Miami Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Intoxicated individuals put lives at risk when they decide to get behind the wheel, and victims’ lives change drastically because of that poor judgment. Accidents involving drunk or otherwise impaired drivers can lead to severe injury and death, claiming thousands of innocent lives every single year.
Victims of drunk driving accidents deserve the best legal support and advocacy in the courtroom. We will provide expert representation to ensure a victim receives the compensation he or she deserves. We have considerable experience representing victims of drunk driving accidents.
Drunk Driving Laws in Florida
To win compensation in a personal injury case, the victim must prove that the other person involved was acting carelessly or negligently. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a form of negligence. According to Florida Statute 316.193(1), a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% is too drunk to drive. If a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance such as meth or heroin, he or she is also subject to impaired driving laws.
Under statute 316.193(2), a drunk driving incident that does not result in injury, property damage, or death is punishable by:
- A fine between $500 to $1,000 and imprisonment up to six months for a first conviction;
- A fine between $1,000 to $2,000 and imprisonment up to nine months for a second conviction; and
- Additional punishment, including felony charges, increased prison time, and heavier fines for further convictions.
Consequences are more serious if the driver has a BAC of 0.15%, a child is present, or the accident involves property damage, injury, or death. A drunk driver can face first-degree misdemeanor or a first- and second-degree felony charges based on the severity of the accident and prior offenses. Killing or seriously injuring another person will increase the punishment.
Who Is Liable?
Under statute 316.193, a driver with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is liable for a drunk driving accident that results in injury, property damage, or death. The driver is also liable if he or she was under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances during the accident. According to Florida statute 324.021, also known as Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law, drivers who are involved in accidents that result in injury, property damage, or death must have full liability insurance coverage.
The minimum amounts of this coverage are:
- $10,000 of bodily injury liability per person
- $20,000 of bodily injury liability per crash
- $10,000 of property damage liability per crash
- $10,000 of personal injury protection limits per person per crash
The victim will first need to file a claim with his or her insurance company before filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company. This is because Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. If the injuries are severe, the victim can then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
Statute 324.021 requires insurance companies to provide compensation to victims of drunk driving accidents, but these companies can lowball victims if they do not have legal representation. Hiring an experienced lawyer will ensure that the victim receives the compensation he or she deserves.
The Miami attorneys at Flanagan & Bodenheimer Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm are highly skilled in drunk driving accident cases and will work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.