Drunk Driving Accident Victim
– By Tampa Injury Lawyer: Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.
MADD states that there were 841 deaths in 2017 in Florida. Tampa Bay has the highest number of drunk driving arrests in all of Florida. According to responsibility.org Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2017. Between 1991 and 2017, the rate of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 population has decreased 47% nationally, and 68% among those under 21. These statistics and others are positive indicators of the gains being made to fight drunk driving.
Your Tampa Injury Attorney, Martin Hernandez of Fernandez and Hernandez, prosecuted drunk drivers and protecting victims of drunk driving in Tampa from 2001 through 2004. Since that time he has been fighting for victims and seeking justice for the victims of drunk driving accidents on the civil side of the equation. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Tampa Injury Lawyer Martin Hernandez sued drunk drivers and suspended the drunk driver’s license for 20 years. While the government only took away the drunk driver’s privilege to drive for 20 years or until they fully compensated the victim for his or her injuries.
In Florida, driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is considered driving under the influence, which is a crime. Many factors can affect the number of drinks it takes a driver to get to this BAC, including the driver’s weight, genetic makeup, and gender. Even if your BAC is lower than .08, you may be too inebriated to drive. Consuming alcohol can reduce a driver’s reaction time to unexpected events and can cause a driver to drive erratically.
Those charged with drunk driving in criminal court and acquitted may be surprised to find themselves still liable in civil court to anybody they injured or killed while drunk driving. The criminal and civil justice systems are separate, and the standard of proof is more stringent in criminal than it is in civil court.
In criminal courts, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Usually, by contrast, the burden of proof in a civil personal injury lawsuit is “preponderance of the evidence.” This means the plaintiff must prove a fact and damages by showing that his or her version of events is more likely than not to be accurate. Accordingly, there may be enough evidence to hold a person civilly liable for causing an injury while drunk driving, even though there is not enough evidence to prove the same person caused the accident “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The state permits a person hurt by a drunk driver to sue not only the drunk driver but also the bar or other entity that served the drunk driver alcoholic beverages in spite of the driver’s visible or obvious intoxication. These laws are known as “dram shop liability” laws. These laws can be useful to plaintiffs because bars and other entities may have insurance policies that permit recovery even if the drunk driver is uninsured or underinsured and judgment-proof. However pursuing a claim against a bar is very difficult under Florida’s Dram shop immunity statute to bars, but our firm has successfully collected from bars in the past.
Things that a person that has been injured by a drunk driver and can receive compensation for are:
- Pain and suffering
- medical expenses
- property damage and lose
- permanent disfigurement
- mental anguish and emotional distress
- lost wage
- permanent disability
Consulting an experienced car accident lawyer after an injury caused by a drunk driver can make the complex process of making a personal injury claim easier. An experienced personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts of the accident. The attorney will discuss preserving any and all evidence that the other driver was drunk at the time of the accident and will work to establish responsibility in order to hold the other driver accountable.
The Effect of Alcohol on Drivers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even a small amount of alcohol can affect a driver’s vigilance, perception, visual function and judgment. To prove that alcohol was a factor in causing the accident, our attorneys will need to establish that the driver’s intoxication had an effect on his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Utah is now proposing a law reducing the BAC lower limit to 0.05% (nearly half of Florida’s!).
Our lawyers can interview the police officer to introduce his or her observations as evidence in your case, even if the driver’s BAC was lower than .08 percent. If the officer testifies that the driver weaved in traffic or showed other signs of intoxication, that evidence can be compelling even if the driver was not convicted of drunk driving.
Contact Our Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys`
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Tampa auto accident injury lawyer at Fernandez & Hernandez, contact us through this website or call 813-229-5353.
Although I am a Tampa Injury Attorney, I am also a father, a citizen and a driver. Drunk driving deaths are near and dear to me. That is why our firm proudly supports MADD and will continue supporting MADD until there are no more victims. Read the full NHTSA report at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812456
We are ready to help you.
Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez
Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well. Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.
The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.
If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.
Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com
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