Serving Victims of Drunk Drivers in Tampa and all of Florida
The worst thing about drunk driving accidents is that they are 100% preventable. Drunk driving fatalities tear families apart. And this happens only because one person made a choice to get behind the wheel of an automobile while they were impaired.
Drunk driving is not an accident, it is a choice. Drunk driving creates hundreds of thousands of victims each year, despite strong and ongoing efforts by communities and governments to deter it. And, victims of DUI drivers in Florida should know and understand what their rights are when a DUI accident happens.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
Florida is tough when it comes to holding drunk drivers accountable to their victims. There are extensive provisions in the Florida statutes that are aimed at helping DUI victims, including mandatory blood alcohol testing of all drivers involved in serious injury crashes who are killed or for those who survive, felony DUI charges for repeat offenders to get them off the road, and what are known as Dram Shop laws in which an establishment can be held liable for serving an intoxicated person who then causes death or injury as a result of an alcohol-related crash.
Florida law mandates that second-time offenders, and some first-time offenders, have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. This device prevents them from driving while intoxicated.
Florida also takes one of the toughest stances in the nation when it comes to drivers under the age of 21. If a driver under 21 is stopped by law enforcement and they test with a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher, their Florida driver’s license will automatically be suspended for six months. This .02 limit, in effect, means that drivers cannot have even one drink and then drive. Florida’s stance indicates a zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
Florida’s Dram Shop Act
Florida is one of the states that has enacted laws that create liability for bars and other establishments that sell liquor. The Dram Shop laws provide DUI victims with another avenue for determining who is legally liable for injuries and what type of punitive damages may be awarded.
Florida Victim Impact Panels
In an effort to educate those convicted of drunk driving, and to educate the public, Florida has created Victim Impact Panels. These meetings serve to help victims cope with what has happened and to help offenders see the consequences of their decision to drive drunk. The panels are non-judgmental and simply a way to create a healing opportunity for all and for the victims to share their stories in a meaningful way.
Help For Victims of Drunk Driving
Florida’s Bureau of Victim Compensation has standards that must be met in order for DUI victims to receive compensation. The criteria include, reporting the crime to the police, suffering injury, cooperating with law enforcement, not engaging in unlawful activity at the time of the crime and several other criteria that are easily met under ordinary circumstances.
Once the victim compensation criteria are met, there are several types of benefits and compensation available to victims of DUI. If someone has died, there could be a claim for loss of support, and in case of injury, loss of wages for time away from work. When injury occurs there can be claims for medical expenses, physical therapy, and mental health counseling to help with the issues victims may be facing. If the injury is severe, there can be a claim for disability. Compensation is also considered for loss of property.
Court or Settlement?
While the criminal justice system and laws hold the offender responsible for their illegal actions, a personal injury DUI case is the most comprehensive way to hold offenders accountable for the full impact of what they’ve done. A personal injury DUI case allows victims to seek fair compensation for themselves and their families, regardless of what happens in the offender’s criminal case. The decision to go to a civil trial or to settle will be made with full regard to the victim and their rights to compensation. After all, victims should have the ability, as best as possible, to get their life back on track without severe financial or emotional burdens.
Drunk drivers create thousands of victims each day and Florida is on the forefront of protecting victims and their families from this negligent behavior. In recent years, Florida law has included extensive provisions for protecting DUI victims.
“Our experience shows us that insurance companies do not want to litigate drunk driving cases. Therefore, when we represent the victim of a drunk driver, we negotiate particularly aggressively. “ Erik G. Abrahamson Representing Victims of Drunk Driving for Over 25 Years
Florida Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer
Are you the victim of a drunk driver? For more than 25 years, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has been fighting for victims of drunk driving who are seeking compensation for serious injuries caused by the reckless behavior of an intoxicated driver. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by an intoxicated driver, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help. Our experienced Tampa drunk driver injury attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of personal injury victims. Each year, thousands of innocent victims are seriously injured or killed in alcohol-related automotive accidents. The statistics below demonstrate just how large the problem of drunk driving has become:
- Over 55,000 DUI tickets were issued in Florida in 2011
- DUI fatalities have been steadily rising since 2000
- Some 112 million intoxicated drivers were on the road in 2010.
- About 3,000 people are injured or killed in drunk driving accidents every year.
- An average of about 300,000 drunk drivers behind the wheel every day.
- About 28 people are killed every day in drunk driving crashes.
- One in three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident of some kind in their lifetime.
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our DUI injury legal team takes it personally when we work with innocent victims who have been seriously injured by the reckless behavior of a drunk driver. We’re driven to pursue personal injury claims related to these accidents efficiently and aggressively. Florida law allows victims of alcohol-related accidents to seek punitive damages against drunk drivers that are designed to punish them for their mistakes. Our drunk driving accident victims lawyers pursue the compensation that drunk driving victims deserve in the form of property damage, medical expenses, loss of income, funeral expenses and pain and suffering. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has recovered millions of dollars for victims who have been seriously injured due to another person’s neglect. Our drunk driving victim attorneys have knowledge and experience to prove fault in the complex context that can surround injury claims. Call Now & Put Our Experienced Attorneys to Work for You! Have you been seriously injured in a drunk driving crash? Contact the experienced Tampa injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 for a free initial consultation.