Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Attorneys
Pursuing Compensation for Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident

Pursuing Compensation for Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident

If an individual gets behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher, it is considered driving under the influence (DUI). In Florida, a DUI arrest or charge can lead to hefty fines and jail time. However, criminal charges are not the only thing that should deter individuals from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

 

Unfortunately, drunk driving is also one of the top causes of car accidents across the United States. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 29 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver every day - that comes out to one person every 50 minutes.

 

From a personal injury standpoint, drunk driving accidents are complex issues and many factors can impact liability and damage amounts. In fact, the person behind the wheel may not be the only one responsible for injuries that are sustained in an alcohol-related crash.

Dram Shop Laws

Like many other states, Florida has enacted a form of dram shop laws that may hold third-parties liable in instances where an individual was served alcohol and that person’s intoxication caused an injury or injuries to occur.

 

Specifically, Florida law holds restaurants, bars, and other establishments liable if alcohol was served to “a person who is not of lawful drinking age or… knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages.” The establishment who served the alcohol can also only be held liable if they served alcohol to someone who wasn’t already intoxicated. In other words, they cannot be held liable for serving someone that is already intoxicated.

 

If the above applies, those pursuing dram shop claims can seek compensation for damages including:

 
  • Medical bills for any injuries, including hospitalization, therapy, medication and rehabilitation

  • Lost wages

  • Property damage

  • Pain and suffering

Punitive Damages

In Florida, punitive damages are an extra type of award amount that is given in types of accidents where it is determined that the defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct. These types of damages are generally meant to punish the defendant, such as in instances of certain drunk driving accident cases.

 

Note that these damages are typically capped at $500,000 or three times the amount of economic damages that an individual is awarded, whichever one is greater.

 

If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident in Fort Lauderdale, you can count on the personal injury attorneys at Rudenberg & Glasser to stand in your corner. We will look at the evidence of your case to determine liable parties and aggressively fight for your maximum compensation.

 

We are available 24/7 to hear your story. Contact our firm at (954) 543-1788 to schedule your free consultation.

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