With the holidays come family gatherings and socializing with friends. Christmas and the New Year are a time when people are celebrating with those closest to them. But the sad reality is that drunk driving accidents injure and even kill a number of people each holiday season in Florida and across the United States.
According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data, January 1 has the highest percentage of traffic fatality deaths related to alcohol. In fact, between 2007 and 2011, alcohol accounted for 42 percent of all traffic deaths during the holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the United States Department of Transportation, confirms this statistic and reports that nearly half of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol on New Year’s Day, compared to 28 percent for December.
Each person getting behind the wheel must be vigilant in making sure that they are capable of driving at that time. Under Florida law, driving under the influence (DUI) is an offense, proved by the impairment of normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. Put another way, it is illegal to drive in Florida if your blood alcohol level is .08 or higher.
If you were injured by someone who was driving under the influence of alcohol, you can seek compensation by filing a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault party. It is important to note that there are some special rules that are applicable to car accidents caused by DUI driving.
Establishing negligence requires the victim of a crash to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached the duty, and was the proximate cause of the victim’s injuries through the breach. In Florida, under the principle of negligence per se, any individual will be automatically presumed to have breached a duty if he or she broke a law devised to shield a certain group of people from a certain type of harm. The Florida law against drunk driving is intended to protect other individuals on the road from injury or death. Therefore, an individual who is convicted of a DUI is presumed to have been negligent if the DUI driving caused the victim’s harm. In negligence per se cases, unlike in simple negligence cases, the plaintiff is not required to show that the driver owed him or her a duty and breached it.
An injured victim can pursue a variety of economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and property damage.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a drunk driving accident, it is important to reach out to a Miami car accident attorney who can analyze the facts of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our team is dedicated to pursuing the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can trust that we can advocate for you in the context of a settlement negotiation or a trial. We believe in holding negligent parties accountable for the harm that they cause. For more information, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.
More Blog Posts:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 12, 2016
Common Mistakes Florida Drivers Make Behind the Wheel, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 12, 2016
The Florida Appeals Process, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 12, 2016