Drunk driving is a crime with severe consequences for the innocent pedestrians, passengers and other drivers involved. During 2007, 3,357 people died in Florida as a result of drunk driving accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Highway Safety.
Survivors of alcohol-related accidents are often left with very serious injuries that require expensive medical care, taking an emotional, physical and financial toll on both victims and their families. Drunk driving injuries can include head, brain and spinal cord trauma, neck and back injuries, broken bones and other life-changing conditions. Victims may be left paralyzed or unable to work – all because of a dangerous and illegal decision made by another driver.
Victims of drunk driving may be entitled to file a lawsuit to recover money for the harm they've suffered. The Florida drunk driving accident attorneys of Gordon & Doner can offer crucial advice if you've been injured or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident.
We have more than 20 years of experience in dealing with personal injury cases, including alcohol-related car accidents, and we’ve helped many families deal with the difficult life changes following such an event. We believe you and your loved ones are entitled to justice – and that you deserve to know your rights under Florida law. For more information, use our online contact form or call us toll free at 1 (855) 722-2552.
What many victims don’t understand is that drunk driving is not only prosecutable through the criminal justice system, but that it also constitutes negligence – and victims have a right to bring personal injury claims against those responsible for their injuries. You may be eligible to file a claim against the insurance company for the other driver, for example, for the damage he or she caused – and in some instances, you may even be able to take action against the business that served the driver alcohol.
Florida, like many other states, has what are known as “dram shop laws” which govern the legal responsibility of businesses that serve alcohol to patrons who subsequently drive drunk and cause an accident. Under Florida’s dram shop law, Â§ 768.125, there are two basic scenarios in which an individual or company can be held liable for drunk driving:
- If an individual or establishment serves alcohol to anyone under 21, and the minor becomes involved in a drunk driving accident – and this includes “house parties” in which an adult over the age of 21 provides alcohol to underage drinkers.
- If an individual or establishment serves alcohol to someone known to be a habitual alcohol abuser and that person then becomes involved in a drunk driving accident.
Because Florida’s dram shop law is so specific, only an experienced attorney familiar with alcohol and dram shop litigation can prepare a successful claim on behalf of injury victims. Bars or liquor stores may claim that they were provided fake identification in cases involving drivers under 21, and security camera footage and other evidence is often required to demonstrate that adequate steps weren’t taken to confirm the minor’s age.
If the accident involved a driver over 21, the evidence needed is much more complex. Prior knowledge of an existing alcohol problem, such as alcoholism, must be established. These cases often require extensive witness testimony in order to present an effective argument.
The Florida drunk driving accident attorneys of Gordon & Doner have helped many families recover damages after suffering injury in an alcohol-related accident. We have an extensive understanding of Florida's drunk driving and dram shop laws – and we have the resources required to prepare a thorough case on your behalf.
While a lawsuit won’t reverse the actions of a reckless drunk driver, a successful claim can help pay for past and future medical treatment and lost wages – as well as hold the driver legally responsible for the pain he or she has caused you and your family.
If you have been injured in a Florida drunk driving accident, please contact a personal injury lawyer from Gordon & Doner, P.A. for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. At Gordon & Doner, we believe our system of justice works best when skilled attorneys that have the resources to fully prepare and try a case represent both sides. Please complete our online contact form or call us toll free at 1 (855) 722-2552.