Miami Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
According to the most recent Florida Traffic Crash Facts Report, the second most common cause of car accidents in Florida is alcohol-related accidents. Such crashes can result in terrible injuries that permanently alter the lives of victims and their loved ones.
Facts and Figures
The facts and figures are alarming for the State of Florida.
Florida Alcohol Related/Suspected Crash Figures
- In one year, there were over 17,000 alcohol related/suspected crashes
- In that time, there were more than 12,000 injuries
- There were 877 deaths
- 76% of those in such crashes are either killed or injured
Many times injuries caused by drunk driving accidents are severe and ongoing, resulting in a lifetime of physical challenges, extreme emotional distress, and chronic pain and suffering.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver or if you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone who was DUI, you have certain rights regarding a settlement for your expenses, lost wages or wrongful death.
Penalties for Physical Injury and Property Damage
If someone is convicted of drunk driving in Florida, the penalties can be severe. At minimum, one’s license will be suspended along with hefty fines. For those who cause property damage, physical injury, or the death of another, the penalties are far worse.
In car accidents caused by drunk drivers, someone who is convicted of DUI whose negligent actions have resulted in injury to others will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the punishment can include:
- Jail time of up to one year
- Fines up to $1,000
If a person causes serious bodily harm to a victim, they will be charged with a third degree felony, which includes:
- A maximum of five years incarceration
- Fines up to $5,000
A second-degree felony charge of manslaughter may be levied against an individual if they are DUI, and they cause an accident that results in the death of another. Penalties can include:
- Up to thirty years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
In addition, in car accidents caused by drunk drivers, the responsible party may also face a civil suit, which is filed by the injured parties and/or their families.
Civil Suits Against DUI Offenders
In such accidents, the responsible driver may be sued for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Future medical costs
- Loss of future wages
- Punitive damages
NOTE: If your injuries are the result of a DUI, then it is one of the rare times that you may sue for punitive damages in the state of Florida. If the defendant in a civil suit involving a car accident has been proven to be DUI, then the court may grant punitive damages to the plaintiff after being requested to do so.
Furthermore, Miami personal injury attorneys from experience that many insurance companies will not pay for punitive damages in such cases. They have also found that if approved by the court, such cases can result in a larger settlement than a victim might have received otherwise.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members may sue for restitution and for punitive damages in cases where the driver has been found to be DUI. While no settlement can bring a loved one back, a settlement can help to pay for medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses, as well as ensure that the children who have been left behind have a secure future.
Ready to Help You
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, the Miami personal injury attorneys will pursue your civil lawsuit aggressively and tenaciously. We will work hard, offering individualized service, in order to win you the settlement that you deserve.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver or if you believe you have cause for a wrongful death suit, fill out the easy to complete contact form. In order to assess your case, we will set up a free, confidential consultation as quickly as possible. In your free, no obligation consultation, our legal personnel will learn the specifics of your case, answer any related questions, and offer insights into possible paths you may pursue.