Boca Raton Drunk Driving Accidents
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety, in 2020 Palm Beach County saw 380 crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol, which resulted in 328 fatalities and 291 injuries. These numbers do not account for the millions of dollars of damage caused by the collisions, or the strain felt by family members as they struggle to help a loved one rehabilitate.
Driving while intoxicated is illegal in Florida. But that, unfortunately, doesn’t stop many people from getting behind the wheel after one too many drinks. If you were hurt by a drunk driver, please contact Hersh Kirtman Injury Law today. Our drunk driving accident lawyers in Boca Raton can help you bring a claim for compensation.
What is Drunk Driving?
Under Florida law, a motorist who drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be convicted criminally under Florida Statute § 316.193. Driving under the influence is defined by that statute as driving or controlling a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs such that the person’s normal faculties are impaired. A person who causes a crash while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and injures or kills someone else as a result, may also be civilly responsible for the harm they caused.
If you were hurt in a wreck, you can bring a civil claim against the driver who caused your injuries. Under Florida’s civil laws, a driver who cannot use reasonable care when driving due to drug or alcohol use is impaired and may be responsible for any harm caused by that impairment. Having a blood or breath alcohol level of greater than 0.08 is not a requirement for civil liability. The key question is whether they were driving with impaired faculties and in a careless or unsafe manner as a result.
Alcohol and drugs have certain side effects which obviously make driving unsafe:
- Blurred vision
- Delayed reflexes
- Poor judgment
These effects make driving while impaired so incredibly dangerous. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident, you might suspect a drunk driver is to blame. Contact our firm to learn more.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
Our clients have sought money to make up for the financial losses they have suffered in the crash. Compensation can cover the cost of past and future medical care, replace lost income (when a victim cannot work), and fix a damaged car or other property.
Our clients should also seek compensation to make up for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress they have experienced. Drunk driving accidents result in serious injuries, including fractures, brain injuries, internal organ damage, and death. Some of our clients need months of painful rehabilitation before they can return to anything approaching “normal.”
We might also seek to recover punitive damages from the drunk driver for intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Driving while intoxicated certainly exhibits an indifference to the safety of others, which often warrants punitive damages.
Who Can You Sue?
In addition to the drunk driver, you might be able to sue a restaurant, bar or tavern. They may be liable under Florida’s “dram shop” law if they willfully sell alcohol to a minor or knowingly serve a person who has a known reputation as a habitual drunkard. This law is complicated and does not always make a claim available to the victim. However, when such a claim is available, suing a business that violates Florida’s dram shop law can often help our clients receive fair compensation because these establishments typically have much larger insurance policies than Florida’s habitually underinsured individual drivers.
Call Our Boca Raton Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer to Learn More
Drunk driving accidents cause untold suffering—but there is hope. At Hersh Kirtman Injury Law, our legal team can help you bring a claim or lawsuit when an intoxicated motorist upends your life. To learn more, call us to schedule a free consultation.