3 FAQs About Taking Action Against an Impaired Motorist
Was your life ruined because someone chose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Sadly, you are not alone. Drunk drivers are responsible for roughly 28 traffic fatalities—and many more injuries—every single day.
While the victims (or their surviving loved ones) are often entitled to compensation, they must put together a strong claim in order to seek it. If you’re planning on doing so, here’s what you should know before getting started:
1. How Can You Prove the Driver Who Struck You Was Impaired?
The most compelling evidence of impairment is going to depend on a variety of factors. If the motorist was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, it will likely include:
- The results of any chemical tests conducted at the scene (or a short while later),
- Surveillance footage from the bar or restaurant that served the motorist prior to the accident,
- Social media posts,
- Eyewitness testimony,
- The official police report, and
- Dash camera footage.
Excluding surveillance footage of the motorist drinking, you may end up needing similar kinds of evidence if they were under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. Depending on the drug in question, toxicology reports, relevant prescriptions, and statements from medical experts may also come into play.
2. What Kinds of Damages Can You Include in Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
Virtually all the losses you incur as a result of your injuries are recoverable. This includes both direct expenses like medical bills and indirect ones like lost wages.
Florida also recognizes non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. You’re going to have to prove that you actually incurred such losses, however, in order to secure compensation for them. While that can inevitably pose a challenge, a resourceful car accident lawyer will do everything in their power to ensure your claim is backed by compelling evidence.
3. How Might Any Corresponding Criminal Proceedings Influence Your Claim?
Generally speaking, criminal proceedings and civil cases operate independently of each other. They have different standards of proof, and they’re tried in different courts. That means if the motorist who struck you is charged with DUI, the outcome of that proceeding won’t necessarily impact the outcome of your own.
Put another way, you can seek compensation regardless of whether the motorist is actually convicted of drunk driving. While a conviction could make it easier to prove liability, it’s not required for your tort claim to be successful.
Speak with a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you want to take action against an impaired motorist in Florida, turn to Emerson Straw. Get the knowledge and resources of a powerhouse personal injury practice supporting your every move during the claims process.
Our tenacious team will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash and gather the evidence needed to help you prove liability and damages. Call (727) 821-1500 or submit the Contact Form on our website to set up a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Florida.