Looking for an experienced attorney in Tampa, FL to sue the drunk driver that injured you or a family member? Lorenzo & Lorenzo specializes in car accident injury cases caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Every Florida driver has a responsibility to do everything within their power to avoid endangering others when behind the wheel.
When these “rules of the road” are broken, this can legally constitute negligence. Perhaps no act is more negligent than getting behind the wheel drunk or under the influence of drugs. Accidents caused by such acts may be punishable as felonies, especially in cases involving serious injuries or fatalities.
While it is the role of criminal courts to punish the negligent driver responsible for the accident by revoking their license, issuing fines and even sentencing the drunk driver to jail or prison time, these rulings do nothing to compensate victims and their families for injuries and damages.
With the help of an experienced car accident attorney, victims of drunk driving must file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court in order to be compensated for harm resulting from the accident – including medical bills, property damage, loss of wages, pain & suffering and, when applicable, wrongful death.
If you or a family member were the victim of an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, contact the Lorenzo & Lorenzo law firm immediately. Our Tampa drunk driving injury attorneys have a longstanding record of success in prosecuting civil DUI cases across the state of Florida.
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Drunk Driving Facts & Statistics
In Florida, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher are considered alcohol impaired and punishable under the law. The state of Florida (like many other states) allows law enforcement to conduct random sobriety checkpoints; however, drunk driving continues to be systemic problem in this country – with one in every three traffic deaths in the U.S. involving a driver under the influence.
Here are few more sobering facts regarding drunk driving accidents in Florida from the CDC and MADD:
- From 2003-2012, 8,476 people were killed in fatal car crashes involving a drunk driver in Florida.
- There were over 40,000 DUI arrests in 2014 alone.
- Drunk driving fatalities cost taxpayers an estimated $3.5 billion per year.
- Men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed in a drunk driving accident than women.
- In 2012, Florida drunk driving death rates exceeded the national average in all age groups except 0-20 year-olds.
Florida Dram Shop Law
In a majority of drunk driving accident cases, the intoxicated driver is held solely responsible for all injuries or damages caused by their negligence.
However, Florida’s Dram Shop Law (statute 768.125) – created to protect third-parties such as restaurants, liquor stores, bars, clubs, and party hosts from being sued for giving a drunk driver alcohol – specifies two instances when a certain party other than the driver can be held partly liable for an alcohol-induced auto accident:
- Selling to minors. If a business or host serves alcohol to someone under the age of 21 – knowingly or not – they may be held strictly liable for damages.
- History of alcohol abuse. If a business, server, bartender or other individual was aware that the patron has a history of alcohol abuse but continued to serve them anyway, then they may be responsible for any accident that occurs as a result.
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Why Hire a DUI Injury Lawyer?
In addition to protecting your rights and helping you achieve the maximum compensation possible, your lawyer at Lorenzo & Lorenzo will thoroughly investigate your claim by gathering important evidence such as:
- Police reports
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Police video of the incident
- Witness statements
- Breathalyzer, blood and urine tests of the drunk driver (if applicable)
- Medical records
- Your version of events
Your entire claim hinges on proving that the other driver was at fault for the accident due to his/her intoxication. Unfortunately, determining this can be difficult in court if the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene of the crash. By the time the driver’s blood is tested, his or her blood alcohol level may have dropped below the 0.08% threshold. In this instance, a lawyer is needed to build a strong case based on medical evidence, interviews with witnesses, the driver’s history with alcohol abuse, and other factors.
Don’t take a chance. Before you talk to an insurance adjustor, call an expert drunk driving accident attorney at Lorenzo & Lorenzo if you or a loved one were injured in an auto accident involving alcohol or drug impairment. Our family will fight for you and make sure you aren’t settling for less than you deserve.