Spring break is a time to forget studying and exams and enjoy freedom for a few days. Millions of spring breakers head to Florida every year from colleges and universities around the country. With hundreds of miles of coastline, theme parks, and pleasant weather year round, it is no surprise that Florida is one of the most popular spring break destinations in the United States.
Where there is drinking and partying, however, there will be accidents—and serious ones at that.
In Florida, a driver is guilty of driving under the influence if he or she has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. The fines and penalties for drunk driving range depending on how many convictions the driver has had in the past. A first offense may result in a $500 fine and no more than six months in prison. A fourth offense may lead to a $2,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Penalties are more severe, of course, if serious bodily injury or death occurs.
During spring break, visitors often stay in hotels that are within walking distance of local bars and attractions. During the day and especially at night, the streets may become crowded with people making their way from bar to bar. If an individual drives while intoxicated in such an environment, the consequences may be deadly. One study of popular spring break destinations actually showed that traffic fatalities increased by almost 10 percent during the spring break holiday. Traffic fatalities remained at similar levels in other parts of the country, leading researchers to the conclusion that spring break was responsible for the increase in deaths.
If a pedestrian is seriously injured by a drunk driver, that pedestrian has the right to seek legal recourse through Florida’s court system. Those who are injured in motor vehicle incidents may file lawsuits against at-fault drivers if they suffered serious injuries, such as disfigurement, permanent injuries, or significant scarring. If a pedestrian was killed in an accident, the pedestrian’s family members may file a wrongful death suit.
For spring breakers visiting from out of state, they do not have to return to Florida to file a claim. They may seek the advice and guidance of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to handle the claim. The victim simply needs to discuss the incident with the attorney and provide the attorney with any and all information he or she has about the claim. The victim should provide accident reports, medical records, medical bills, prescription records, photographs, video footage, news articles, and any other items related to the accident. All of this discussion may be done over the phone or email.
An injured pedestrian may be entitled to various damages, including:
- Medical bills, including hospital bills, surgical bills, prescription bills, and other expenses
- The cost of any necessary future medical care
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Pain and suffering damages for the negative impact the incident has had on the victim’s life
- Emotional distress damages for conditions such as anxiety and depression
- Loss of consortium, which compensates a spouse for the loss of companionship of the victim
The victim must prove that the damages claimed were directly caused by the accident.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, the attorneys at the Shiner Law Group can help. Our attorneys have assisted hundreds of clients with recovering damages from negligent drivers. To schedule a free consultation, call 561-777-7700.