- Pursue punitive damages in addition to other compensations
- Consider all recovery options, particularly if your case involves multiple parties
DUI Accident Case FAQs
Do I need to hire a drunk driving accident attorney?
Hiring an Orlando DUI Accident Attorney is advisable because they can protect your rights, investigate your case, and hold those responsible accountable as you focus on your recovery.
How long do I have to file a case against a drunk driver who caused my injuries?
Injury claims in Florida must be filed before the state’s statute of limitations expires. This means within two years from the date you got injured.
Can my case against a drunk driver settle out of court?
The majority of personal injury claims get settled out of court. Courts will almost always side with you due to the negligence associated with the act of drunk driving.