Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
In Tampa, the State of Florida pursues any criminal action. A private civil attorney would pursue any civil claim. Because civil and criminal courts are completely different, an injured party does not have to bring civil charges against the drunk driver if they not to do so. The prosecutor’s office handles the criminal case, and then the civil action is handled by the injury attorney here at Slater | Grant.
Contact a Tampa drunk driving accident lawyer if you have been injured in a collision involving an intoxicated driver. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you seek damages for an appropriate amount based on the facts of your case.
Severity of a DUI Collision
Often, drunk driving accidents are more severe because the drunk driver has no inhibitions and is just driving fast or is not paying attention. A significant rear-end accident typically occurs because the drunk driver does not notice the light is red and so they end up rear-ending and significantly injuring the other side. The difference in these cases is the criminal element involved because if someone is driving under the influence, they are potentially in violation of a criminal law.
Driving under the influence may open someone up to punitive damages, which are special damages used to punish a person for their conduct. If they are driving a company truck or working for a company and decide to get drunk, then their company could also be held responsible and this can involve significant money. For more information on how serious a DUI crash is, injured parties should contact a Tampa drunk driver accident lawyer.
Pursuing Negligence for Partial Responsibility
In Florida, the claim is not barred as a plaintiff even if they are found to be somewhat at fault for the accident. This is a comparative negligence state, so the jury would assign a percentage of fault to the plaintiff, the person injured as a result of the drunk driver, and then to the defendant, the person who caused the accident because they were intoxicated. Any amount of damages would be reduced by the percentage the jury gives to the plaintiff. If they gave them 25 percent at fault and they gave them $100,000, then their recovery would be $75,000, 25 percent less than $100,000.
Depending on the facts, the injured person who is also the drunk driver may not have a claim. In other words, if someone was injured because of their intoxication, then their complete claim may be barred. A lot of it depends on the facts and circumstances, but generally, it is very rare that they have a claim unless they are drunk and they are driving and, say, a tire blows and the reason they are injured is because of a product failure. The reason that the tire blew had nothing to do with them being drunk, arguably, and so they may have a claim in that scenario, but it is really specific.
Involvement of the Injured Party in a Lawsuit
Some people want to be involved in every aspect of the case. Others do not want to be involved in anything. It really depends on a case-by-case and a person-by-person basis. At the very least, they will need to have their deposition taken, they can help a Tampa drunk driver accident lawyer strategize, and will need to help the attorney with discovery. They all have to show up at trial and tell their story. They have to tell their story about how this individual’s decision to get drunk and get behind a wheel has impacted their life and their family’s life forever.
Common Damages Sought
Tampa drunk driver accident lawyers know economic damages include the medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and future medical, and future lost wages if they exist. On the non-economic side, damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, depression, anxiety, and things like that. There can also be punitive damages. The reason behind that is this damage is awarded by a jury to punish the defendant for their conduct.