Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Victims

Federal, local and state agencies are kicking off campaigns aimed at preventing drunk driving during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

It has been a stressful summer, unlike any other in history. Typically, Labor Day weekend ends the 100 deadliest days of summer travel. However this year, amid the COVID pandemic, the world is gearing up in an attempt to return to near-normal, which will likely make the roads busier than they have been in months.drunk driving accident lawyer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s message, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” reports 439 motorists were killed over Labor Day weekend 2018. Nearly half of those crashes involved a driver who had been drinking and more than 1 in 3 involved a driver who was legally intoxicated.

At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we have been fighting for the rights of victims injured or killed by drunk drivers since 1971. As proud supporters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, our law firm also supports drunk-driving checkpoints and roving patrols conducted by local law enforcement agencies.

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The recent serious injury of a teenager in an alcohol-related crash on Palm Beach Boulevard is a reminder of the risks as we head into the deadliest time of year for drunk-driving collisions.

The News-Press reported the teenager was injured when a pickup, believed driven by an intoxicated male, crossed the median and crashed head-on into the victim’s vehicle.drunk driving accident lawyer

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know COVID-19 has upended nearly every aspect of life. However, autumn is expected to remain the deadliest time of the year for drunk driving accidents, including those involving teenagers.

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The National Safety Council is urging motorists to consider all forms of impairment this holiday travel season.

For more than 20 years, drivers with alcohol concentrations at or above 0.08 have remained involved in about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. That’s about 10,000 lives lost every year. Our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have made fighting for the rights of drunk-driving collision victims a primary focus since 1971.buyabeer-200x300

We remain active this holiday season in supporting the Lee County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and have long supported DUI checkpoints and increased patrols conducted by local law enforcement agencies, including the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cape Coral Police Department.

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College and pro football season are underway, bringing thousands of tailgaters to stadiums in some of Florida’s largest cities, and prompting millions more to host watch parties in their homes.

The Florida State University Police Department is among the many agencies urging revelers to stay safe and celebrate responsibly.  Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know football weekends are prime time for serious and fatal motor vehicle collisions involving intoxicated drivers. Universities at highest risk include Florida State and Miami. football-300x214

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has teamed up with the National Football League to encourage fans to designate a driver. 

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While the Super Bowl is behind us, we have entered the height of tourist season. Winter residents and visitors will be followed by spring breakers and the start of spring training for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Southwest Florida’s role as a vacation destination substantially increases the risk posed by drunk drivers. uninsured accidents

The National Safety Council is pushing a clear message: “Impairment Begins with the First Drink.

Only it’s not just alcohol impacting the judgment of drivers in Southwest Florida. The opioid epidemic and increasingly permissive views on marijuana use also add substantially to the road risks.

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A series of high-profile drunk driving collisions has authorities concerned as we head into the heart of the holiday season.

This week, First Coast News reported the Florida Highway Patrol arrested a 46-year-old woman accused of causing a collision that killed a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employee. The victim was driving with her husband and two children when the defendant’s vehicle reportedly struck the family’s car, causing it to rollover.

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In South Florida, CBS4 Miami reports a Coral Springs firefighter is facing a DUI manslaughter charge, after allegedly driving into a group of motorcyclists on the Florida Turnpike after attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Closer to home, a Lee County man was arrested and accused of drunk driving Thanksgiving weekend after a crash at Summerlin Road and Pine Ridge Road. He told officers he thought he was in an Uber on the way to jail.

Our Fort Myers injury lawyers support Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other education and prevention efforts to keep intoxicated motorists off our roads. In addition to alcohol intoxication, driving under the influence of drugs has increasingly become a concern.

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A life insurance company has been ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to pay a $200,000 medical bill for an insured who reportedly crashed his dirt bike while under the influence of alcohol.

