When you are involved in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, damages can go far beyond physical injuries. You feel angry, frustrated and even betrayed that someone would be so careless with other peoples' lives. When the time comes to get compensated for your injuries, you may be confused about the damages to which you are entitled, and how to get that compensation. Here are five factors that go into Florida DUI compensation for victims.
The first thing that has to be demonstrated is the degree of fault held by the DUI driver. In most cases, a civil court will accept a criminal conviction as proof of fault in the crash. This is a legal concept known as “negligence per se.”
However, finding negligence isn't the end of the story. In Florida, a defendant can argue comparative negligence — that they were not 100% at fault. This means your attorney will need to argue the degree of fault held and is a major reason why having a personal injury lawyer in your corner is a good idea.
Long-Term Medical Care
If you suffer a long-term injury that is chronic or results in disability, your medical bills can stack up and present major financial challenges. If the DUI driver is found responsible for your injuries or disability, your damages may include coverage of these medical costs.
Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop laws state that an establishment holds part of the responsibility for a drunken driver. This means that if you are struck and injured by a driver under the influence, the bar where they were drinking could bear partial responsibility. Such laws help to ensure that you will receive compensation for your injury, as establishments have a track record of paying up when it comes down to it.
Wrongful Death Statutes
If a loved one is in a DUI accident and dies as a result of the drunk driver's actions, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. This is particularly true if the deceased was a primary wage owner or caregiver in the family. Valuing pain and suffering from loss is tricky, and a qualified personal injury attorney can be a great ally in this process.
Loss of Work and Opportunity
Auto accidents can lead to injuries which can make a person unable to work at present or in the future. In such cases, the jury will often consider lost wages and even lost potential future earning (lost opportunity) as part of the damages awarded. The more your injuries affect your earning capacity, the more compensation you are entitled to receive.
Don't Go It Alone
If you suffer this kind of injury, never try to go it alone. Florida DUI compensation cases can be tricky and full of potential pitfalls that can cost you money you deserve. Seek the services of a personal injury attorney to be sure your rights are protected. For more information, read a bit about our services, and give us a call for a free consultation today or email us through our contact page.