At-Fault Driver DUI
A person's world as he or she knows it can be changed forever as a result of a Florida Automobile Accident caused by the drunk driving and negligence of another person. In the State of Florida, a motor vehicle is considered a dangerous instrumentality. This concept is especially true when a person under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both gets behind the wheel.
It is well known that alcohol dulls the senses and reaction time. Some people mistakenly believe that alcohol has no real effect on the ability to drive a vehicle and the ability to avoid a crash. Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and illegal. Civil (compensation), administrative (driver's license), and criminal (jail time - prison time - fines) consequences can result when there is a Florida DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Automobile Accident.
It should be noted that the facts surrounding a crash are important but certainly do not amount to the entire case or burden of proof. For instance, let's say that a driving consumed 10 beers and then got behind the wheel. A mile from the bar, the driver crashes into the rear end of another vehicle driven by John Jones. The police arrive on the scene, administer a road sobriety tests, administer a blood alcohol test, and then arrest the impaired driver on the spot. Is this a case that has significant value? Well, it is difficult to impossible to say based on these facts alone. All we know by the aforementioned facts is that there was a crash and that the at-fault driver was arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). There was not mention of medical bills, personal injuries, or medical treatment. As such, without such information, there is no way to determine or estimate the value of the personal injury case OR if there is even any personal injury case to pursue. As you can see, it is important to determine how the crash took place and who was at fault. It is also important to determine the type and extent of the personal injuries suffered as a result of the Florida Automobile Accident.
Let's add some facts to the above example. Let's say that John Jones, the injury victim, sprained his wrist and went to the doctor for a total of 2 visits. A case of this nature would have limited value due to the limited treatment and minor injuries. Let's change to facts and let's say that John Johns fractured his leg, required surgery, endured 6 months of physical therapy, and lost his job. The second set of facts would produce a case with more significant value assuming that there is sufficient automobile insurance coverage or assets to pay for or cover such personal injuries.
The fact that the crash involved a drunk driver can add value to the case in the form of punitive damages. A jury can award additional damage to punish the at-fault driver for his careless actions in driving a vehicle under the influence. It should be noted that punitive damages are not typically covered by automobile insurances. As such, punitive damage claims against individuals may be difficult to collect upon if the individual driver lacks sufficient assets to cover a significant verdict or judgment.
Keep in mind that the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the at-fault driver for criminal DUI (Driving Under the Influence) does not guarantee a settlement of any certain amount for the civil case or insurance claim. The damages or injuries must be established or proved by the preponderance of the evidence by the presentation of medical bills, medical records, reports, testimony, and other evidence.
David A. Wolf is a Florida Personal Injury Attorney with over 27 years of experience. He believes in Giving a Voice to Injury Victims and Their Families. In the aftermath of a crash involving the reckless and careless conduct of an impaired driver, there are many challenges presented to the injured victim and the family. David A. Wolf provides a FREE CONSULTATION on all automobile accident and other personal injury cases. Get D Wolf - On Your Side - At Your Side.