Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents are among the most devastating types of traffic collisions. Immokalee drunk driving accident victims need to know they have a committed and experienced legal ally in Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured.
We recognize that while there is nothing that is going to heal you completely after a catastrophic injury or bring a loved one back you have lost, we can help hold negligent parties accountable and assist in helping you regain your financial footing.
Potential defendants in Immokalee drunk driving accident cases are:
- The drunk driver.
- The person who owned the car the drunk driver was operating.
- The drunk driver’s employer (if he/ she was acting at the employer’s behest).
- The establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol (if he/ she was under 21).
- Your own insurer (both for personal injury protection coverage, as well as uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage if the drunk driver didn’t have insurance or lacked sufficient coverage for your total damages).
These are just a few examples, and depending on the circumstances, you may have even more options. There are numerous legal strategies our experienced injury law team can employ to help victims of Immokalee drunk driving accidents recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and even punitive damages (compensation on top of your actual losses intended to punish the offender, as noted in F.S. 768.72).Immokalee Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office (primary law enforcement agency in Immokalee) reports in a single recent year making more than 800 DUI arrests annually. Roughly 70 percent of all DUI defendants in Collier County are adjudicated guilty.
As noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol impacts one’s ability to drive due to the way it reduces brain function. It impairs our ability to think and reason. It also slows the coordination of our muscles, making it physically impossible for us to react as quickly as we would if we were sober. Behind the wheel, this is disastrous.
Many drunk driving accidents result in injuries more severe than in other types of collisions because impaired motorists have slower reflexes and often fail to take evasive action. This is in addition to the fact that they’re engaging in riskier behaviors to start, including driving on the wrong side of the road, speeding, running red lights or weaving erratically across the center line or between lanes.
Some examples of injury cases we’ve seen in Immokalee DUI accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury.
- Broken and fractured bones.
- Facial fractures and disfigurement.
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis.
- Internal organ damage.
Lives are often never the same again. Our injury lawyers will do whatever we can to hold negligent parties accountable.Dram Shop Liability in Immokalee DUI Crashes
Although some states allow victims of drunk driving crashes to hold liable vendors or even social hosts who sold or provided alcohol to anyone who was clearly already drunk, Florida isn’t one of them. We do have a so-called “dram shop law,” codified in F.S. 768.125, but it is narrow in scope. There are only two circumstances under which one can prevail in a dram shop claim in Florida. Those are:
- A person willingly and unlawfully sold or furnished alcohol to a person who was under the age of 21.
- A person willingly and unlawfully sold or furnished alcohol to someone they knew to be habitually addicted to alcohol.
The first may be very straightforward. However, it can be tricky to prove a vendor knew or should have known a patron or guest to be habitually addicted to alcohol. Most times it arises as a plausible assertion when someone is a “regular” at a bar and has a history of heavily consuming alcohol at that location.
Dram shop liability can apply in Immokalee drunk driving cases to either a vendor or a social host.
Another possibility for third-party liability in drunk driving cases is to go after the vehicle owner, if different from the driver, so long as the impaired driver had permission to drive. That’s because in Florida, motor vehicles are considered “dangerous instrumentalities.” Vehicle owners can be vicariously liable for up to $100,000 in damages caused by the drunk driver operating their car, per F.S. 324.021(9)(b)(3). You don’t have to prove the car owner negligent, only prove they allowed someone else to drive their car who was negligent. If you can show the vehicle owner was negligent in handing that motorist the keys (i.e., they knew the driver was drunk or had a history of impaired driving), then you can pursue a claim against them.
If you’re injured in an Immokalee DUI accident, contact our experienced injury lawyers right away.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt, contact the Immokalee drunk driving injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. You pay us no fees unless we win.