Victims of DUI accidents suffer some of the most serious injuries in Florida. Most of these accidents would have been preventable if the drivers weren’t intoxicated behind the wheels. The law protects you as the victim of a DUI crime and mandates victims to receive damages through Florida’s Crimes Compensation Act.
However, you must be eligible to qualify for these benefits. There are many complexities involving a DUI accident, but the Miami personal injury lawyers at Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A. can use their expertise to ease the process for you. But understanding what is required of you after the crash is integral to the success of your personal injury case.
How Can I Prove that Intoxication Was Responsible for the Accident?
Causing someone serious bodily injury while drunk driving is a third-degree felony. And a drunk driver can be identified by their behaviors, which include:
- Their refusal to take a breath test, with the hope that the alcohol levels go down with time
- Their impairment behavior during the roadside sobriety tests or immediately after the Accident
The accident report prepared by the local law enforcers is also a good source of information about the other driver’s state. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.8% can attract a DUI criminal charge, apart from your personal injury claim against them. Their drunk status can directly affect the damages you seek for your injuries.
Your Miami DUI accident lawyer will also look into the offender’s driving record to see if they have been convicted of a drinking behavior before. If they are second or third-time offenders, the case might be taken even more seriously.
But remember that the other driver’s drunk status isn’t enough to prove fault. You have to prove that they actually caused the crash with the help of accident recreation testimonies, witness reports, red-light or similar footage, photos of the scene and damages, and the accident report.
How Can I Prove that the DUI Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
The only way to clear yourself of any wrongdoing is to bring forth evidence showing that you were not negligent. Seasoned car accident lawyers in Miami are connected to experts who can recreate crash scenes, chemical experts for fire accidents, and scientific analysts who can testify about who was at fault. And with all these resources, your case will be free from any doubts.
Beware of insurance adjustors that can exploit the situation if they find out that you were partly at fault in the crash. They might call you and try to offer compensation that is way less than what you deserve. Your attorney can protect you and take over the communication, and will not accept anything less than what you are legally entitled to.
What Benefits Do I Qualify for After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?
There are things that you need to have done to qualify for compensation in Florida. For example, you need to have reported the incident within 72 hours from when the Accident happened.
Make sure that you contact an experienced Miami DUI accident attorney to get notified of the steps you need to take to avoid missing out on your deserved damages.
- Property Damage/Loss Reimbursement. If the drunk driver destroyed your vehicle to the extent that it needs a full replacement, they might have to cater for the cost of it. They will also cater for repairs if that is all that is needed.
- Mental health Counseling. Accidents don’t only cause trauma to your physical body. Your mental health can also suffer the effects, and it will take medical intervention to help you recover. The compensation can cover the cost for you to attend counseling sessions.
- Treatment Expenses. Recovering from an accident caused by a drunk driver might require a significant amount of medical attention. It could be anything from medication management, long-term therapy, to surgical intervention. You should include all these expenses in your compensation package.
- Disability. Disfigurements from a DUI accident also get compensated. For instance, if you get permanently injured, you might be entitled to ongoing disability benefits.
- Wage Loss. The injuries can change your employment status or your ability to work. Your compensation claim should consider the wages you would have lost up-to-date and what you might not be able to earn in the future.
The process of fighting for full compensation is not that easy. It is an uphill task, but the result is worth all the time and effort. The experience and skill of a personal injury attorney in Florida are what it takes to win the case.
Will I Automatically Get a Larger Settlement in a DUI Accident?
You can never be certain about the kind of damages you will receive in a DUI accident because the determination is usually unique to each case. The one factor that gives most DUI incidences a higher settlement is the doctrine of exemplary damages or punitive damages. You can seek these damages in instances where the other driver was particularly reckless or irresponsible.
Judges can use this punitive action to punish or deter the drunk driver from repeating the same kinds of mistakes in the future. The specifics of the case determine whether the action is necessary or not. Your attorney can investigate the driver’s driving history and ensure that they are punished as they deserve for their irresponsible behavior. It is an excellent way to protect other drivers that would sustain injuries and losses from a similar accident.
Legal Guidance From Personal Injury Experts
The drunk driver’s insurers always work diligently to defend their clients. They do not care about your injuries – all they are concerned about is reducing the total amount they pay to you as a claimant. And your claim might be more valuable than you think.
Work closely with an experienced Miami car accident attorney to avoid being shortchanged. Our in-house personal injury attorneys in Miami, FL, are experienced in DUI accidents and will work diligently to ensure you’re well compensated for your injuries. Talk to us today at (305) 670-6144 to claim your FREE initial consultation.