The life insurance carrier outright denied claimant’s bid for benefits, citing policy exclusion for injuries that arise from the “illegal use of alcohol.” However, the district court ruled – and the appellate court affirmed – this provision, when read and interpreted according to its ordinary meaning, refers to things like drinking alcohol while under the age of 21 or imbibing against a court order. It is inherently different, the court ruled, than engaging in illegal conduct after one has legally consumed the alcohol. That would mean actions like drunk driving would still be covered; it’s not the drinking that was against the law, it was the actions one took after drinking – something not specifically excluded in the policy language. drunk driving accident lawyer

This case is interesting for a few reasons. The first is that it is not your typical car accident lawsuit in that it involves dirt bikes and it happened off-road. Secondly, this was not a plaintiff claiming injury as a result of someone else’s negligence. He conceded his own misconduct caused his injuries. Nonetheless, he argued his life insurance company should be responsible to cover his damages.

According to court records, plaintiff was 22-years-old – of the legal drinking age – five years ago when he and his friend drank alcohol and then proceeded to ride their dirt bikes in a field near their home. While engaging in this, the two crashed. Plaintiff suffered serious injuries. It was ascertained that his blood-alcohol level shortly after the crash was almost nearly twice the legal limit for use of an off-road vehicle in that state. Continue reading ›

In the midst of all the holiday festivities is a lurking risk on our roads: Drunk drivers. drunk driving injury lawyer

A recent analysis by SCRAM Systems (the company that sells DOT-approved alcohol and location monitoring devices) notes that while during most of the year, 28 percent of highway deaths are related to alcohol, that figure spikes to 40 percent during the holidays. Over Thanksgiving, it’s 35 percent, Christmas, 41 percent, and on New Year’s Eve/ Day, it’s 58 percent.

What’s more, 16 percent of adults surveyed say they drink more than usual over the holidays. Half said alcohol plays some role in their family’s holiday gatherings and an astonishing 96 percent say they either went to work hung over after a party or know someone who did. Bear in mind: Being hungover can sometimes still be considered impaired driving, even if your blood-alcohol concentration falls below the per se limit of 0.08, as outlined in F.S. 316.193. The statute allows for a criminal conviction any time a person is “under the influence of alcoholic beverages… to the extent the person’s normal faculties are impaired.”  Continue reading ›

Many South Florida DUI injury and death cases handled by our dedicated personal injury lawyers occur simultaneously with a pending criminal matter. The two processes are totally separate, and generally do not impact the other. car accident

The purpose of a civil trial is to make whole (to the extent possible) the victims of a defendant’s action or inaction. Conversely, the purpose of a criminal trial is to penalize a wrongdoer for violating the criminal code of laws. While some criminal cases result in a defendant being forced to pay restitution, that is not the primary goal of the criminal procedure.

That’s why we encourage Florida victims of drunken driving to speak to an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Information gleaned in the course of the criminal investigation could impact the civil case as well.

A man in New Jersey is suing two bars he alleged served him alcohol in the hours before he was involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident in which he was seriously injured. According to news reports, the 28-year-old plaintiff alleges he was downing Tequila at two local bars, and left both sites intoxicated. Around 3:20 a.m., upon leaving the second site, he reportedly crashed his motorcycle, suffering a severe leg injury. His blood-alcohol level was below the 0.08 threshold, but he claims he was still impaired (an instance our own Florida law recognizes as possible in F.S. 316.193). Further, he says his breath-alcohol test wasn’t given until several hours after the crash. His criminal charge was dismissed. drunk driving accident

There are of course many people who take the stance that drunk drivers deserve what they get. We won’t dispute that in some cases, but as drunk driving accident lawyers, we used this example to point out the viability of such a claim here in the Sunshine State. Based on the facts we know of this case, it would not succeed in Florida – and not because drunk drivers can’t sue for injuries. They can, but only in limited circumstances. The same in fact is true of drunk driving accident victims when it comes to third parties.

It all comes down to Florida’s dram shop law, found in F.S. 768.125. A dram shop law is the avenue through which drunk driving accident victims (including, in some cases, the driver) can seek damages from the bar, restaurant or vendor that served alcohol to the drunk driver.  Continue reading ›

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