Drunk driving can leave innocent victims suffering from severe injuries like whiplash, paralysis, brain injury, and death. This leaves the question: Who is going to pay for these injuries and all the costs and losses that come with them? Hiring a Jacksonville car accident lawyer with our firm can help you sort all this out and answer your questions.
A drunk driving car accident lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, can help you file an accident claim. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we will fight hard to get you all the compensation you deserve if you suffered injuries from a drunk driver.
Damages You Can Get After a Drunk Driving Crash
There are an array of damages you may be entitled to receive compensation for. Common economic and non-economic damages in an auto accident include the following:
You can get compensation for your medical bills that resulted from your injuries sustained in the drunk driving accident. Your initial costs can include the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, specialists, doctor visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, treatments, and diagnostic work. Also, if you have ongoing treatment, we can include those costs into your total damages.
People usually miss some time from work after being in a wreck with a drunk driver. You can recover the income you lost from the accident, medical care, treatments, and recuperation.
Loss of Earning Potential
If you suffered significant injuries, you might not be able to perform your previous job even after you complete your medical treatment. If you have to take a lower-paying job, reduce your hours, or pursue a different career path because of your injuries, that loss is compensable.
We can work with a vocational expert to project the value of your previous earning potential and your “new normal.” Your loss is the difference between the two.
Future Medical Care
After a collision with a drunk driver, you might need future medical care. This care can range from additional physical therapy to surgeries to full-time residential nursing care. The cost of your anticipated future medical care is part of your total damages.
Assistance with Daily Living
If you cannot perform all the tasks of daily living independently due to physical or cognitive impairment, you might have to hire someone to assist you. We will include this expense in your damages.
If you are unable to work at all after your wreck, we will seek damages for your disability. We can use a vocational expert to build your case for this compensation.
Some ways in which the crash might affect your life are hard to measure in dollars. They do not come with receipts or invoices, but they are recoverable. These intangible losses include pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, and psychological injuries like depression and anxiety.
The Scope of the Problem of Drunk Driving Accidents
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report 2019 reveals that there were 4,984 alcohol-confirmed crashes in our state in 2019. “Alcohol confirmed” means that a driver and/or a non-motorist had a detectable blood alcohol level. This category does not include drug confirmed accidents. In 2019, 378 people in Florida lost their lives in alcohol-confirmed accidents.
Drug Confirmed Crashes in Florida
Also in 2019, our state saw 730 drug-confirmed crashes. “Drug confirmed” means that a driver and/or non-motorist tested positive for drugs at the time of the collision. This category does not include alcohol confirmed accidents. In 2019, 381 people died because of drug-confirmed collisions.
Drug and Alcohol Confirmed Crashes
Some accidents involve documented use of both drugs and alcohol. There were 420 drug and alcohol-confirmed crashes in Florida in 2019. “Drug and alcohol confirmed” means that an individual involved in the crash had BOTH a detectable level of alcohol in the blood AND tested positive for drugs. There were 342 fatalities in these collisions in 2019.
How Much More Deadly These Crashes Are
Although collisions involving drugs and/or alcohol are a small part of the total number of crashes in Florida, these accidents have a high rate of fatalities. In 2019, there were 401,867 total crashes in our state, there were 3,185 fatalities. That is a fatality rate of 0.8 percent.
In comparison, the fatality rate for alcohol confirmed collisions was 8 percent. For drug confirmed accidents, the rate was 52 percent; and for drug and alcohol-confirmed collisions, the rate was 81 percent.
Hiring a Lawyer on Our Team to Handle Your Drunk Driving Injury Claim
Florida does not require you to have a lawyer for a drunk driving injury case, but there are several reasons why it is to your advantage to have our drunk driving accident lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, on your side.
No One Wants to Be the Underdog
The insurance company has teams of people working for it. They have investigators, claims adjusters, and lawyers ready to double and triple-team you. This experience can be intimidating and overwhelming. If you put your claim in the hands of one of our lawyers, though, you can focus your attention and energy on getting well.
Sidestep the Pitfalls
Your lawyer knows the ways the insurance companies will try to trip you up and get away with paying you pennies on the dollar for your losses. Whatever you do, do not sign anything unless your lawyer advises you to do so. Do not give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company. They can twist your words to devalue your compensation claim.
