An intoxicated individual has no right to operate a vehicle while impaired. However, many times, these individuals get behind the wheel regardless, putting others around them at risk. Drunk driving accidents can have life-changing consequences, at times even resulting in death.
If you or a loved one have experienced a drunk driving accident, you do not have to handle your case alone. A drunk driving accident attorney in Dade City is ready to help you at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers. Call us today.
Table of Contents
- You Can Sue the Drunk Driver Who Caused Your Accident
- Types of Drunk Driving Accidents
- Proving Liability for Drunk Driving Collisions
- Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Drunk Driving Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents - Frequently Asked Questions
- Consult a Dade City Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
You Can Sue the Drunk Driver Who Caused Your Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver and sustained injuries and losses, under Florida law, you can sue for financial compensation.
To recover financially, you must prove the driver or other responsible party was negligent. Our Dade City drunk driving accident attorneys can handle your case to help you seek damages.
A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Can Help You Pursue Compensation
A drunk driving accident can leave you in a compromised position. A drunk driving accident lawyer can best help you protect your rights to financial recovery.
Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers is proud to serve injured clients in South Florida. Our team has the knowledge and experience needed to help put you on the road to recovery. We understand what it takes to build a strong case and pursue a fair settlement on your behalf.
After a drunk driving accident, you don’t have to handle your case alone. Consult with one of our qualified Dade City drunk driving accident lawyers today.
Florida Drunk Driving Accidents
The drunk driving accident statistics in Florida are alarming. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), in 2020 alone, thousands of individuals in Florida were involved in impaired driving accidents. Of these, 705 individuals suffered incapacitating injuries, and 1,096 victims died.
Drunk driving accidents happen too often, leaving victims facing irreparable harm.
Types of Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents all happen differently.
Some of the most common types of accidents resulting from drunk driving include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Vehicle rollovers
- Wrong-way accidents
- Pedestrian collisions
No matter the type of resulting accident, drunk driving collisions can be particularly dangerous for all involved.
Common Injuries Resulting from Drunk Driving Accidents
Injuries from drunk driving accidents often depend on the type of collision.
Some of the most frequently experienced injuries from drunk driving collisions include:
- Facial injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Many collisions lead to permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disabilities. In the most unfortunate drunk driving cases, victims die as a result of their injuries.
Determining Liability for a Drunk Driving Accident
While many assume the drunk driver is the only party responsible for a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Depending on the circumstances, other parties may hold some level of responsibility.
Aside from the drunk driver, you can hold the following parties liable in a drunk driving collision:
- The bartender that overserved the driver:
- The establishment where the driver got drunk
- Any party that sells or gives alcohol to a minor
Under Florida’s Dram Shop Law, you can hold liable an individual or establishment that sells or furnishes alcohol to someone they know is under the age of 21, or someone they know is habitually addicted to alcohol.
So, for example, suppose an individual walks into a bar, and the bartender knows this person is an alcoholic. If the bartender serves them alcohol and that person gets into an accident with you, you can seek compensation from the driver and the bar.
The Dram Shop Law, however, does not apply to social hosts. If an individual goes to a friend’s house for drinks instead of a bar, and afterward, they get into their car and cause an accident with you, you cannot hold the drunk driver’s friend accountable.
Proving Liability for Drunk Driving Collisions
Seeking compensation from a responsible party requires you to prove that party is liable for your injuries and losses. To prove a party is liable, you must establish their negligence.
When someone is negligent, this means they failed to act in a manner that a reasonable person would have acted in the same scenario.
To establish a party was negligent, the plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant owed you and others around you a duty of care
- The defendant’s actions breached this duty of care
- The breach resulted in your accident
- You suffered injuries and losses
Holding multiple parties responsible requires you to establish the elements of negligence for every party. Once you can successfully prove a party was negligent and liable for your injuries, you can pursue compensation.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents in Dade City
Damages serve to reimburse you for the injuries and losses you suffer from your accident. Generally, damages are separated into two major categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are directly related to your accident that are more easily quantifiable.
These damages include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages also stem from your accident, but because these losses are intangible, they are often more challenging to calculate.
These damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent disfigurement
Another special type of damages, called punitive damages, may be available, depending on the detail of your case. For the court to assess punitive damages, the defendant’s actions must have been reckless, flagrant, or intentional. Punitive damages serve to punish and deter this type of behavior.
Damages can be difficult to calculate, especially in more complex cases. Most individuals that attempt to handle their cases on their own are not fully aware of how much they deserve. This often results in settling for less than the case is truly worth.
A skilled drunk driving accident attorney can review every detail of your case to determine the true value of your case, working diligently to pursue compensation and get you the fairest possible outcome.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Drunk Driving Accidents
Unfortunately, many drunk driving accidents result in the victim’s death. In situations where a victim dies due to the fault of another person, the victim’s survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue financial recovery for their losses.
Under Florida law, the victim’s personal representative must file the lawsuit on behalf of the family.
Wrongful death claims allow the survivors to seek damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- The victim’s lost wages and benefits
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship and guidance
While no amount of money can ever replace a lost loved one, it can ease some of the financial strain caused by their death. Families that wish to file wrongful death lawsuits must do so within two years of the victim’s death.
