Being critically injured in a drunk driving accident in Florida is a harrowing experience at best. In the worst possible situations, you may be suffering severe emotional and physical pain and suffering after the accident has happened.
Individuals who have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s drinking and driving or drugged driving may have recourse to pursue a personal injury claim in the Florida courts.
Read on to learn more about how to handle a case like this and how to protect your rights for the duration.
The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Drunk Driving Accident Liability
Many people do not understand that the basic difference in America’s legal system is that there are two primary tracks, civil and criminal. Civil and criminal cases are completely different with different outcomes.
In a criminal case, a prosecutor will attempt to punish the drunk driver for violating the law. While the prosecutor could seek some compensation for the victim, the primary goal is not recovering money for the prosecutor.
In order to receive compensation from a drunk driving accident in Florida, victims will need to consult with a personal injury attorney. This is separate from what’s happening in the criminal case.
Typically, victims in a drunk driving accident in Florida will be very upset about the situation and their most critical goal at the outset is to ensure that the drunk driver is punished in a criminal sentence.
However, it can also be beneficial to speak with a Florida personal injury attorney sooner rather than later in order to protect your rights in a civil case as well. Many individuals do not know just how common drunk driving accidents are.
The Reality of Drunk Driving Crashes in the U.S.
According to research from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, two out of three individuals will be involved in a drunk driving car crash at some point during their lifetime. While this is a scary and staggering statistic, it points out the severity of how these accidents can change a victim’s life.
Alcohol was a suspected cause in many serious Florida car accidents in 2013. During that year there were more than 17,000 car crashes associated with alcohol and 789 fatalities as well.
Is the Drunk Driver Automatically Liable in Any Accident?
While most people might assume that a drunk driver has automatic liability in a Florida drunk driving car accident, if another driver caused the accident then the drunk driver would actually be eligible to recover money for serious injuries.
As an example, if a drunk driver was hit from behind then he or she may actually be able to obtain money from the other driver.
However, if the accident was caused by the drunk driver’s inability to control his vehicle or follow road laws, the injured victim may be eligible to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Do I Really Need an Attorney to Obtain Money?
It can be a huge mistake to attempt to handle your Florida car accident claim associated with drunk driving on your own. This is because these lawsuits can be extremely complex especially as it relates to Florida’s personal injury protection structure.
Having an attorney help you as soon as possible after the accident has happened gives you the best possible chance of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Trying to handle things on your own may mean that you accept a settlement amount that is less than the extent of your injuries.
Once you have accepted a settlement amount, you typically have to sign an agreement that you will never pursue a legal claim like this again. This means that you could give up your future rights to pursue legal action after you have received and spent the settlement amount.
Don’t Wait! Talk to An Expert Car Accident Attorney Today
Finding out that the settlement amount is not sufficient to protect you after the accident can be devastating. This is why it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney in Florida immediately after the accident has happened.
Do not wait too long to protect yourself as you could be blocked from ever filing a personal injury claim. It is far better to consult with an attorney immediately about your options and determine whether or not it is in your best interests to truly pursue a claim.
Contacting a West Palm Beach car accident attorney immediately after a drunk driving car accident is the only way to ensure that you have protected yourself fully.