Do not settle your claim before you have made a full recuperation or have achieved as much restored function as your doctor feels is possible. If you accept a settlement and then need more medical treatment, you will have to pay for those services yourself. When you settle a claim, you sign a waiver of your right to seek more money for those injuries.
Tricky Insurance Issues
Since Florida is a no-fault state, it can be hard to navigate the insurance coverage rules. Your lawyer will know how to get the best recovery of compensation for you from the insurance companies.
Permanent Injury Threshold
If your injuries meet the requirements of Florida law, you may be able to sue the owner, driver, passenger, or registrant of the motor vehicle. These cases require that you comply with unique procedures to prevent the judge from dismissing your case. Your lawyer can steer your case through these hurdles.
The damages in a drunk driving case can be higher than the amount of insurance coverage. In this situation, your lawyer might go after the drunk driver’s personal assets to get more of your damages paid. Collecting judgments can be difficult and challenging.
What We Have to Prove in a Drunk Driving Injury Case
We will have to show these four elements to hold the drunk driver responsible:
- The defendant had a duty of care toward you. The law requires that people be sober when operating motor vehicles.
- The defendant violated that duty of care. Driving while under the influence of alcohol breaches the requirement that drivers operate vehicles while sober. Failing the duty of care is negligence.
- The defendant’s negligence caused the wreck. If the defendant’s intoxication caused the accident, the defendant is legally liable for the wreck.
- The defendant’s negligence also caused your injuries. The defendant is responsible for the injuries the defendant’s negligence created.
Can You Get Compensation If You Were Partly at Fault?
As an example, let us say that you were texting while driving when the drunk driver crashed into you. You can still get some of your damages, but the law will reduce them in proportion to the percentage of your negligence. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault and the intoxicated driver was 80 percent responsible, you can get 80 percent of your damages.
You Have a Limited Window of Time to Take Legal Action
In Florida, you generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a), and two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, as stated in Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). In a wrongful death suit, a family may recover compensation for damages such as funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship/guidance, and loss of a loved one’s financial support.
It is ideal for you and a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer from our firm to get started on your case as soon as possible. There is plenty of evidence to gather, and witnesses should be interviewed sooner than later as their memories of the accident will fade. We want the best outcome for you and want to begin fighting for you now.
Find Out How We Treat Our Clients
Here at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we value our clients and treat them like family. So that you can read it in the very words they wrote, here are a few examples of the many “5 out of 5 possible stars” reviews from our clients:
- Words cannot express how grateful we are to Andijar & Levine for everything they have done for us. From day 1 they have been there right by our sides throughout this whole process. My husband and I were in a terrible car accident in November 2015 and didn’t know what to do. We were both injured and without a car since it was totaled in the crash so Andijar & Levine sent one of their representatives name Charlie to our home to get the process started. Charlie was very professional and reassured us that everything was going to be fine. – 5 stars – Jessica D.
- I can honestly say that Travis Greene and Shire Patel, attorneys at Anidjar & Levine, treated me like family after my accident. The thoughfulness, attention to detail, follow up phone calls and emails, scheduling appointments, helping with repairs to my car, were things I could never have accomplished without them. My sincerest heartfelt appreciation to them and their amazing firm. I would have no problem whatsoever recommending them to anyone & everyone. 5 stars – Andrea V.
- Shire Patel worked with me on my case and was absolutely amazing! Sharp as a knife and fought hard against the insurance with my best interest in mind at all time. He was also very responsive and always kept in touch updating me about my case at all hours. I had very high expectations for my injury compensation and he exceeded them beyond belief. He really takes the time to make sure you get the best…. I am very grateful he was my attorney and I would highly recommend him! – 5 stars – Daniel R.
You deserve to get treated this well by your personal injury attorney.
Contact Our Team Today for Your Free Consultation
If injured in a wreck with a drunk driver, please contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Call for your free consultation. There are no risks or obligations. You pay nothing upfront and out of pocket. We only get paid legal fees when you recover compensation; we take a portion of your winnings.
We go the extra mile for our clients. We frequently update them on their case’s progress, answer all questions, schedule any appointments, and can help them get their car fixed. We want to advocate for you.
We Can Help.