Drunk driving and its impact on claims
(Volusia, Florida) – October 14th, 2015 – Drunk driving continues to take toll in every state and Florida is not behind in the number of accidents caused by inebriated drivers. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 8,400 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Florida between 2003 and 2012.
According to Volusia, FL drunk driving accident lawyers, DUI is a third degree felony and is punishable under Florida Statutes. Drivers found with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher are liable to be charged. In addition, under Florida Statutes 768.762, drivers who are under the influence and cause accidents and serious injuries or even death also face civil lawsuits for punitive damages. This could run into tens of thousands of dollars or even more.
Liability and gathering evidence
One of the major issues that victims of a drunk driving crash face is that of liability and gathering evidence. It is important to understand how a DUI arrest could affect settlement negotiations in property damage or personal injury claims and the type of evidence that must be collected to establish liability. The at-fault driver’s act of DUI resulted in the vehicle being operated neglectfully, which was the direct and immediate cause of the accident.
According to Florida drunk driving accident attorneys, the actual cause of a drunk driving crash cannot be the act of being intoxicated. The actual cause is the negligent actions of the driver brought on by intoxication. For example, if a person has had more than just a couple of beers and was drunk enough not to notice a red light at a traffic stop and crash into another car, the person’s drunken state is not the cause of the collision. The collision was due to the negligent act of jumping the red light that was brought on by the drinking, which ultimately caused the accident.
Any victim of a drunk driving crash will be at an advantage when negotiating a claim if the at-fault driver receives a citation for an open container or is arrested for DUI. For a claims adjuster, a citation is enough evidence to prove that their insured party was negligent. They may not need to use this site but you certainly should – that site makes it awfully easy to find a sparkling legal representative.
Tips for establishing drunk driving
Volusia, Florida drunk driving accident lawyers recommend that victims of a crash must inform the police officers if they smell alcohol or marijuana on the other driver’s breath. This is because the other driver may use a spray to conceal the odor in the interim period before the police arrive.
While the police know their job, any information could prove valuable in your case. If the other driver’s eyes drop then he or she could be under the influence of marijuana or any other drug. Passing on this information to the police is also essential even though they will make the final call.
Obtaining proof of drunk driving
With the assistance of a marvelous and impressive Florida drunk driving accident lawyer, it will not be difficult to obtain proof of drunk driving. The investigating officer will make an entry in the Contributory Factors section of the police report. The officer will also detail the at-fault driver’s actions that determine the proximate cause of the accident.
Your lawyer will secure a copy of the police report, which is most likely the strongest piece of evidence that proves the other driver’s negligence. In addition, the claims adjuster will understand that the arrest of the drunk driver is proof enough for a judge to rule in your favor, which in turn gives you more leverage when it comes to negotiations. Lawyers recommend that every victim follow up on the other driver’s arrest and conviction.