Lake County Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
Seeking Justice after Accidents Caused by Drugs & Alcohol
Car accidents can happen for many reasons. Some have to do with a moment of inattention related to cell phone use, texting, or some other technological distraction. Others are clearly related to the excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol.
What Are My Rights If I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver?
You have the right to sue the drunk driver for your personal injuries. If you do, you must prove that the other driver failed to uphold their duty of reasonable care. When a driver behaves in a way that is dangerous and then hurts someone, they have been negligent or intentionally reckless, which is a breach of that duty.
Your accident attorney’s job is to show the court how the driver behaved negligently and how those actions caused an accident that led to your injuries. But when the accident was related to a DUI, the burden of proving negligence changes. When the other driver is arrested for and found guilty of a DUI, you can use this as proof of negligence as a matter of law.
At Oldham & Smith, our primary objective is to maximize your compensation after an accident. We will fully evaluate your claim to account for lost wages, medical expenses, future care needs, pain and suffering, and any additional personal or financial losses you and your family have suffered.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
When you sue someone for personal injuries related to a DUI, you can seek:
- Current medical expenses;
- Future medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage;
- Renovations to your home due to disability; and/or
- Pain and suffering.
You may also be able to seek punitive damages. If you can show that the person behaved recklessly or with a wanton disregard for public safety, a jury may award you damages that are meant to punish the victim, not compensate you for your injuries.
Drunk Driving Accident Stats
Every 50 minutes, someone dies in a drunk driving crash. Almost 30 people die per day due to drunk driving and 10,000 people die each year. Over half (59%) of the fatal car accidents in Florida involve an intoxicated driver. Even when victims of drunk driving accidents survive, they are frequently left with life-changing injuries and insurmountable medical expenses.
Drunk driving causes $44 billion in damage each year. These costs come from property damage, loss of productivity, and medical bills.
If you have suffered a drunk driving accident and you need help recovering financially, our Lake County drunk driving accident attorneys are here for you.
Litigation Involving Drunk Driving Accidents
Our Lake County DUI accident attorneys are experienced trial advocates who have recovered multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients. We know how to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Drunk driving laws do not only apply to car drivers – they also apply to those operating:
What To Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver
Anytime you suspect someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, call 911. If you do this before an accident occurs, you could save someone’s life (or your own). You should also call 911 if you are hit by a drunk driver, even if no one appears to be hurt.
Stay at the scene and wait for help to arrive. If it is safe to do so, you can move your vehicle out of oncoming traffic. Make sure to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Take pictures of your surroundings, your vehicle, and any injuries you sustained. You can also check on the other driver, but it may not be productive to try and exchange insurance information with them.
Wait for the police to arrive and let them handle the details. Be sure to write down the badge number of your responding officer and request a copy of the police report. Do not leave the scene until officers give you permission to do so. Afterward, head to the nearest emergency room to get evaluated for your injuries. Again, you should seek medical attention even if you don’t appear to be hurt.
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Criminal vs. Civil Penalties
Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is a crime in every state, including Florida. If a drunk driver causes your collision, they will likely leave the scene in handcuffs.
Unfortunately, criminal consequences for DUI accidents do not account for the victim’s medical expenses, missed work, and other damages. Because drunk driving accidents are still accidents, the at-fault driver’s insurance company should still cover as many of your damages as their policy allows.
Whatever you do, don’t take the first offer you get from an insurance company and don’t try to negotiate with an insurer on your own. Instead, call our firm. We can help you maximize your insurance payout and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if necessary.
We can also explore other avenues of compensation, such as your uninsured/uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
Dram Shop & Liquor Liability after an Accident
In addition to the driver at fault for the accident, you may be able to recover from additional persons who are also responsible. Liquor store owners, bar owners, bartenders, and other individuals and entities responsible for the distribution of alcohol will also be held liable if they negligently served to an intoxicated person. We will aggressively pursue compensation from any bar owner, restaurant owner, club operator, homeowners, or other businesses serving alcohol. We also handle cases where parents are accountable for minors involved in a drunk-driving accident.
To increase your chances of maximum compensation, call Oldham & Smith today.