It is an unfortunate reality that drunk driving accidents spike during the holidays. Whether it is a family get-together or a company party, people celebrating the holidays often means getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving accidents can lead to serious injuries and even death in some cases. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, the best thing you can do is contact a Fort Walton car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Drunk Driving is Negligent Driving
First and foremost, you need to understand that driving while intoxicated is negligence, meaning that the other driver can be held legally responsible for the injuries and other losses they have caused. This means that you can pursue a claim against them and their insurance company for monetary compensation for the following:
- Expenses incurred for your medical treatment
- Lost income because you are unable to work as a result of your accident
- Your pain and suffering
- Damage to your vehicle
A Fort Walton car accident lawyer can evaluate your claim and provide you with an estimate of what it may be worth at your initial consultation.
Your Personal Injury Claim is Independent of The DUI Prosecution
More than likely, the other driver in your accident is facing DUI charges as a result of your accident. It is important to understand that that case is completely separate from any personal injury claim you may have against the other driver. While the other driver may be ordered to pay restitution, there are no guarantees that you will be compensated in any way as a result of their DUI case.
Furthermore, you can still pursue your claim even if the driver’s DUI charges are dropped. While a conviction may certainly help your personal injury claim, it sometimes makes sense to proceed without waiting for the DUI case to get resolved. A Fort Walton car accident lawyer will know how to use the DUI case to maximum benefit while also understanding when is the right time for you to pursue your claim.
There is Dram Shop Liability in Florida, But it Is Limited
Many states have “dram shop” laws that allow people injured by drunk drivers to sue the bar or other establishment that served the drunk driver. There is dram shop liability in Florida, but it is limited to the following situations:
- The drunk driver was under the age of 21; or
- The drunk driver was known to be someone “habitually addicted” to alcohol.
Dram shop liability is very difficult to establish. If you think either of these scenarios may apply to your case, the best thing you can do is contact a Fort Walton car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Don’t Wait - Contact a Fort Walton Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, a Fort Walton car accident lawyer from Powell, Powell & Powell can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, email or call us today at 805-682-2757.