It seems unfair that your life and the lives of your family members should be changed due to a drunk driver’s irresponsible actions. Nearly 500,000 Americans are injured annually in DUI accidents, and approximately 17,000 are killed. According to the Florida DMV there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida in 2011 with 1,561 in Palm Beach County, 2,274 in Miami-Dade County and 985 in Broward County.
Our lawyer knows the emotional and physical damage caused by people who drink and drive. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a drunk driving accident, you want a lawyer who understands your needs. The Law Offices of Gary J. Drucker and Attorney Gary J. Drucker understand that following an accident, the above statistics will mean nothing to you. This is why our attorney will treat you as an individual, rather than as a statistical number. Please call for a free consultation.
Asserting Liability in a DUI Auto Accident
To prove liability under Florida law, our auto accident attorney must collect a great deal of information in a short period of time following the accident. This time constraint is the most important reason to contact a law firm such as ours as soon as reasonably possible.
In most types of car accidents proof of negligence is enough for a driver to be held liable for damages. However, to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver, evidence must show that the driver was legally intoxicated at the time of the accident. In Florida, this would mean that the driver has to have had a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, of .08 or higher if over the age of 21; and a BAC of .02 if under the age of 21. Florida does have a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21.
Filing a Claim in a DUI Auto Accident
The severe, debilitating and permanent injuries that arise from alcohol related auto, motorcycle, and truck accidents results in significant financial losses to the individuals involved in a Florida accident and their families. However, the law provides an injured person with the right to recover his or her damages from the responsible party. After collecting the police report, witness statements, medical records, medical bills, and the court docket the Law Offices of Gary J. Drucker will put together a liability claim, which shows the high BAC to have impaired the driver’s ability to think and act safely.
Damages related to a person’s injuries include, but may not be limited to, medical expenses, prescription expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and other economic losses. Although a monetary recovery can never repair the damage that is done to the individual, it can at least ease the financial burdens created by the car accident.
The insurance company for the auto, motorcycle, or truck will immediately start an investigation. The insurance company will try to limit the recovery of the injured person to the lowest possible amount. Accordingly, these companies have established very specific and elaborate procedures on handling auto accident claims involving drunk drivers, especially in the early stages of the claim.
During this time the insurance company may take recorded or non-recorded statements from the persons involved in the car accident, have the auto, motorcycle, or truck examined, have photographs taken, obtain the police report and try to establish the extent of the injuries suffered in the accident. The insurance company is usually able to accomplish most of these tasks within the first week after the accident and many of these tasks within the first 24 hours after the accident.
The approach by insurance companies does vary; however, many insurance companies try to reach a quick settlement with an injured person. Their purpose is to avoid responsibility for medical expenses above the $10,000 Personal Injury Protection benefit, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop and to close the case early before you are able to get representation where you may get advice that their offer is unfair. This is a trap that an injured person needs to avoid. When a person is injured in an auto accident, it very often takes months to completely assess the person’s injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery, operative injections, or other extensive treatment. Thus, it is important to discuss your case with a lawyer in Florida.
The injuries may leave the person permanently disabled even after the surgery. Therefore, the true value of a claim can only be assessed after a physician has established a firm prognosis and assigned an impairment rating. The State of Florida provides in most, but not all cases, a four-year period of time in which to file a lawsuit on a personal injury claim involving a drunk driver. Accordingly, there is no need to rush to a settlement with the insurance company for the auto, motorcycle, or truck. You will only regret the settlement later when your injuries have become progressively worse.
There are other significant issues that develop for persons injured in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident. For instance, if your health insurance company pays for your medical bills they will very often seek reimbursement from your settlement with the insurance company. There are limitations on their right to obtain such reimbursement from a personal injury settlement.
Because much of the information tied to your case is extremely time-sensitive, contacting us as soon as possible after your accident will increase our chances of success. If you live in or near South Florida and have been affected by a DUI auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Gary J. Drucker today.
At Drucker Law Offices, total representation is offered to the accident victim. This includes helping clients present their claim for medical bills and wages to their insurance carrier. Their rental car claims are processed and the repair of their vehicle after an accident is arranged. A free initial consultation is provided for clients who have been injured as a result of a car accident. The contract is a contingency fee contract so clients only pay a lawyer fee if the case is satisfactorily resolved.