Drunk driving is a serious problem that causes many crashes and injuries each year. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated, whether by alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medication, or even over-the-counter drugs, is a choice that puts everyone on the road at risk of severe and fatal injuries.
Because DUI accidents are very common, it’s important to understand the damages that can be compensated if you’re injured by a negligent DUI driver and why you need legal representation after this type of crash.
Florida DUI Statistics
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that drunk driving killed over 10,000 people in 2016, and drunk drivers were responsible for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths— nearly a third of all traffic fatalities. Additionally, more than a million people were arrested for alcohol or drug-related DUIs across the United States in 2016. The same year, Florida saw 5,223 alcohol-related crashes, with 461 fatalities and 1,971 injuries. Drugs were a factor in an additional 617 car accidents, with 291 fatalities and 321 injuries.
Recovering From a DUI Crash
Knowing that the drunk driver responsible for an accident will face criminal charges is often of little comfort to the innocent victims who were hurt in the crash, especially if the injuries were severe. Although a criminal conviction can get a drunk driver off the road, it does not compensate the victims.
A civil lawsuit in the form of a personal injury case is often the only recourse available for those who have been hurt. A lawsuit allows victims to seek recovery for damages, including:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Future doctor visits and related follow-up care
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Skilled nursing assistance or other long-term care needs
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Lost wages if you’re unable to work during recovery
- Loss of future income if you can no longer work
Victims can also seek compensation for pain and suffering and mental anguish and can pursue a successful civil case even if no criminal charges are filed. In certain cases, it may be possible to be awarded punitive damages from the driver responsible for the accident. The specific damages available vary from case to case, so it’s important to discuss with your attorney if you qualify for this type of award.
How to Get Legal Help
After being involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, reach out to a personal injury attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected. An experienced attorney will investigate your situation and advise you of your legal options if you want to seek compensation.
At the Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, we understand the challenges that accident victims face after a serious DUI crash. We have the legal knowledge and experience you need, and we’re here to help you and your family with the recovery process. Your first consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis—which means you won’t owe anything unless we win your case. Contact us through our online form to send us an email, and learn how we can be of service to you.