How a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Can Help You?
While you are not legally required to have an attorney handle your case, it is challenging to handle your case on your own. Having a lawyer on your side can help ensure your case is handled timely and appropriately, giving you the best chance at a fair outcome.
Your drunk driving accident attorney can handle all aspects of your case, including:
- Reviewing the details of your case
- Providing legal guidance
- Conducting an investigation
- Gathering evidence and documentation
- Engaging in settlement negotiations
- Representing you in court, if needed
If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving collision, let a qualified attorney help you seek maximum compensation.
Drunk Driving Accidents—Frequently Asked Questions
Who must pay my damages after a drunk driving collision?
Who pays your damages will depend on the details of your case. If the drunk driver is insured, you can pursue compensation from their insurance. If their insurance does not sufficiently cover your damages, you may consider filing a lawsuit against them for maximum compensation. Additionally, if other parties were involved in your accident, you can attempt to seek financial recovery from those other parties.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver in Florida?
If you wish to file a lawsuit after your drunk driving collision, it is essential to note you have a limited time to do so. Statutes of limitations limit the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a claim.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for drunk driving accidents is four years after the accident. Some situations may pause the running of time, including if the victim was a minor or you can't locate the responsible party. Generally, however, you will only have four years.
If you do not file your claim within the four-year deadline, you cannot recover compensation for your losses. Therefore, you should begin working on your case as soon as possible.
What factors determine how much my case is worth?
Determining the value of your case is a challenging task.
To decide how much your case is worth, your lawyer will examine:
- Your age and health at the time of the accident
- The severity of your injuries
- The amount spent on medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Whether you’ll need future medical care
- How long it will take for you to reach maximum recovery
- Whether you’ve suffered a disability
- Your lost income
These and some other additional details can help your attorney assign a value to your case. Once they’ve done so, they can proceed with seeking maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Will my case go to court?
A majority of cases settle outside of court. However, if your lawyer cannot get a promising settlement and feels it is best to go to trial, they will do what is necessary. If your case goes to trial, both sides will present their case in front of a judge or jury, and they will ultimately decide the outcome of the case.
What should I do after sustaining injuries in a drunk driving accident?
If you’ve sustained injuries in a drunk driving collision, it is common to feel confused and unsure of what to do.
After an accident, you should always:
- Contact 911: Call 911 to request police and emergency medical services.
- Seek medical attention: Whether or not you get medical attention at the scene of the accident, you should always follow up with your doctor. Your physician can assess the extent of your injuries to give you a treatment plan. The sooner you begin working on your recovery, the better.
- Report your accident: Insurance companies expect to be notified as soon as possible after an accident. Contact your insurer to report your accident and begin the claims process.
- Avoid speaking to the drunk driver’s insurer: It is not uncommon for insurance companies to reach out, attempting to get your side of the story. Unfortunately, they will try to use your words against you. Do not speak to the other driver’s insurer without first consulting with a lawyer.
- Collect evidence: If possible, collect any relevant evidence after the accident. This can include photos, videos, witness information, and police reports.
- Discuss your case with a drunk driving accident attorney in Dade City: As soon as you are able, speak with a lawyer regarding your case. Time is of the essence, so you’ll want to begin working on your case shortly after your accident.
Following these steps puts your health and well-being at the forefront while also protecting your rights.
Consult a Dade City Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers have vast experience helping Florida clients injured in drunk driving accidents. Our team understands the negative impact this type of accident can have on your life. Therefore, we provide the care, compassion, and patience you need during a trying time. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle your claim, protect your rights, and seek compensation for your losses.
