Accidents involving a drunk driver can be costly, both from an emotional and a financial perspective. The consequences of a drunk driving accident can follow you around for months or even years. Since these crashes often occur at high speeds, you may experience serious or permanently disabling injury.
Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents in Tampa are common. According to the Tampa Police Department, there were 2,087 DUI arrests in 2016 and about 13.8% of crashes in the city involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
If you or a loved one recently experienced an accident with an impaired driver, learn about your legal options – and when to contact an attorney.
Drunk Driving Is a Crime
A DUI is a criminal offense, and those who drive under the influence of alcohol are likely to face fines, license suspension or revocation, and even jail time. These criminal charges exist to protect the public from reckless behavior that may lead to harm. These fees and fines won’t go toward your recovery, however. This is why the civil justice system exists and allows you to file a lawsuit on top of criminal charges.
A personal injury lawsuit is often your best course of action for recovering damages that arise from your accident. You may be able to gain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering associated with your experience.
Fault and Florida Civil Lawsuits
When it comes to insurance matters, Florida follows a “no-fault” system. This means that no matter who is at fault for your accident, you’ll seek compensation from your own insurance company. This can be helpful to drivers who don’t want a lengthy court proceeding to decide who is at fault for an accident, but it has its disadvantages.
An insurance claim is often not enough to cover the full extent of damages and lost wages, and an insurance company might not want to provide compensation for intangible losses. Fortunately, Florida law allows an injured motorist to sue when their injuries meet a certain threshold or damages exceed a certain dollar amount. Since drunk driving accidents often involve serious injuries, they may meet this threshold.
Your Next Steps
If you recently sustained an injury with a drunk driver, you may be overwhelmed with questions. Not only do you have to worry about your medical bills, but you will also likely miss work while you’re recovering from your injuries. The side effects from a drunk driving accident, both financial and emotional, can last a lifetime.
This is when having a personal injury attorney is beneficial. With the help of an experienced Tampa drunk driving lawyer, you can gain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering associated with your experience.
If you’re ready to get on the road to financial and physical recovery, call the attorneys at Fiol Law Group. In a free initial consultation, we’ll review the facts of your case and help you decide what to do next. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.