How Drunk Driving Causes Wrongful Death In FloridaJacksonville Accident News
Every 51 minutes in the United States, an innocent life is tragically lost due to drunk driving, and every 2 minutes, somebody is injured in an accident involving a drunk driver. On the roadways in Florida today, drunk drivers are still a serious problem. Even though there are stricter laws and more preventative measures put in place, people still choose to get behind the wheel after a few drinks.
What Are The Consequences Of Drunk Driving?
A person can be charged with driving under the influence in the state of Florida if their breath-alcohol level is at or above 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. This is measured using a breathalyzer test. The test is administered by police at the station in a controlled environment. The driver gives two breathes into a device that monitors the alcohol content by electrochemical and infrared processes.
Charges for drunk driving can range from misdemeanors to felonies, and first-time offenders can get a fine of up to $10,000. Florida, among other states, requires certain DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This device is another type of breath test in which the driver’s vehicle will not start until the driver breathes into the device with a BAL of 0.02 or less.
How Does Alcohol Affect A Person?
Alcohol can affect different people in different ways and can affect everyone’s driving. Alcohol dramatically impairs an individual’s judgment and reaction time. This impairment can be deadly as it can cause a severe crash. If you are to come in contact with an intoxicated driver, it’s important that you stay in your vehicle until first responders arrive. Alcohol can make a person very unpredictable, as well as:
- Angry, agitated, or confrontational. They could be yelling, slamming things around, or trying to get you to come out of the vehicle.
- Confused or groggy. They may not know what happened or if they were injured.
- Unstable equilibrium causing stumbling. One of the most common symptoms of drunkenness is stumbling.
- Their vision could become impaired, shown as glassy or bloodshot eyes. Some impaired drivers see double while intoxicated which could be deadly.
- Their thoughts could become muddled, their speech slurred. Another common way to know if a driver is intoxicated is their speech is hard to understand due to their slurring.
An apparent way to spot an inebriated driver is if they smell of what it is they’ve been consuming. Never accuse an intoxicated person of being drunk, as this could cause them to become irate and extremely aggressive.
Drunk Driving And Wrongful Death
All too often, drunk driving accidents end in fatality. Even though it’s just a drink at the end of a long shift before you go home, it could mean the untimely end of one or more lives. Even if the victims are alive when they enter the ambulance or appear to be ok at the scene, an undetected internal injury could be progressing and they wouldn’t know it with the amount of adrenaline rushing through their body at the time of the accident.
Statistically, every two hours, three people are killed from injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident. Unfortunately, no matter how unanimous the declaration that drinking and driving is dangerous, it’s estimated that four million adult drivers do so at least once a year. This leads to a staggering 10,300, or one-third, or more fatalities in traffic accidents.
Drunk driving cases aren’t always easy to litigate. Even if there is a record of recurring behavior for the driver, insurance companies and defense attorneys will pull out all the tricks to drag the case along. To achieve the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve for your losses, it will take a team of wrongful death attorneys with dedication, compassion, and skill.
Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim In Florida?
In the state of Florida, not everybody is allowed to bring a wrongful death claim. Florida’s statutes state that if an individual’s life is cut short due to the negligence and carelessness of a drunk driver, a representative of the deceased’s estate has the right to bring evidence of wrongful death in a suit to the Florida courts. The representative is usually named in the will or trust. If a representative is not named, the courts will appoint one to them. In most Florida wrongful death cases, the representative of the estate is usually a surviving spouse.
In a wrongful death claim, the estate’s representative has an obligation to name everyone affected and legally able to claim interest in the suit. All surviving family members, including parents and children or anyone depending on the services or support of the deceased. These people cannot file their own suit.
The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim brought by the deceased’s estate representative can include but are not limited to:
- Economic Damages- These are financial losses including medical costs, funeral costs, and the loss of the deceased’s financial contributions.
- Noneconomic Damages- These put a monetary value on things that money can’t buy such as the loss of companionship or the family’s pain and suffering.
- Punitive Damages- These are meant to either punish the defendant for their actions or are used to deter the defendant or other individuals from engaging in similar actions.
Talking With A Wrongful Death Attorney In Florida
If the life of your loved one was wrongfully taken at the negligence of a drunk driver, you’re going to need the help of a wrongful death attorney in Florida. With decades of combined experience, our compassionate team of wrongful death attorneys at Sheftall Law have the legal knowledge necessary to take care of your needs and rights in these trying times and we will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you lost your loved one due to an accident caused by drunk driving in Florida, please contact a wrongful death attorney at Sheftall Law at (904) 569-6025 today or visit sheftalllaw.com to explore the legal options that are available to you.