Being injured in a drunk driving accident can be life-altering. You need to hire a professional personal injury attorney. Only he can educate you regarding the legal process and eventually help you win the case with the best possible compensation.
As per the Florida law, you are a victim of a drunk driving accident if the accident causes you loss of any form that demands compensation. Under Florida Statute for victims of DUI crashes, there are certain “allowances” provided for the victims. However, the victim or his lawyer often requires to pursue these allowances he is subjected to!
You must be aware about the multiple ways through which a victim can obtain benefits. A set of Qualification Requirements has been established by the Florida’s Bureau of Victim Compensation for receipt of funds under its Crimes Compensation Act. Here are the requirements:
- The reporting of the crime to law enforcement needs to be done within 72 hours.
- It is necessary for the victim to have suffered some form of personal physical injury. There is an automatic reduction in the funds for those who have just suffered psychiatric or psychological injury due to the accident.
- Application needs to be filed within the time period of one year after the crime date. In case a valid cause is shown, the time period might be expanded up
- to 2 years.
- The victim must cooperate with law enforcement, State Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office fully.
- The victim must not have been engaged in any form of unlawful activity at the time of the accident.
- The victim must not be responsible for the accident in any way.
- The victim must not have a record of felony conviction.
What are the benefits available to the victim?
You need to meet all the above criteria in order to be proven as the victim. Only then, as per the Bureau you are entitled to the following benefits:
- Loss of wage
- Loss of support such as the death of a close relative etc.
- Disability of any form
- Expenses related to funeral
- Expenses pertaining to medical treatments
- Mental health counseling
- Compensation for any kind of Property Loss
However, the truth is that you and your lawyer need to pursue your compensation actively in order to avail all the benefits available under the Florida Law. This specific statute helps to save you a good deal of your medical costs.
An injury caused due to drunk driving accident might cause you loss of time at work and subsequently loss of high wages. You might have to struggle to pay the bills. When your general bills are added on by your medical expenses, you might lose your sleep at night. So, it is more than essential for you to claim lost wages in a drunk driving accident. This includes future wages If the injuries you suffered leaves you disabled or incapable of functioning properly to provide output to the company, you need to count your future wages as well for compensation.
You are also entitled to seek damages for pain and suffering caused by such an accident. This involves the physical or mental distress caused due to someone’s death. You need to prove the nature and severity of your injury as well as the prognosis issued by the doctor with the intent to claim such damages.
Out of all the damages claimed, those related to medical expenses is the most common. This is because in most cases, medical expenses can add up at a striking rate into a lump sum. The situation might be the same even when you have medical and auto insurance. You can demand reimbursement for ambulance rides, consultations, medical equipment, physical therapy, in-home medical care and all other expenditures.
What to do just after a drunk driving accident occurs?
- Dial 911
When you find out you are the victim in the crash, dial 911. Make sure to receive treatment for your injuries instantly, if possible. Police officials soon test the other driver for the accident.
- Gather contact information
Collect important contact information. It includes the other driver’s name, contact number, address, and details related to insurance. Also, gather relevant info from the witnesses on the scene. Gather their basic contact information as well since it might come handy later.
- Gather every possible piece of evidence
Click pictures of the crash scene, the vehicles or vehicles that were involved, and any injuries that you suffered. If there are other pieces of evidence like torn clothing, crashed debris etc., make sure you keep those handy as well.
- Hire a drunk driving accident attorney
Only the qualified drunk driving attorney has an absolute knowledge on law. At first, the case might seem to be simple but things might get tense with the progression of the case. So, be on the safe side and get yourself a proper attorney with specialization in this field.
Who is usually responsible for drunk driving accidents?
If the person who apparently caused the accident is found to have a BAC that is higher than the legal limit, you can go ahead in filing a lawsuit against him. You can also file a claim against a restaurant or bar if it is responsible for providing alcohol to the person accused for the accident.
- The accused person needs to be Under 21 years of age.
- The accused need to be someone who is “habitually addicted” to alcohol.
It is pretty difficult to put the blame or a part of blame on the third parties that might actually be liable for the drunk driving accidents.