How Do You Hold a Drunk Driver Accountable for the Damages They Cause?
Drunk driving is a serious problem across the country, but it’s especially prevalent in Florida. Every year, more than 800 of the state’s traffic fatalities are attributed to drunk drivers. An additional 10,000 people are hurt in alcohol-related collisions on Florida roads annually.
While there’s no way to erase the devastation that impaired motorists leave in their wake, victims and their families are often able to hold drunk drivers financially accountable for the resulting damages. Put another way, you can’t put a price on your health or vitality, but you can seek the funds needed to lead a relatively normal life in the aftermath.
If you want to secure a payout from a drunk driver, you’re going to have to prove four critical elements. Learn what they are below:
1. A Duty of Care
Those putting together a personal injury claim founded on negligence must start by demonstrating how the liable party owed them a duty of care. This is fairly straightforward for car accident victims because every motorist has an implied duty of care to those in traffic around them.
In other words, as long as you were traveling on a public roadway at the time of the crash, you should be able to argue the motorist who struck you owed you a duty of care.
2. A Breach of Duty
Negligence is characterized by a breach of duty, and getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol certainly constitutes such a breach. Evidence that may help you prove the other driver was drunk includes:
- The official police report,
- Eyewitness testimony,
- Statements from responding officers,
- Surveillance footage,
- Toxicology reports, and
- Social media posts.
Unfortunately, evidence of impairment won’t be enough to secure a payout, no matter how strong it may be. You’re also going to have to prove that the motorist actually caused the crash and that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of it. Put another way, you must convince the insurance adjuster that you wouldn’t have gotten hurt but for the driver’s negligence.
The final element of every successful car accident claim is damages. You must have incurred actual losses because of the wreck. In Florida, personal injury claimants may seek compensation for the following:
- Loss of enjoyment in life,
- Emotional distress,
- Pain and suffering,
- Home care,
- Alternative transportation,
- Home and vehicle modifications,
- Replacement services,
- Property repairs,
- Lost earnings, and
- Medical bills.
Evidence that may help you demonstrate these and other damages includes:
- Photographs of any scarring or disfigurement,
- Personal journal entries,
- Statements from loved ones,
- Medical records,
- Heath insurance statements,
- Relevant receipts and invoices, and
Speak with a Tampa Car Accident Attorney
At Capaz Law Firm, P.A., we know what kind of impact unanticipated injuries can have on the whole family. If you were seriously hurt in a collision with a drunk driver, we’ll do everything in our power to help you hold them accountable. Call 813-551-3907 or complete our Contact Form to set up a free, no obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer in Tampa.