Miami Drunk Driver Accident Attorneys
Personal injury cases against drunk drivers are significantly more complex and involved than other types of auto accident cases. It is important that your lawyer conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and gather all evidence that is necessary to prove that the driver who injured you was drunk. This evidence may include:
- The 911 tape
- The squad car video from the arrest.
- A complete copy of the drunk driver court file in order to preserve all statements made regarding how much alcohol was drunk
- The results of the breathalyzer and field sobriety test
Evidence such as the squad car video and 911 tape will not be kept indefinitely and must be quickly obtained and preserved by your lawyer.
Florida law provides that a drunk driver can be punished for operating a motor vehicle when their normal faculties are impaired. The law also provides that money damages can be awarded to punish this reckless behavior. In Florida, a driver who operates a car when their blood alcohol content is in excess of .08 is presumed to have operated the vehicle when their normal faculties were impaired. Insurance companies and insurance defense lawyers do not like to defend against drunk driver cases. A full and competent presentation of the DUI evidence by your lawyer is likely to cause the insurance company to pay a significantly higher settlement than in an auto accident that does not involve a drunk driver.
The lawyers and staff at Bernstein & Maryanoff have the financial resources and experience to help you pursue the maximum compensation available for your injuries or loss in a DUI accident. From our principal office in Miami and numerous other offices across Florida, we represent clients throughout the state.
Dram shop liability
In Florida, bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol have a duty not to serve a known alcoholic or someone who is visibly intoxicated. If they fail to stop serving such as person, they are responsible for the damage done by that person. This area of law is known as dram shop liability.
When a liquor establishment fails to check the identification of a person who drinks alcohol to make certain they are of legal age, the establishment is liable for any damages caused by that underage drinker. The liquor establishment is also responsible for any injuries suffered by the underage drinker.
Punitive damages against drunk drivers
Under Florida law, insurance companies do not normally have to pay punitive damages, but only compensatory damages such as loss of income, medical bills, and intangible damages such as pain and suffering. However, there are exceptions when insurance companies, employers, and owners of vehicles are responsible for paying punitive damages. Examples include:
- When the owner of a car was aware that a drunk person was going to operate his or her vehicle
- When an employer failed to take away a car given to an employee after gaining knowledge that the employee had prior DUI arrests or convictions
The fact pattern that arises when a drunk driver injures or kills someone must be individually analyzed to determine whether punitive damages may apply. However, the big picture in these cases is that people get MAD, just like the Mothers against Drunk Drivers (MADD) organization, when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of a car and injures someone.
Free consultation: There is never a charge to talk to a DUI injury attorney at the law firm of Bernstein & Maryanoff. With a principal office in Miami, numerous other offices across Florida, and the willingness to make house calls, our attorneys will be there when you need them. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis.
Learn more about drunk driver accidents