Car accidents involving drunk drivers are often some of the most severe crashes on the road. Unfortunately, that means innocent people are often hurt due to the irresponsible choice of the DUI driver.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving wreck, get in touch with Fort Myers Beach DUI accident attorneys at Viles & Beckman as soon as possible.
Experienced legal counsel can help you file your claim properly, identify all the parties who may owe you compensation, negotiate with opposing lawyers, and take your case to court if a settlement proves elusive.
How Much Compensation Can You Get in a Fort Myers Beach Drunk Driving Crash Lawsuit?
The value of your claim depends on the amount of compensable damages you have suffered. More severe accidents with life-altering injuries will likely result in much higher compensation packages. Typically, damages are separated into two groups: those that affect your finances and those that are more subjective in nature.
First, you can get compensation for economic harms you suffer as a direct result of your injury. This includes items like:
- The cost of necessary medical care now and in the future
- Accessibility modification costs for your home
- Lost wages as a result of being unable to work
- Lost earning capacity if your injury has hindered your ability to work in the future
- The cost of repairing or replacing your damaged property (i.e. your car)
Not all the damages you suffer in a drunk driving accident in Fort Myers Beach will come ready-made with price tags or receipts attached. Subjective harms for which you can still receive compensation include:
- Physical pain
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Lost enjoyment in life as a result of your injury
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Additional compensation for permanent disabilities, including paralysis or disfigurement
There is a third category of damages that is sometimes awarded in rare cases. Punitive damages, governed by Florida Statutes § 768.73, are awarded by the court when it deems that the at-fault party acted in ways that are especially negligent. They are intended to dissuade the person from acting in such a way in the future.
Essentially, punitive (also known as exemplary) damages are designed to make an example of the individual or organization at fault. This type of compensation, however, is limited to the higher of the following two values:
- Three times the amount of your other compensable damages; or
Your Fort Myers Beach DUI accident attorney doesn’t argue directly for punitive damages. Instead, your attorney sets forth a case that shows the extent of the at-fault party’s negligence and the court decides whether or not to impose this additional measure of compensation.
Who Is Liable for Your Damages in a Fort Myers Beach DUI Accident?
There are several possible at-fault parties in a DUI wreck in Fort Myers Beach. Of course, the first person against whom your attorney will look to establish liability is the drunk driver. However, additional avenues for compensation may exist.
For example, you could be able to sue other drivers involved in the accident if their actions contributed to the extent of your injuries. If they ran a stop sign or were speeding, they could share some of the blame and be made to provide some of the compensation you deserve.
Other possible at-fault parties in your Fort Myers Beach DUI accident include:
- Car or car part manufacturers (if a faulty part played a role in causing the wreck)
- Trucking companies (if a big rig truck was involved in the crash)
- Bars or drinking establishments (under Florida’s so-called dram shop law)
By exhausting all possible at-fault parties, your car accident lawyer can help ensure that you get justice. It’s also a good idea to pursue lawsuits against multiple at-fault parties to help ensure that your compensation package adequately covers your future needs.
When You Are Partially Responsible for Your Crash
In some situations, you could share some of the blame for the DUI accident you suffered in Fort Myers Beach. While you weren’t the drunk driver, you could have been speeding, failed to yield the right-of-way, or otherwise acted in a way contrary to the rules of the road.
Luckily, Florida follows a legal precedent called comparative negligence. This means that you can still sue for compensation even if you are partially at fault for the wreck. However, your compensation package will be reduced by the same percentage as your percentage of blame.
For example, someone who is found to be 25% responsible for the accident that caused their injuries will have their compensation package reduced by 25% as well. This is one reason that it is important to seek help from knowledgeable DUI accident attorneys who can help gather enough evidence to minimize your level of blame and maximize your compensation.
Get a FREE Consultation With Fort Myers Beach DUI Accident Attorneys Today
If you are ready to pursue legal action to get the compensation you need and deserve, get in touch with the Fort Myers Beach DUI accident lawyers at Viles & Beckman today. We provide all clients with a FREE consultation (with no obligation to hire us on at all).
Plus, if you decide we’re a good fit for your case, we work on a contingency basis. You pay us absolutely nothing unless and until we win you your compensation. Call today or fill out the form on our contact page to get started.