Fort Lauderdale, FL- A Florida woman pleaded guilty to running over a federal agent in South Beach and fleeing the scene. Her guilty plea could result in a jail sentence of up to 50 years, so she will be severely impacted, but will it affect the victims? Does an admission to drunk driving have any effect on any personal injury or wrongful death claims arising out of a deadly or injurious accident?
South Florida Woman Pleads Guilty to 2016 Drunk Driving Crash
In January of last year, the accused woman had spent the night drinking on South Beach, consuming more than ten gin and tonics before she got in her Mercedes to drive home. It was on her way home that she fatally struck a federal agent and his partner.
The federal agent and his colleague were hailing a cab in South Beach when the defendant plowed into them. After hitting the two men, she took off and tried to hide her vehicle, according to NBC.
Both men were injured; one later succumbed to his injuries.
During her October 13, 2017, appearance in a Miami-Dade circuit court, the young woman apologized for her mistake and told the judge she wanted to take responsibility for her actions. She pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash, and reckless driving, according to NBC Miami.
Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 29, 2017.
Will A Guilty Plea Affect an Injury or Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
When filing an injury or wrongful death claim, victims are curious if a guilty plea from the accused will impact their final settlement. Under state law, guilty pleas for traffic infractions are not admissible in civil court in most cases, but there are some exceptions. Those exceptions, as outlined by Florida law include:
A guilty plea to a traffic violation that leads to serious bodily injury.
A guilty plea to a traffic violation that leads to a person’s death.
So, if you are filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim because of a drunk driving accident, the at-fault party’s guilty plea is admissible in civil court and negotiations with insurance adjusters. However, if you are filing a property-damage-only claim, the driver’s guilty plea is not admissible in civil court but can be used as leverage during settlement negotiations.
Do You Plan to File a Wrongful Death Claim after a Drunk Driving Accident?
Did a drunk driver hurt you? Or kill a loved one? If so, USAttorneys.com recommends you call drunk driving accident lawyer Michael Raheb in Fort Lauderdale and arrange a consultation. You can reach his office by calling 1-866-949-0888.
If a drunk driver kills a relative, spouse, child or other loved one; you are entitled to wrongful death compensation for your economic losses and mental anguish. When a drunk driver kills your loved one, you can seek compensation for:
Economic damages for any medical cost incurred by the deceased
The deceased’s funeral and burial expenses
Loss of financial support if the deceased was a financial provider
Loss of companionship
Loss of consortium
Loss of parental guidance
A drunk driver can drastically change multiple lives. Too often, impaired drivers kill innocent motorists, leaving behind grieving and suffering loved ones. Get an experienced attorney’s assistance with your wrongful death claim.