Getting into any type of car accident is a painful and frustrating experience, and being involved in a motor vehicle crash with a drunk driver — especially one that causes injuries — can be infuriating. The at-fault driver knowingly got behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, and caused a crash that you or your loved ones were involved in.
Drunk driving car accidents are some of the most avoidable types of crashes in the country, but 11,654 were killed in 2020 in crashes caused by drivers with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Surviving family members in these instances are entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim, while surviving victims can seek compensation through a personal injury claim. This can either be filed through the drunk driver’s insurance company or, in some cases, directly against the driver themselves.
Lewis & Castagliola, P.A. Can Help You Get the Money You Deserve
Lewis & Castagliola, P.A. is a personal injury law firm with more than 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of personal injury victims and their surviving family members. If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident, contact our firm as soon as possible to request a free consultation with a proven drunk driving accident attorney in St. Petersburg.
During your consultation, we will review the specifics of your situation and provide you with advice and insights about how to move forward with your case. We understand that drunk driving accidents have a significant impact on victims’ lives, and are happy to offer this opportunity to get in-depth advice from a knowledgeable legal professional in order to alleviate stress caused by the many unknowns a victim encounters after any type of car accident.
Drunk Driving Laws in St. Petersburg
Drunk driving is a serious offense in Florida, and there are strict laws in place that establish limitations on operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and other mind-altering drugs. Florida uses the terms Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) interchangeably to mean the same thing.
In Florida, an adult driver over the age of 21 is legally drunk if their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 0.08%, and drivers under the age of 21 are legally drunk with a BAC above 0.02%. Drivers can also be charged with DWI if they are impaired by drugs that do not register on a breath test, or if their driving is affected even if their BAC is below the legal threshold.
No-Fault Insurance Provisions
After a drunk driving accident in St. Petersburg, victims have the benefit of seeking immediate financial relief through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy, a mandatory no-fault insurance that covers medical expenses and lost wages for the policyholder and passengers regardless of who caused the accident.
A drunk driver who causes a drunk driving crash will likely face criminal charges, and victims will likely be able to seek civil damages; however, this no-fault provision means that the injured party can collect damages up to the policy limit before having to consider any legal action at all.
Potential Recoverable Damages
There are a number of damages that car accident victims may be entitled to; however, actually recovering those damages is more complicated than simply filing an insurance claim against the insurance company representing the drunk driver.
Some of the most common damages that victims are able to recover after a car accident include:
- Medical expenses — current and future
- Lost wages — current and future
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of consortium
And in the event of a fatal car accident, certain parties related to the deceased can seek compensation for:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of future financial contributions
Each of these lists are limited examples that may not apply to your unique situation. Each damage that a drunk driving accident victim is owed is specific to their circumstances, and two victims of the same accident may have vastly different damage amounts owed to them.
Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents in St. Petersburg, FL
The following are just a few accidents that a drunk driver may cause. Whether or not you see the cause of your accident below, contact our firm right away to request a free consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer and get started on your case today.
Some of the most common types of drunk driving accidents in St. Petersburg, FL include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Intersection accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
Each of the accidents listed above (and many others) can easily be caused by a drunk driver who fails to pay attention to their surroundings and is dealing with issues like delayed reaction times, decreased risk awareness, numbed senses, drowsiness, and more.
Whether or not you see the accident type you were involved in listed here, contact us as soon as possible. If someone else caused your accident through negligent, reckless, or criminal behavior, then you may be entitled to compensation that our firm is ready to help you fight to recover.
Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in St. Petersburg, FL
Some of the most common injuries caused by drunk driving accidents are listed below. As with the list of accident types above, this list is not meant to be exhaustive. If your injuries were caused by the crash a drunk driver caused, then you deserve compensation that our drunk driving accidents lawyer can help you fight for.
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
No two injuries are alike, and each will impact different victims in vastly different ways. Factors like age, health issues, and others will all contribute to a victim’s recovery time, and many injuries will have substantial impacts on a victim’s ability to earn an income.
No matter what injuries you have suffered in an accident caused by a drunk driver, our team of St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys will be able to review your situation and quantify the damages you have actually suffered before pursuing the insurance company aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.