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 lawyer can help you sort all this out and answer your questions.
A drunk driving accident lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida can help you file an accident claim. At 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
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 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 injury, like depression and anxiety.
Hiring a Lawyer 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 a 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 a lawyer, 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.
If injured in a wreck with a drunk driver, please contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine. Call 800-747-3733 to schedule your free consultation. There is no obligation. We only get paid legal fees when you recover compensation.