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Oldsmar DUI Accident Lawyer

Like all other states in the U.S., Florida law makes it illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more. While criminalizing this behavior does help keep intoxicated drivers off of the road, accidents involving inebriated motorists still occur at an alarming rate across the state. In fact, in 2018, the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that there were 5,106 alcohol confirmed crashes in Florida in 2018 alone.

Fortunately, it is possible to hold intoxicated drivers accountable for their decision to drive while inebriated, so if you were injured in a collision with a drunk driver, it is important to contact an experienced Oldsmar DUI accident lawyer who can help you seek compensation for your losses.

Proving Fault

The burden of proving fault in a DUI case depends in large part on whether the plaintiffs can establish the driver’s degree of intoxication at the time of the crash. Fortunately, law enforcement officers typically record this information when they respond to an accident. In fact, under state law, police officers can require a driver to take a BAC test (and use reasonable force in doing so) if there is cause to believe that a driver is intoxicated. The results of these tests can provide firm evidence that a driver failed to use reasonable care by choosing to drive while under the influence.

Recovering Damages

Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that generally, accident victims are required to go through their own insurers to obtain compensation after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained in DUI accidents tend to be severe, so it is not uncommon for the limits of these policies to be exceeded when covering the cost of medical expenses and lost earnings. In these cases, or when an injury qualifies as “serious”, the injured party could also file a claim against the at-fault driver in court. If successful, plaintiffs could be entitled to compensation not only for economic losses, like medical bills and property damage, but also reimbursement for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Comparative Negligence

One of the most common defenses raised by drunk drivers who cause collisions is that another motorist also contributed in some way to the accident. Fortunately, just because a person contributed to an accident, does not mean that he or she will be barred from recovery. Instead, the plaintiff’s award will be reduced by his or her degree of fault in causing the accident. If, for example, a driver were speeding at the time that he or she was struck by the impaired driver, that individual could be held partially liable for the accident because the excessive speed could have contributed to the severity of the collision. However, he or she will still be able to recover compensation for the intoxicated driver’s contribution to the accident.

Call Today for Help with Your Case

To speak with an Oldsmar DUI accident lawyer about your own options for recovery following a collision caused by a drunk driver, please call the Pawlowski // Mastrilli Law Group today.

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