When a drunk driver in Tarpon Springs strikes you, it can be damaging enough to carry life-long consequences. To seek justice and financial compensation from the drunk driver that struck you, contacting a car wreck attorney may be an important first step.
According to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person is injured by a drunk driver every 90 seconds. Fortunately, you may have the right to sue the intoxicated driver responsible for your injuries. A Tarpon Springs drunk driving car accident lawyer may have the skill and experience to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Effects of Alcohol on a Driver
There are multiple physical effects associated with alcohol that can have a negative impact on the ability to drive safely. Those factors include:
- Poor judgment
- Reduced vision
- Slow reaction time
- Poor comprehension and decision-making
Alcohol can also impair a driver’s ability to physically react or mentally comprehend potential hazards on the roadway. These effects may all contribute to liability on the part of a driver who chooses to get behind the wheel even though they are impaired.
Drunk Driving Laws Applicable to Tarpon Springs
Florida, like all states, outlaws driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. State law sets a blood alcohol concentration limit of .08, meaning that operating a vehicle on a public road at or above that level could lead to criminal charges.
While a criminal conviction for drunken driving does not guarantee compensation in a civil case, it can be used as evidence of intoxication by a Tarpon Springs drunk driving car accident attorney. Florida law also addresses the potential for additional damages in a drunk driving car accident lawsuit.
According to Florida Statutes §768.762, punitive damages are available in cases where a drunk driver causes an accident that leads to a serious injury. Punitive damages are rare, but they may apply in a drunk driving case.
Potentially Responsible Parties in a Drunk Driving Accident
It may seem obvious that anyone injured has the right to file a lawsuit against the drunken driver that caused their injuries. However, other parties may bear some liability as well.
For example, a plaintiff in Florida may sue the owner of a vehicle involved in a drunk driving accident if the owner knew the driver was intoxicated and allowed the driver to use it anyway. This legal concept is known as negligent entrustment. If a drunken driver was on the job at the time of the crash, a plaintiff could potentially recover damages from both the driver and their employer.
Finally, bartenders have a duty to refuse service of alcohol in some situations. If they fail to do so, they could find themselves on the hook for any damages that result from an accident. According to Fla. Stat. §768.125, bartenders are liable for any damages if they serve a customer knowing they are either underage or habitually addicted to alcohol.
How a Tarpon Springs Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney Could Help
If you have suffered an injury due to a drunken driver, you deserve justice. If you are ready to start the process of recovering monetary compensation from the person responsible for your injuries, contact a Tarpon Springs drunk driving car accident lawyer as soon as possible.