Dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident can leave you with a lot of questions, including questions about your legal rights. Do you qualify to pursue compensation after suffering injuries in a drunk driving accident? How much should you expect? Can the bar or restaurant that over-served the driver bear liability for your injuries?
At Shiner Law Group, we help our clients address those questions and more. Speak with a Port St Lucie drunk driving accident lawyer today at 772-777-7700 to learn more about your legal rights following a drunk driving accident.
Table of Contents
2. The Dangers of Drunk Driving Accidents in Port St. Lucie
3. Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Port St. Lucie
4. Who Bears Liability for Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accidents?
5. A Note on Florida’s Dram Shop Law
6. Counting Damages: How Much Compensation Can You Expect After a Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accident?
7. Did You Suffer Serious Injuries in a Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accident?
Shiner Law Group: Helping Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accident Victims Pursue Compensation
At Shiner Law Group, we have a successful track record of helping Florida’s accident victims get great results in their personal injury claims, including drunk driving accident claims. Our highly experienced, successful attorneys aim to help those who have suffered serious losses due to the negligence or carelessness of others.
Take a look at some of our past car accident results:
- 1,100,000 was awarded to a woman who suffered paralysis due to a car accident.
- $1,100,000 was awarded to the family of a drunk driving accident victim who lost her life.
- $1,000,000 was awarded to the family of two teenagers who died in a car accident on the way to Disney World.
- $525,000 was awarded to the victim of a car accident.
At Shiner Law Group, we aim to help accident victims understand and recover the compensation they need to cover the full cost of their injuries, including those sustained in drunk driving accidents. We understand that your injuries have likely severely impacted your life and your finances, and we aim to help Port St. Lucie drunk driving accident victims move through the difficult personal injury claim process as they pursue maximum compensation for their specific circumstances.
We Start With a Free Consultation To Go Over the Circumstances That Led to Your Accident
During our free consultation, we can help you better understand your legal rights after a serious drunk driving accident, including whether you may qualify to pursue compensation for your injuries and the process required to pursue it. A free consultation can help better prepare you for the challenges you may face as you move forward with your drunk driving accident claim.
We Will Help Go Over All the Details of Your Accident to Identify Liable Parties and Collect the Evidence Necessary to Prove Your Right to Compensation
We will take a look at your drunk driving accident, your injuries, and the circumstances that led to the accident to help identify all parties that may share liability for your injuries, including the drunk driver.
While Florida’s dram shop law does not hold the bar or restaurant that served a drunk driver liable for those actions in most cases, it can hold the bar or restaurant liable for serving to a known alcoholic or to a minor who later went on to cause an accident that resulted in serious injuries. We help go over those details to help you better understand the compensation you should expect after your drunk driving accident.
We Help Our Clients Recover Maximum Compensation for Their Injuries
Often, personal injury claims can prove very complex. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make a huge difference in the compensation you can ultimately recover for those injuries. At Shiner Law Group, we work hard to assist our clients as they move forward with their claims. Often, our clients note that insurance companies take injury claims much more seriously after learning that an injured individual has retained an attorney.
The Dangers of Drunk Driving Accidents in Port St. Lucie
Port St. Lucie visitors and residents alike may notice some hazards that can increase the risk of drunk driving accidents.
Port St. Lucie Has a Large Population
As the seventh-largest city in Florida and the third-largest city in South Florida, Port St. Lucie has a dense population, with more than 200,000 residents. With such a large number of people in the area, the number of drivers on the roads may increase considerably, which can raise the risk of many types of accidents. Drunk driving accidents may prove more common in densely populated areas.
Port St. Lucie Sees Year-Round Tourist Traffic
Port St. Lucie’s historic sites, gorgeous beaches, and many special events and activities for visitors make it a potent draw for tourists all year long. While those tourists bring in a great deal of revenue for the city, they can also pose a significant danger: tourists on vacation have a higher likelihood of drinking, including day drinking, and may drive more often while intoxicated. As a result, Port St. Lucie may see a greater overall drunk driving accident risk.
Port St. Lucie’s Downtown Area Boasts Many Bars and Restaurants, Where Visitors and Residents Alike May Consume Alcohol
As the downtown area continues to grow, it sees a higher number of bars, restaurants, and even shops, all of which offer the opportunity for visitors and residents to consume alcohol. When those individuals then get behind the wheel, it can increase the risk of drunk driving accidents throughout the downtown area.
Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Port St. Lucie
Drunk drivers engage in unpredictable behavior, lack control of their vehicles, and may behave in ways that can worsen the severity of accidents caused by that negligence, rather than taking steps to reduce the risk of an accident.
As a result, drunk drivers may cause:
- Back and neck injuries, including everything from whiplash to spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe burns
- Broken bones, including many cases in which drunk driving accidents lead to multiple broken bones
- Severe lacerations, including, in many cases, facial injuries that can cause permanent scarring
Who Bears Liability for Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accidents?