Nicolletti law really helped me! After my accident they took care of everything for me. They even called just to check on me and my Health. Very professional and took care of my case quickly. They are definitely 5 stars and I highly recommend!Rating: 5/5
The Nicoletti team helped me through a very stressful time after my car accident. They answered all my questions and were always available and the the outcome was much more than anticipated. I would definitely hire them again.Rating: 5/5
This firm is fantastic. The day after my accident the insurance company called me and offered me $500. Thankfully before I accepted I called this Firm who not only took my frantic call on a Sunday but they helped me get into a rental vehicle the next day, got full value of my car back for me and my settlement was a lot higher than $500. Nicolette is so sweet and her paralegal Rita were an amazing help to me. Call them if you are ever in an accident. You will not be disappointed!Rating: 5/5
Anthony did a great job on my car accident claim. Highly recommendRating: 5/5
I was involved in a car accident in Feb. 2020. The whole team at Nicoletti Law Firm and especially Anthony Nicoletti were very professional. They answered all my questions and returned my phone calls very promptly. I would recommend them to anyone who has a need for an injury lawyer. Thanks to everyone in the office!Rating: 5/5
I got into an automobile accident and needed professional help.After asking around the law firm of Nicoletti was highly recommended. After choosing them my expectation where over achieved. Thanks for a great experience and a happy ending.Rating: 5/5
My Daughter was in a scary car accident and Anthony and Rita at Nicoletti were so helpful from the beginning.Always kept us in the know,Always responsed to our questions and always took any call we made.Rita also made the communication process with the Car insurance easy as well. I hope we never need a lawyer again, BUT if we do we will definitely be giving them a call.Rating: 5/5
I was involved in an auto accident and I got hurt, I hired Nicoletti Law Firm and they were awesome with helping me get everything handled! Will always recommend them!Rating: 5/5
We have hired them for our auto accident still waiting for case to close they have been very nice to us working hard I recommend them if anybody has an auto wreck very good people Anthony the paralegal is awesome I highly recommend them for any auto wreck and any slip and falls they work hard for you they’re the one to choose.Rating: 5/5
After being in several accidents, I learned that the first call to make is to an attorney who knows what they are doing. I was referred to Nicolette by a friend and it was the best call I ever made. Nicolette and her staff stepped in and from that point on, the only thing I had to worry about was how to make life as normal as possible. Everyone at her office is so friendly and really made me feel comfortable with the entire situation. My car was fixed quickly which made life much easier. They were reachable at any time of the day and I never had to worry about anything. Nicolette is so down to earth and friendly. I had a great experience with this firm and would recommend Nicolette to anyone I know.Rating: 5/5
I have never been in a serious auto accident until November 24th of 2018. At 23 years old and no idea how to even handle the situation I turned to Nicoletti Law Firm (as a recommendation by a close friend) to help me with my case against a drunk driver. When Say this law firm goes above and beyond to help you, THEY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND! The same day i contacted them they sent a cab to my house to take me to get check out. Completely on them, at no cost to me! Over the 5 months of us dealing with treating for my injuries and working things out with the insurance company to seek restitution they were there for me hand and foot. Even after business hours. Poor anthony was on VACATION and still answering all my calls and text messages. Nora was so professional and got back to me very quickly through emails and the phone every time i enquired about something. You won’t find a better legal team in the area who will truly fight for you heavily. Thank you SO much to each person in the office that helped me close my case and start moving forward with my life. Much appreciation, Alex.Rating: 5/5
The Nicoletti’s are not only a great law group, they are for the people and are always willing to take your call. They took care of everything for me and my wife and made a bad situation easier to handle. I highly recommend for any auto accident.Rating: 5/5
I got intense anxiety after my accident. I felt like no one was on my side. First if all, I was not at fault but the other driver’s insurance offered less than I owe on my car and refused to budge. 2 days after I hired Nicolett, the insurance company offered to pay off my car and gave me enough for a down payment on a new one. Secondly, they referred us to a doctor who is helping with all of our injuries tremendously. These people all treat you like family. They are amazing!Rating: 5/5
My wife and I was involved in an auto accident. After getting the run around from other law firm’s I was starting to give up until my wife called me doing her meeting with Anthony, and Nicolette! They are very honest, and trust worthy. They kept in contact with me doing the whole process, so I always knew what was going on. They cared about me and did not see me as $! After all of my surgeries they called and checked on me! They did not wait days to check on me they called me the same day of my surgeries and a few days afterwards. No matter what time of day it was Anthony always returned my text messages and phone calls within 24 hours! I am very grateful and true bless to have had them by my side! IsaiahRating: 5/5
This firm was the best. They were referred to me through asking others on facebook who is a great attorney since i had a car accident and needed to be represented. I saw this firm typed in by many other people so I called and they said come in and we did all the paperwork. They dress casual and act professional in the office. I was explained everything and then sent to an spine doctor which is Dr Carlton on main st. Between them I was being taken care of. Now months went by and my case was being worked on per Dr Carlton. More time went by and then the calls started and what happened was the claims dept. had many people leaving and a new adjuster starting over and over which led to the attorney having to resubmit everything every time. This happened three times. So long story shorter, they had to do multiple things uncommon to any case and still just diligently kept on the insurance companies and finally all was done and agreed on. check in hand. My case took longer due to the other persons insurance issues, not the attorney. If you want to be guided through the entire process, have a great team of spine and therapy to make your healing better, dont even hesitate to see this Nicoletti team. Also Dr Carlton and his amazing perfect two woman staff Faith and Dana. Never seen such a place run so well, so pleasant and so easy to get things done on my neck and back. All were very personable so call this team and let them go to work for you. There are others and then theres the Nicoletti husband and wife team. If you want to call the bigger tv guy attorneys go ahead but it wont be as personable as these people. If there were a 10 star rating they earned it………….. WaltRating: 5/5
I was involved in a motor vehicle accident where I was hit from behind while stopped at a red light. The accident happened in the evening time around 7PM. I was informed of this firm and how they had highly motivated attorneys and were very easy to get along with. I called one of their attorneys after hours and they immediately got the ball rolling on my claim. This was my first accident and the Nicoletti law firm helped me every step of the way. There was a lot that was unfamiliar to me, so Kevin, my attorney helped explain things to me so that I could understand the process. He never made me feel incompetent or that I was a bother. He was always very quick to return my calls/messages, which led to quick results. I hope I never get in another accident or become injured, but if I do, I know I can trust the Nicoletti law firm. This group is honest and very hard working. They will get the results you deserve.Rating: 5/5
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