Injured by a Drunk Driver During the Holidays? South Florida DUI Victim Injury Attorney Will Fight For You
The holiday season is a time of comfort and joy, laughter, peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and drinking . . . lots of it. One study shows that the average person at least doubles their alcohol consumption between Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Naturally, this means you can expect a significant increase of drunk drivers out on the road.
The statistics are staggering. In 2019, drunk driving led to 10,142 deaths. Of those deaths, 210 occurred in the week between Christmas and New Years' Day.
Florida is certainly no exception to these tragic statistics. In fact, Florida saw 814 deaths due to drunk driving in 2018. That’s about 8% of the national death toll, much more than our fair share. In comparison, New York only had 307. And deaths are only part of the story. Many more people are seriously injured and mentally traumatized by harrowing accidents caused by drunk drivers. In 2019, Florida saw 6,134 drug and/or alcohol-related crashes with 686 incapacitating injuries, 1,350 serious but non-incapacitating injuries, and 1,869 minor to moderate injuries.
Avoiding a Holiday DUI Accident and Injury in Florida
Needless to say, it's important to keep you and your family safe from drunk drivers this holiday season. No one wants to be a holiday DUI accident victim. Here are some tips that can help with that:
For the Sober Driver:
You’ve got the first step down! Driving sober is the best thing you can do to stay safe this holiday season.
- Always wear a seatbelt. This is good advice any time, but especially around the holidays with an increased risk of DUI accidents and injuries in South Florida. Don’t just buckle yourself, make sure everyone in the vehicle is strapped in—especially children.
- Put the phone away. Trust us, you don’t need any further distractions. Your eyes need to be on the road and other drivers so you can stay safe.
- Maintain a safe distance from other drivers. A drunk driver can’t hit you if you stay far enough away from them. It is wise to keep a safe distance from all drivers, but especially if you have reason to suspect they may be driving under the influence.
- Drive cautiously and defensively. Come to complete stops at stop signs and stoplights. Even if you have a green, watch for cross traffic. Don’t run yellow lights. If another car makes you nervous, put some distance between you. Go the speed limit. Taking a little extra time can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe.
- Pay special attention late at night. If you are coming home late from a holiday party with your family or friends, be extra careful. The majority of DUI accidents, injuries, and fatalities happen after dark. But be careful during the day, too! A holiday DUI can happen at any time of day.
- Call the police if you see someone driving dangerously. This could protect not only you, but any other drivers this potentially drunk driver may come across. You’re not being a snitch, you’re caring for those around you.
If you plan on drinking:
- Don’t drive—period. It’s that plain and simple. You don’t want to deal with the legal consequences of causing an accident or injury. DUI patrols increase significantly during the holidays, and you don’t want to get caught. Even if you are just buzzed, your reaction times are impaired and that puts you at greater risk of being injured by a seriously impaired driver.
- Have a designated driver. Whether it is a spouse, a friend, or a family member, have a designated driver and hold them to it.
- Make a plan to get home. If everyone plans on drinking, make a plan ahead of time to get home. Whether it’s an Uber, a taxi, or your step-mom, make a plan and stick with it. Trust us, your aunt doesn’t want you crashing on her couch.
- Keep an eye on your friends and family. They might hate you for a night, but they’ll thank you in the morning. If someone is visibly impaired or you’ve seen them drinking a good bit, don’t let them get behind the wheel. You are not only protecting them, but also those around them.
You’ve been careful. You planned. You drove cautiously. But it wasn’t enough to protect you from a reckless and negligent drunk driver.
What do you do now? First of all, you’re not alone. It happens. Unfortunately, DUI accidents are a part of some people’s Christmas story. Fortunately, we’re here to help. You have an experienced Florida DUI Victim Accident Lawyer on your side. If you’re a victim of a Fort Lauderdale DUI accident, please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954)755-7803 to schedule your free consultation.
Here are some steps you can take right away to ensure you are covered in the case of a holiday DUI accident.
- Call the police - no matter what. A police report is one of the most important pieces of evidence in your Florida DUI Injury case. Even if no one is seriously injured, you need to document who is at fault and especially record the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of the driver who hit you. This is especially important around the holidays, late at night, or if you have suspicion of a DUI.
- Tell the officer you believe the driver was drunk. This may seem like common sense, but you don’t want this important fact to be overlooked!
- Get their information as soon as possible. This includes license plate, name, address, insurance information, and more. You don’t know how they will behave, they did just cause a DUI accident, after all. You want to get this information so you can track them down if they try to flee the scene before police arrive.
- Contact a Florida DUI Victim Accident Lawyer as soon as possible. You may receive a small amount of money from the drunk driver’s insurance company, and of course your own Personal Injury Protection policy. But if this is the drunk driver’s first DUI, their insurance will likely not cover the full extent of your injury, medical bills, lost work, and emotional trauma. It’s great that the driver will now face criminal charges, but that doesn’t help you. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to pursue the full compensation you deserve through a civil case against the holiday DUI driver.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver you need to speak with an experienced Florida DUI victim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at (954)755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and all points in between.