Florida has no-fault auto insurance laws that require you to first turn to your personal injury protection (PIP) policy for compensation after a car crash. In many accidents, this is your only option for payment. If you suffer serious injuries or meet another no-fault exception, though, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver liable. Liability also applies when the driver who caused your Fort Lauderdale accident was drinking or drugged at the time of the crash.
A drunk driving accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL from The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offers free case reviews to the victims of South Florida drunk drivers. We can help you understand your options for getting the money you need to cover your losses and expenses. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to discuss your case with some Florida personal injury lawyers.
Recoverable Damages After a Fort Lauderdale Drunk Driving Accident
The type of damages you can recover after a Fort Lauderdale car accident depends on whether you qualify to file a third-party liability claim. Everyone can receive a limited amount of medical coverage and lost wages based on their PIP policy. If you suffer injuries that meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold, or another exception to the no-fault law, you may be able to recover several other types of damages from the drunk driver’s auto insurance provider.
If you suffered serious injuries, you might be able to demand a payout based on your expenses and losses from the accident. Some of the most common damages we recover for our clients who were the victim of Florida drunk driving accidents include:
- Any remaining medical bills after filing for PIP coverage
- Ongoing care costs
- Lost wages and future lost income after a car accident
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Other property damage
- Some out-of-pocket costs
Pain and Suffering
In addition to the above-listed payments, you may be able to recover compensation for your noneconomic damages. These primarily consist of pain and suffering and other emotional trials you may have faced after the accident.
In some cases, the judge in a drunk driving civil case also will opt to award accident victims punitive damages. Unlike other court-ordered compensations, punitive damages are not meant to cover the money you lost because of the accident. Instead, they punish the at-fault driver for his or her reckless actions.
Proving Negligence and Liability in a Fort Lauderdale Drunk Driving Accident
To hold the drunk driver liable, we need to ensure you meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold:
- Death, or an injury that will lead to death
- A significant impairment of a vital body part
- A permanent injury that causes a lasting impairment
- Considerable scarring and disfigurement
If the driver receives a conviction in his or her criminal case, we may be able to pursue liability even if your injuries do not precisely meet the severe injury threshold. We will have to review your case to determine if we can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit to hold the drunk driver accountable for their negligent actions. For a free case review, call 1-800-747-3733.
After ensuring you qualify to file a claim or lawsuit, we will gather evidence to prove the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content contributed to your accident and injuries. We still need to show he or she acted negligently to win your case. The criminal case against him or her often makes this more accessible, because police collect much of the evidence for us.
Even if a criminal case is not pursued by the police, we will investigate to prove:
- The driver had a duty to drive reasonably and carefully, including to remain sober behind the wheel
- The driver acted recklessly and carelessly, violating drunk driving laws as well as other traffic laws
- The reckless actions caused the crash and your injuries
- You suffered financial losses in addition to physical and emotional injuries
Navigating the Florida Drunk Driving Accident Claims Process
The first thing we need to do to help you get the money you deserve is to determine if you meet the “serious injury” threshold. We may be able to determine if you are eligible to file a liability claim against the drunk driver during your initial consultation. Once we fully understand your legal options, we can begin the process of investigating your accident and trying to recover the compensation you deserve.
We will handle the entire claims process for you, including:
- Collecting all evidence
- Calling in experts to understand how your accident occurred
- Interviewing witnesses
- Enlisting the help of accident reconstruction specialists
- Obtaining files from the criminal case against the drunk driver
- Estimating a fair settlement value for your case
- Filing an insurance claim on your behalf
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company, if possible
If we cannot use aggressive negotiation tactics to get the fair payout you deserve, we can file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. Filing a lawsuit allows us to present your case to the judge and jury, and ask for the full compensation you deserve. Litigating a case is sometimes the only way to recover the payout you need to cover your financial expenses and noneconomic losses.
Time Limits on Filing a Drunk Driving Injury Accident Lawsuit in Florida
Florida laws give you four years from the date of your injuries to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused your car crash. While this deadline applies only to litigating the case in court, we need to take action quickly after an accident to ensure we can build a solid case and file an insurance claim before deciding if we need to pursue a civil lawsuit. Having the ability to file a lawsuit if necessary also provides leverage to convince the insurance company to pay out instead of going to trial.
Discuss Your Case with a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
A car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you hold the drunk driver who caused you to suffer serious injuries accountable for his or her actions. We offer free case evaluations and consultations. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for your complimentary case review with one of our drunk driving accident attorneys.