The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 29 people per day in the U.S. die in a drunk driving accident. In Florida alone, there were 5,223 accidents in 2016 that involved a drunk driver, which included 451 fatalities.
When a driver gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they’re not completely in control, which makes it impossible to properly operate a motor vehicle. Despite the consequences, which may include jail time, many individuals still get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. The results can be devastating.
A drunk driving accident has two parts: the civil claim and the criminal case. You will need to hire an attorney to assist with your civil claim.
The civil claim is where you may collect monetary damages for your accident due to the other driver’s negligence. If your loved one died as a result of a drunk driver, you can also file a claim for wrongful death.
Generally, you’ll be covered by your own PIP/no-fault policy for up to $10,000, no matter the cause. Before you speak to an insurance company about bodily injury, you should hire a DUI accident attorney. If the $10,000 isn’t sufficient, your attorney will contact your own insurer for additional compensation for medical and other expenses. A DUI accident attorney can negotiate with the insurers on your behalf to ensure that you’re not coerced into taking a smaller settlement.
However, punitive damages may be awarded and are required to be paid by the drunk driver. DUI is a crime and punitive damages are intended to deter people from driving drunk and punish the ones who do. The money will come out of his or her own pocket, however, the driver may not have the money to pay it. It’s also not uncommon for drivers to lack insurance. If this is the case, your uninsured/underinsured policy will come into effect.
Klein Law Group has extensive experience dealing with drunk drivers and accidents involving negligence. Our attorneys will work to protect your rights, get you the compensation you deserve and hold the other party accountable for their actions.
We work hard to protect our clients and help them secure their financial future. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact us today for a free consultation.