Every day, 29 people in the United States are killed in auto accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That is one death every 50 minutes. From Miami-Dade to Palm Beach County, Florida lays thousands to rest each year due to drunk drivers.
Alcohol impaired drivers are responsible for claiming the lives of 8,476 individuals from 2003 to 2012 in Florida alone. In 2015, another 3,322 innocent motorists were injured due to an auto accident involving a drunk driver. For victims of drunk driving accidents, justice for those irresponsible enough to get behind the wheel while intoxicated cannot come soon enough.
At Weinstein Legal, we fight hard for the individuals whose lives were irreparably changed due to alcohol impaired drivers.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed due to a drunk driver, contact Weinstein Legal today. Our diligent team of Florida personal injury attorneys will help fight to secure compensation for those injured due to another's negligence.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
In an effort to curb drinking and driving accidents in Florida, the state enforces strict laws to protect the public. This began with setting a legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard for all drivers. A driver's blood alcohol concentration reflects the relative amount of alcohol contained within a blood sample. Typically this level is detected through the use of a breathalyzer.
When a driver's blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher, they are considered legally impaired in all 50 states. This causes a variety of negative effects on a motorist's driving ability, including:
- Reaction Time – Consuming alcohol can reduce reflexes, inhibiting the ability to react rationally while driving.
- Vision – Alcohol drastically impairs vision, causing slower eye muscle function and altering visual perception, resulting in blurred vision, color perception, and night vision.
- Spatial Awareness – Driving while drunk causes a motorist to incorrectly judge a vehicle's position on the road as well as the location of other vehicles, center line, or road signs.
- Alertness – An illegal blood alcohol concentration may cause drowsiness and/or inattention.
- Coordination - Alcohol impairs coordination between the eyes, hands, and feet, causing driving to become increasingly dangerous.
Florida law enforcement often sets up sobriety checkpoints, which are locations where officers are stationed to check motorists for signs of intoxication and impairment. Between 15 and 20 checkpoints, also referred to as DUI checkpoints, are conducted each month. Unfortunately, hundreds of drunk drivers avoid these checkpoints each year, becoming mortally dangerous to other motorists on the road.
Types of Drunk Driving Accidents in Florida
Alcohol consumption can drastically impair a driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. With reduced reaction time, vision, coordination, and alertness, drunk drivers are incredibly dangerous to all those around them.
Common types of auto accidents caused by drunk drivers in Florida include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Striking pedestrians
- Wrong-way accidents, in which an intoxicated driver drives the wrong way on a street or highway entrance
- Side swipes
Car crash victims can experience years of physical and emotional suffering. This is coupled with the financial burden of seeking repeated medical care, lost wages, and future medical bills caused by drunk driving induced accidents. If you've been injured due to an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver, seek justice now.
Injuries Sustained in Drunk Driving Accidents
Even minor accidents with a drunk driver can cause injuries. Of the 5,522 alcohol-induced crashes of 2015, 3,322 victims sustained injuries. Some accident injuries a victim may suffer include:
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Scrapes and cuts
- Burns or road rash
- Herniated disc
- Back or neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
Aside from physical injuries, victims of drunk driving accidents also often suffer emotional and mental anguish. Anxiety, depression, mood swings, and insomnia are all common symptoms of those who have been struck by a drunk driver. These psychological injuries are legitimate stressors that leave a lasting impact.
Florida Statute of Limitations
In Florida, accident victims have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. If you were struck by a drunk driver and suffered any types of injuries, you may be entitled to file a claim. But, time is of the essence.
Contact Florida drunk driving accident lawyer Justin Weinstein to schedule a consultation and discuss the details of your claim.
Recovering Damages in Florida
There are two main types of damages victims of drunk driving may be entitled to: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages, also known as economic damages, are the most common form of damages in a personal injury claim. Compensatory damages can include:
- Property damage
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional duress
- Loss of future earnings potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Punitive damages are not as common in drunk driving cases, but may be available. These types of damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for outrageous negligence or illegal activities that led to the crash. Contact Weinstein Legal to discuss which types of damages may be possible for your claim.
Seek the Compensation You Deserve
Drive sober or get pulled over. We hear it constantly in Florida, but regrettably, many individuals fail to adhere to the law. If you or someone you love has sustained injuries in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, don't hesitate. Contact Weinstein Legal today to seek the compensation you deserve.