While Fort Myers Beach is a popular locale for tourists and generates revenue through its recreational scene, this also makes it a place that can see a spike in DUI accidents. These wrecks often result in significant injuries to innocent people, as drunk drivers are less likely to slow down or work to avoid crashes.
If you are injured in a serious car crash, get in touch with our Fort Myers Beach drunk driving attorneys as soon as possible. Viles & Beckman can help you understand your legal options for compensation, negotiate with opposing parties, prepare a convincing case file, and handle all the details of your potential lawsuit.
Fault in Fort Myers Beach Drunk Driving Cases
“Fault” is a legal term that determines who is responsible for causing an accident, and thus who is responsible for paying harmed people the compensation they deserve. In Fort Myers Beach car accidents, drunk driving is considered one way in which a person can have fault.
There are many other parties who also could share some of the blame, including:
- Other drivers involved in the accident
- The injured party (i.e. you)
- Car or car part manufacturers
- The establishment that sold the drunk driver alcohol, if:
- They knew the driver was already drunk at the time, or
- The driver was underage and should not have been served at all
When developing a lawsuit, your personal injury attorney will look into all possible details that contributed to your accident. This is to maximize your eventual compensation.
How Fault in Florida Drunk Driving Claims Affects Compensation
It’s important to establish the fault of other drivers, drinking establishments, manufacturers, or additional defendants because of the way Florida law handles compensation. According to Florida Statutes §768.81, the percentage of blame attributed to you will decrease your compensation by an equal percentage.
Here’s a quick example:
- The court finds you to be 25% responsible for your accident.
- Your total damages amount to $100,000.
- 25% fault means that your compensation will be reduced by 25% as well.
- Your maximum compensation would be $75,000.
A lawyer for drunk driving accidents can help you understand how the apportioning of fault in your case will affect your compensation.
The Value of Your Drunk Driving Claim in Fort Myers Beach
As we saw in the previous example, the value of your claim is affected by any fault the court attributes to you. But it’s also based on the value of your total damages, which are the negative ways the event has impacted your life.
Damages are split into two kinds, both of which are compensable: economic harms and non-economic harms.
This category contains the more easily valuated damages. They are the ones that affect your bank account directly, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages due to injury
- Lost ability to earn an income (for example, due to disability)
- Necessary accessibility modifications to your home
- Repair costs for damaged property (such as your car)
Not all the harms you suffer in a Fort Myers Beach drunk driving accident will be financial in nature. Many will be more subjective, but they still should be compensated by the at-fault party. Non-economic harms include:
- Physical pain
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Development of PTSD and other chronic conditions
- Loss of consortium with your spouse
Since these damages are difficult to pin a dollar amount to, and since it’s so important that you get the compensation you truly need and deserve, it’s best to seek help from experienced Fort Myers Beach drunk driving attorneys.
Filing Your Lawsuit on Time
Unfortunately, the clock is ticking on your ability to seek compensation from a drunk driver who injured you. Florida Statutes §95.11 sets the limitation period for most personal injury claims at four years from the date of injury.
This means that you and your drunk driving lawyer must file your lawsuit within four years of your accident or you risk losing the ability to seek compensation at all. Four years may seem like a long time, but it goes by quickly as you are dealing with the injury recovery process.
Plus, the specifics of your case could mean you have a far shorter deadline to meet. Suing government agencies, for example, requires you to submit a notice within a few months. Seek help from qualified lawyers for drunk driving accidents in Fort Myers Beach to better understand the timeline in your case.
Get a Free Consultation with a Fort Myers Beach Drunk Driving Lawyer Today
At Viles & Beckman, our attorneys are ready to help you fight for what’s right. Fill out the form on our contact page or call our office to schedule a FREE Fort Myers Beach drunk driving lawyer consultation with no obligation to hire us.
We’ll hear the details of your case and help you better understand your legal options. Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek compensation for the harm that you’ve suffered. You and your family deserve justice today.