We have considerable experience representing victims of drunk driving accidents by coordinating our work together with the state law enforcement agencies.
Sean M. Cleary
According to NHTSA estimates, 7% of all traffic accidents involve alcohol use, and 2.25% of all vehicular crashes involve intoxicated drivers. There are more than 54K DUI arrests per year in Florida alone, with as much as 40% of the people stopped by the police refusing to undergo a chemical test. A driver is considered to be under the influence when the BAC either equates to or exceeds 0.08%. The rules are stricter for underage drivers, qualifying their driving as alcohol-impaired at a BAC of 0.02%. In Miami-Dade, in the past four years, DUI arrests have been down a staggering 65% from four years earlier. Miami’s numbers have also declined a lot, the number of people arrested on DUI charges seeing a 31% decrease.
Common Causes of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you've been involved in a car accident and believe it was caused by a drunk driver, there are a number of factors that must be carefully considered. You must make sure the circumstances are correctly evaluated in rapport with the others involved, from other drivers to insurance companies to authorities present at the crash site.
Most of the time, DUI accidents occur because the person who was driving under the influence:
Falls asleep at the wheel
Is unable to approximate the distance in relation to other vehicles correctly
Is unable to follow a direct line
Drives in the way of oncoming traffic by not yielding at the proper time
Due to their impairment, drunk drivers often miss the “one-way” signs or turn in highway exits swerving into opposite traffic, endangering everybody in their vicinity. However, devastating accidents can happen as well because the drunk driver misjudges the position of unmoving objects such as trees, ditches, power lines or surrounding buildings.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Miami or elsewhere in the State of Florida, you should contact us as soon as possible, so we can justly assess the damages you have suffered and help you get proper compensation for your losses from any negligent party.
Although a drunk driving crash can cause many types of injuries, they are mainly known for causing catastrophic damage. Since a drunk person has a reduced reaction speed and may have been so impaired they did not even try to brake before the collision, the injuries from such a crash can be severe:
Who Is Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida?
It is crucial to establish who is at fault or the degree of fault of all the parties involved in the accident right away so that the appropriate course of action can be taken.
The first step in a DUI case is to demonstrate that the other driver was actually under the influence. In order to do that, the following would have to be considered:
Test methods used to determine blood alcohol level
Other drivers’ maneuvers
You should not hurry to settle your case with the insurance company before you have hired a specialized DUI lawyer who knows how to gather all pertinent evidence just in time before it becomes compromised, disposed of or lost.
In the State of Florida, it is also possible for DUI victims to invoke the Dram Shop Law. If they provide alcohol to someone who appears intoxicated restaurants, bars, and other property owners may be held liable. Personal injury attorneys representing injured individuals will have to prove that:
The person showed obvious signs of intoxication and the establishment should have been aware of the intoxication.
The person providing the alcohol was aware the intoxicated person would be driving.
The fact that alcohol was served to the drunk driver played a role in the accident.
Proving these may be challenging, but a highly-skilled attorney conducting a thorough investigation of the accident can prove them. In general, most DUI victims will sue the driver.
What Type of Compensation Can You Get in Florida in the Case of a DUI Accident?
After a drunk driving accident, the victims or their families can claim several types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit. The main ones would include:
Costs of medical care (covering present and future ones)
Loss of wages (a definite number or a lifetime payment)
Pain and suffering (measured by the negative changes in lifestyle caused by the accident, such as a dependency on medication or the loss of the ability to do certain things)
Wrongful death (especially of interest if the person was a major wage earner)
To have a full understanding of what types of compensation you would be entitled to, an attorney can review your claim and consider all the circumstances and pieces of evidence. Sean M. Cleary, Miami-based DUI accident lawyer, will expertly put together your case and fight to obtain for you the compensation you deserve.
How Can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help If You've Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
A drunk driving accident could be followed by a hard to grasp, destructive impact on those involved in the incident. As a consequence, our firm’s professional view is highly disapproving of individuals choosing to drive their vehicles on public roads while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
We advise you to contact our law office in the shortest amount of time possible when dealing with a car accident, and certainly before you decide to sign any agreement with insurance companies. The insurance company is a business, its main objective being, therefore, to make a profit off of its client, and not that of ensuring you get the monetary benefits you would deserve. Its intention might be to have you sign a poorly informed agreement before you are in full knowledge of your rights. Attorney Sean M. Cleary will help you figure out whether or not a settlement offer is fair, and will talk to the insurance company on your behalf.
Are Teenagers More Likely to Be in a Drunk Driving Accident? »
Yes, statistics show that teenagers and young adults are more likely to be in a drunk driving accident. Weekend nights and official holidays are especially risky, and former DUI offenders are more likely to relapse. Also, statistics show male drivers aged 21 through 50 are more likely to cause drunk driving accidents than female drivers.