St. Petersburg DUI Accident Lawyer
As a driver on the roads in St. Petersburg, or surrounding areas of Florida, you have a reasonable expectation that others on the road around you will be exercising the same duty of care as you are. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case – there are far too many careless, reckless, and negligent drivers behind the wheels of automobiles in our state. One of the most dangerous driver types is the driver who decides to operate their motor vehicle after having too much to drink. If you are hit by a drunk driver, our St. Petersburg DUI accident lawyers will be by your side to build your case and help you to recover compensation for your harm.
Holding a Drunk Driver Liable for Harm
When a car accident occurs, the at-fault party can be held liable for harm if you can prove that the accident would not have occurred but for the at-fault party’s negligence. While convicting a drunk driver of a DUI will require proving that they had a BAC of .08 percent or were impaired to the extent that they could not safely operate a motor vehicle, the burden of proof in a civil claim is not beyond a reasonable doubt; instead, it is by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that in order to hold a drunk driver liable, you do not have to prove that their BAC was .08 percent or above; instead, you will need to prove that they acted negligently, and that this negligence was the cause of your crash and damages. Negligence might be being impaired, but it could also be an act such as swerving, speeding, or performing an illegal maneuver. If proof of the driver’s BAC does exist, this can be a slam dunk for your case. However, it is not necessary to hold the driver liable for your harm.
Damages Recoverable and the Claims Process
While the no-fault system in Florida requires that each driver file a claim with their own insurance company after a crash first regardless of fault, you are allowed to pursue damages against the at-fault party if you have suffered serious injuries. If you have suffered serious injuries, you can seek compensation not just for your economic losses (property damage costs, medical expenses, and lost wages), but also your noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, emotional distress, etc.). Our lawyers can help you to navigate this process, gather evidence to support your case, calculate damages, send a demand letter, and negotiate your settlement.
A Drunk Driver Should Be Held Responsible – We Can Help
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a car and causes harm to another person, they should be held liable for their actions. While a criminal action brought against them may result in penalties like a fine, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension, the only way to recover monetary damages from a drunk driver who’s harmed you is to bring a civil action against them.
Our St. Petersburg DUI accident lawyers understand the plight you are facing and the severity of your injuries, and we want to help. Please reach out to our lawyers directly today for a free consultation and information about what steps to take next.