Articles Tagged with drunk driving injury

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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.

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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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A bill that would require all those convicted of DUI in Florida – including first timers – to have ignition interlock devices installed has successfully made it through its first hurdle in the state House of Representatives. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved House Bill 949 by a unanimous vote of 10-0. beer

Now, the measure has to be approved by two more committees before it is debated by the full House. In the coming weeks, the measure will be weighed by the Judiciary Committee. From there, it will need approval from the Government Accountability Committee.

Florida statute at this time does not automatically require ignition interlocks for first-time offenders caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Instead, F.S. 315.1937 and F.S. 322.2715 hold that a first-time offender may be required to have the device installed, but only if:

  • His/ her blood-alcohol level exceeded 0.15 (nearly double the legal limit of 0.08);
  • Was accompanied at the time of the offense by a person under the age of 18.

Continue reading →

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The Daily Business Review reports a $1.35 million settlement has been reached to compensate surviving victims of a fatal DUI crash in South Florida involving a drunk driver who had no insurance.trafficlight

Victims were a driver in his 70s, a backseat passenger in her 70s and a front seat passenger who was 99. They were stopped at a Palm Beach traffic light when a reported drunk driver came barreling toward the intersection at 70 mph. He did not stop or slow down. The elderly driver and passengers were transported to the hospital, where the oldest died three days later. The back seat passenger had to undergo surgery and spent more than four months in the hospital recovering.

How is it possible that these individuals could receive this kind of compensation when the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance? Continue reading →