DUI Accident Attorney West Palm Beach
Drunk driving accidents are 100% preventable, and those who commit the act of driving under the influence of alcohol face harsh penalties. Even though driving under the influence (DUI) carries criminal penalties, an experienced West Palm Beach drunk driving accident attorney from Wolf & Pravato can help victims injured due to a drunk driver file civil claims for damages, or in certain cases, the establishment that served the alcohol to the driver.
Drunk driving in the United States is a punishable offense. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports drunk driving crashes causing more than 10,000 casualties every year. Hence, a drunk driver is subjected to legal consequences including legal action from anyone who has suffered injuries because of their negligence.
If you or your loved one have suffered injuries due to a drunk driver, our drunk driving accident lawyer at Wolf and Pravato can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
In the State of Florida, driving under the influence of alcohol is legally defined as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher for people aged 21 and over. For minors under the age of 21, the maximum BAC is 0.05%. Penalties for driving under the influence can include monetary fines, jail or prison time, or the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. Statistics also show that the number of DUI accidents in West Palm Beach is consistently higher than those for the state of Florida as a whole.
What Are Legal Procedures in Drunk Driving Accidents?
The law and enforcement recognize drunk driving situations as a severe crime. Victims who can recall the details of the accident can help build a strong case against the drunk driver in both criminal and civil court. Following this, a well-created police report including thorough details of the accident and supporting the victim’s recollection of the accident serves as a primary aim to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.
In addition, the blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more is considered a definite standard for legal intoxication, and criminal charges are associated with it. Police officers can investigate anyone operating a vehicle with a drive train, motorized or not, meaning that intoxicated people operating boats, riding lawn mowers, mopeds, scooters, and bicycles are subject to field sobriety tests.
The officers can stop any driver and perform field sobriety or breathalyzer tests under suspicion of intoxicated driving. The suspicion is made from negligent driving behaviors of the driver including swerving between lanes, failure to yield or signal a turn.
Further, the confirmation of intoxication is done by chemical analysis of the driver’s blood alcohol content through a urine test, blood test, or a breathalyzer.
What Are The Consequences of Drunk Driving Accidents?
Criminal charges can be filed against people caught driving under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance including prescription drugs or marijuana. The stringency of charges depends on the severity of the accident and the circumstances involved. For example, if the drunk driver caused death or significant injuries to the victims, the charges will automatically be harsh.
First-time offenders usually have to pay expensive fines and legal fees to avoid future occurrences. On the other hand, repeat offenders can face different consequences including revocation of driver’s license, jail, and so forth. It is important to note here that aside from the charges by State attorneys, you can still sue the offender for compensation for the accident. In this regard, a drunk driving accident lawyer can help you understand the best course of action and different recovery options.
If we dig deep into drunk driving accidents, the liability always lies completely on the driver who had one too many and yet chose to get behind the wheel. Nevertheless, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), bartenders or other servers in both commercial or private settings can also have liabilities for your injuries.
The laws and procedures of every state vary. Hence, getting in touch with a West Palm Beach DUI accident lawyer at Wolf and Pravato in Florida is important to know your recovery options.
West Palm Beach, Florida Dram Shop Law
Dram shop laws are meant to hold liable any drinking establishments, such as bars and restaurants if that establishment serves alcohol to a person who is already visibly intoxicated. The establishments may be responsible for damages to anyone injured by those to whom they served alcohol.
The State of Florida, however, has a very limited dram shop law. Under Florida law, people or establishments that sell alcohol are not held liable for accidents caused by the people they served unless that individual is a minor or if the person is known to be “habitually addicted” to alcohol.
If alcohol is sold to a person who is known to have a history of alcohol addiction, the court can view that person as a “foreseeable risk of injury” due to his or her incapability of making responsible decisions regarding alcohol. Although there are limitations to liability under civil law, a business owner who was negligent in serving alcohol may face repercussions under criminal law.
If an intoxicated minor causes an accident after being sold alcohol, the state imposes “strict liability,” which means that the establishment will be liable for damages, whether they knew the person served was under 21 or not.
West Palm Beach DUI Accident Lawyers
As with any car accident caused by a negligent driver, the victim of a drunk driving accident will need to prove that the other driver owed a duty of care and that the duty was breached, resulting in an accident that caused the injury. By definition, drunk driving is a breach of the duty of care, so we will need to show that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The DUI accident attorneys from Wolf & Pravato will fight for you in court in order to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. The families of victims killed by drunk drivers may be eligible for wrongful death damages.
Additionally, punitive damages may be possible due to the egregious act of driving under the influence of alcohol. It may be possible to punish the drunk driver by having him or her pay punitive damages. This will also work to serve as awarding to others who may get behind the wheel after having too much to drink.
How Wolf and Pravato Can Help?
As we mentioned, the ball usually lies in the court of a drunk accident victim. A victim can seek legal help to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, repair bills, and the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
A drunk driving accident lawyer in West Palm Beach can help you with:
- Doing a thorough investigation of your case.
- Calculating full recovery you need
- Convey your perspective as an accident victim to the liable parties
- Consideration of all recovery options
- Filing of all the necessary documentation to the civil court
The team at Wolf and Pravato makes sure that every step is followed to create a strong case at your end. Our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers with complete knowledge of the statutes of limitations can prepare a case that works in your favor. They can also help you in formulating a legal strategy to pursue your fight for justice and compensation.
Connect With Our DUI Accident Attorneys in West Palm Beach
Drunk driving is irresponsible behavior and you should not suffer the consequences alone. If you or your loved ones are in crisis due to the actions of an intoxicated driver, reach our drunk driving accident lawyers at Law Offices of Wolf and Pravato so that they can handle your recovery needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you sue someone for drunk driving?
Yes, if an intoxicated driver hits or causes you injuries, you can file a lawsuit against them. You can establish negligence with the evidence of a driver’s intoxication or traffic violation.
Is it worth getting an attorney for a drunk driving car accident?
Yes. A drunk driving car accident is a punishable offense and can still have different statutes in the law and enforcement. Being a civil citizen, you may not know the rules or the ways to recover your compensation. However, a lawyer can help you recover from your injuries with his broad experience and knowledge.
How many accidents are caused by alcohol?
Alcohol-impaired driving accidents contribute to approximately 31% of all traffic fatalities in the USA. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports drunk driving crashes causing more than 10,000 casualties every year.
How does drunk driving cause accidents?
Alcohol consumption impairs the cognitive skills of a person which also leaves a huge impact on driving skills. Impaired driving can cause accidents that lead to paralysis, disfigurement, brain damage, and even death.
What is the punishment for drunk and driving?
Drunk and drive is a punishable crime. The intoxicated driver can face significant punishment depending on the severity of the accident. It can range from fines to losing their driving licenses as well as higher insurance costs.