About one in three car accident deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. From 2003 to 2012, the Centers for Disease Control found that there were 8,476 people killed in car crashes involving a drunk driver in Florida.
Drunk driving will often be prosecuted as a criminal offense. However, the person injured by a drunk driver has a right to seek compensation against the driver or his or her insurance company for their personal injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The criminal case against the drunk driver must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. For a civil personal injury case the standard for convicting the drunk driver is preponderance of the evidence. The goal of the civil case against a drunk driver is to seek compensation for your personal injury, pain and suffering, permanent injury, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to seek punitive damages against the at fault party when there is drunk driving.
Sadly, many drunk drivers do not have adequate insurance to reasonably compensate their victims for serious personal injuries. However, there are other causes of action that could potentially compensate you for your personal injuries. A bar or restaurant that overserves a patron may be responsible for any personal injury caused by a drunk driver if the bar or restaurant knew that the drunk driver was habitually addicted to alcohol. Additionally, a person injured by a drunk driver may be able to seek coverage for their injuries under their own insurance policy if they have coverage such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, then Milles Law is here to answer any questions you may have about a personal injury claim. Your injury. Your Rights. Your Lawyer.