Drunk drivers pose a continual danger on the roads of St. Petersburg, despite the efforts of law enforcement officials. In far too many situations, intoxicated drivers cause horrific accidents and leave destruction in their wake, while suffering little or no harm themselves.
Those injured in a drunk driving car accident could hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions by retaining a St. Petersburg drunk driving car accident lawyer and filing a lawsuit. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury caused by a drunk driver, it may be a good idea to consult an accomplished car accident attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights and options for recovering compensation for the harm you endured.
Drunk Driving Laws in St. Petersburg
Florida Statutes §316.193 specifies that drivers who operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent are guilty of driving under the influence. A driver may also be guilty of driving under the influence if that driver’s normal faculties are found to be “impaired” by alcohol or drugs.
Drunk driving is so common that lawmakers needed to specify what the penalties would be for not just one or two violations, but four or more violations. This statute may allow for increased penalties for drunk drivers who do not learn from their past mistakes and continually put others at risk.
No-Fault Insurance Provisions
While Florida’s no-fault insurance requirements effectively bar many lawsuits that could be brought after car wrecks, people who suffer severe injuries due to a motor vehicle crash may be entitled to seek damages under theories of tort liability.
An accident caused by the actions of a drunk driver typically gives rise to liability for negligence or deliberate wrongdoing. If someone suffers a sufficiently serious injury as a result of such an injury, it could make sense for them to hire a drunk driving car accident lawyer in St. Petersburg to help them explore their options for compensation.
Under Florida tort law, an injury qualifies as sufficiently serious to justify a lawsuit if it results in one of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Potential Recoverable Damages
Someone injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver may be entitled to receive monetary damages to compensate for different factors related to the accident. Depending on the circumstances, they may receive money to cover the cost of past medical bills and future medical needs, as well as lost wages and future reduced income.
A St. Petersburg drunk driving car accident lawyer may also be able to recover damages on a plaintiff’s behalf to compensate for intangible harms such as pain and suffering. Because of the egregious nature of drunk driving, an injured party may be awarded punitive damages by the court under Fla. Stat. §768.72. These damages provide added compensation and serve to deter future wrongdoing.
Consult with a St. Petersburg Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney
An accident caused by a drunk driver may result in long-term consequences that those involved may not even have considered beforehand. It is generally wise for anyone suffering injuries as a result of a drunk driving accident to consult an attorney familiar with the ramifications of such cases.
A St. Petersburg drunk driving car accident lawyer could evaluate your situation, advise you of your options, and advocate on your behalf to help you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. Your actions may help deter drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel in the future. To learn more, contact a drunk driving accident attorney and schedule a consultation today.