Many people assume that the intoxicated driver will always bear liability for a drunk driving accident. When that driver’s behavior clearly causes or contributes to the accident, the drunk driver will typically bear at least partial liability for the accident.
It does not matter if the drunk driver receives a drunk driving conviction to go along with the accident report; if the driver’s behavior shows clear signs of negligence, from swerving or driving aggressively to behaving unpredictably, you may have the right to move forward with a personal injury claim against the driver and the at-fault insurance company. However, other parties may also share liability for the accident.
At Shiner Law Group, we will take a look at all factors that may have contributed to a drunk driving accident.
We might ask:
- Did the accident occur during the at-fault driver’s employment? Sometimes, employers whose employees drive while intoxicated may share liability for that employee’s decision to drink and drive.
- Did a mechanical failure contribute to the accident? A drunk driver might lack the skills to respond appropriately to a tire blowout, engine failure, or brake problem, for example. In cases of mechanical failure, drivers may share liability with the vehicle manufacturer or with a mechanic that recently worked on that area of the vehicle.
A Note on Florida’s Dram Shop Law
In some states, if you suffer injuries in an accident with a drunk driver, you can hold a bar, a restaurant, or even a private homeowner who over-served that individual liable for some of those damages. Florida’s dram shop law, however, holds that bars and restaurants do not bear liability for the actions of a drunk driver who consumed that alcohol at such facilities. However, that dram shop law does allow bars and restaurants to face liability in two key situations.
First, bars and restaurants may bear liability for knowingly serving an underage driver. If a teen driver, or a driver who has turned 20 but not 21, drinks at an establishment with the knowledge of the staff, the facility may bear liability for the accident.
Second, a bar or restaurant may bear liability for serving a known alcoholic. To prove that the bar or restaurant bears liability, however, your attorney will need to prove that the staff had prior knowledge of that addiction and chose to serve the individual anyway. Having an attorney on your side to help prove liability in those cases can prove critical.
Counting Damages: How Much Compensation Can You Expect After a Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accident?
You may deserve compensation for your drunk driving accident injuries, but just how much should you expect? How do you know if the liable party’s insurance company has offered you a reasonable settlement or if you should continue to negotiate?
At Shiner Law Group, we cannot guarantee the compensation you will recover for the injuries sustained in your drunk driving accident. However, we can help give you a better idea of what you should expect, including how to break down the financial losses you have faced due to your injuries and determine how much compensation you qualify to pursue.
Calculating Medical Costs
Your medical bills can prove extremely costly following a Port St. Lucie drunk driving accident, especially if you sustained severe injuries that will lead to a long-term need for medical care. Make note of all those medical bills and keep them in one place, so you can easily show the full cost of your medical treatments later.
You may need to include the cost of:
- Emergency transportation and care.
- Hospitalization, including any procedures you needed during your stay.
- Durable medical equipment, such as prosthetic devices, wheelchairs and mobility aids, and assistive devices used at home to help make your life easier.
- Therapy, including both physical and occupational therapy, related to your injuries. Sometimes, you can also include the cost of psychological therapy.
In addition to your current medical costs, you may need to consider including compensation for anticipated future medical bills, especially if you suffered injuries that will likely carry a lifelong medical cost.
Determining Your Lost Income
Drunk driving accident injuries can interfere with your ability to work for some time following the accident. If you sustained severe injuries that will permanently impact your mobility and function, you may even lose your ability to work in your previous profession. Talk to one of the experienced lawyers at Shiner Law Group about how much time you have lost at work due to your injuries.
If you eventually returned, or plan to return, to work, you may have the right to include compensation for all the hours you missed at work as part of your drunk driving accident claim. If you permanently lost the ability to work in your former field as a result of your drunk driving accident injuries, you may have the right to claim lost earning potential, which can help provide you with the funds you need to pursue a new certification or new degree.
Evaluating Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Drunk driving accident claims will likely include compensation for the tangible financial losses you faced because of your injuries, which may cause immense complications in many areas of your life.
Severe injuries can leave you in ongoing pain, and the limitations that go along with those injuries can cause immense emotional anguish: loss of enjoyment of life, loss of relationships because of the activities you can no longer enjoy, severe depression related to your injuries and limitations, and loss of the ability to attend specific events or achieve specific milestones, for example. As part of your Port St. Lucie drunk driving accident claim, you can include compensation for those losses, as well.
Did You Suffer Serious Injuries in a Port St. Lucie Drunk Driving Accident?
You suffered serious injuries in a Port St. Lucie drunk driving accident. Now what? At the Shiner Law Group, we help drunk driving accident victims understand and pursue maximum compensation for their drunk driving accident injuries. Contact us today at (772) 777-7700 for your free consultation.