Drunk Driving Lawyer in Miami
Drunk driving has become a serious issue in the United States. Although drunk driving deaths have fallen by a third over the last 30 years, nearly 30 people die each day in drunk driving-related crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drunk driving accidents still account for over 10,000 deaths each year, and contribute to over $44 billion in costs associated with these crashes.
Drunk driving not only takes the lives of adults, but children are also often victims of drunk driving crashes. Nearly 17% of all children involved in a traffic death had someone consuming alcohol, and almost 55% of child traffic deaths occurred where the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
If you were involved in a car crash in Miami and suspect another driver was intoxicated you may be entitled to compensation. A drunk driving lawyer in Miami can help. A DUI lawyer or a DUI Personal Injury Lawyer can help you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, negotiate on your behalf, and file a lawsuit seeking compensation when negotiations fail. Call us today for a consultation.
What to do Following an Accident in Miami
There are certain procedures someone should follow immediately after a car crash. Some of these procedures include:
- Calling 911 for medical care or police assistance
- Exchanging information with the other driver
- Documenting any damage done to the vehicles
- Writing down your recollections of the accident
- Ensuring that your vehicle is safe to operate
- Contacting a drunk driving injury attorney to open the insurance claims on your behalf
Immediately after a traffic accident in Miami, a driver should evaluate their own physical condition. Do you feel any pain? Is there any bleeding? Is your vision blurred? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it might be best to stay in the vehicle and await a medical professional for assistance. In serious accidents, head and spinal injuries could get worse if a crash victim is moved improperly. If you suspect you are seriously injured do not attempt to get out of the vehicle and instead wait for a trained professional to assist in exiting the car.
If you feel that any injuries are minor, or no injuries occurred at all, be sure that any passengers in your vehicle are also ok. Children, in particular, should be looked after to ensure that they are physically and mentally free of any trauma. If no one is injured be sure to exit the vehicle in a safe place. For example, if the crash occurred on a highway, exiting your car could present a hazardous situation if cars are continuing to speed by on the road. Be sure to exit your car on the shoulder side of the vehicle.
Once everyone in your vehicle is accounted for and is free of injury, be sure that the other driver is okay. Similar to your own vehicle, if anyone is seriously injured, removing them from the vehicle could cause additional harm. While a driver has a duty to give reasonable assistance, including transportation to a hospital if necessary, be sure that the other driver is stable and requests assistance before attempting to move them. Be sure to remain at the scene of the crash. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense and could subject you to fines and jail time.
Call 911 immediately after everyone checks out okay. Even if no one requires medical assistance calling 911 will ensure that an ambulance, the police, or both, will arrive at the scene of the accident. The ambulance crew will better be able to evaluate anyone involved in the crash, and the police can initiate a police report. This report may be important later in the process of seeking compensation, so it’s important to have the police document the crash as soon as possible.
Especially in circumstances where you suspect the other driver was driving drunk, be sure to mention this to the police. If the police also suspect the other driver was driving drunk, they might administer a blood alcohol test. The results of this test might be beneficial later when communicating with their insurance company or if a lawsuit needs to be filed for compensation.
If no one was injured, be sure to exchange important document information as soon as possible. This should include the other operator’s driver’s license and insurance policy. If possible, take a photograph of both documents using your cell phone. Their driver’s license should include their name, address, and driver’s license number. Be sure to ask if the information given to you is up to date. Insurance information should include the name of the insurance carrier and the policy number, as well as the name and address of the person the policy covers. If the person on the insurance policy is not the same person who was driving the vehicle, be sure to determine their relationship.
If your vehicle was damaged, be sure to document this damage. Again, a cell phone should come in handy. Be sure to photograph both damaged areas, as well as areas of your vehicle that weren’t damaged for comparison. Additionally, be sure to photograph the other vehicle involved in the crash, as well as non-damaged areas of their vehicle. This will ensure that the other driver is unable to claim any damage caused after the accident was a result of the current crash. And be sure to photograph the other vehicle’s license plate number.
Writing down your recollections of the crash can be very helpful later in the process. Particularly in cases where you suspect the other driver may have been drunk driving. When you approached their vehicle did you smell alcohol? Was their speech slurred? Were there open alcohol bottles or cans in their vehicle? Be sure to write this information down.
There are additional recollections to keep in mind and record. What were the weather conditions before the crash? Were there any traffic signals? Were there any traffic signs? In what direction were you and the other driver heading? Were there any witnesses? What type of car was the other driver operating? As time passes our memories can fade. It is important to write down as much information as possible before you have a chance to forget any details.
Only after you have checked that your vehicle is safe to operate, and you filed a police report at the scene of the accident should you leave. Once you’ve left the scene you can contact your insurance carrier to let them know about the accident. Even if the accident was caused by the other driver it is important to let your insurance company know that the accident occurred and the circumstances that led to the accident. If you suspect the other driver was driving drunk, be sure to let your insurance company know right away. The better thing to do is have a trained drunk driver lawyer present the claim on your behalf. Most of the time the insurance companies try and contact you as soon as possible before you hire a dui accident lawyer. It is our recommendation that you always speak to a dui accident attorney first but if you do speak with the insurance companies never tell them you are not injured until you seek medical attention. Drunk driving injuries could take days or weeks to manifest. Also, never give a recorded statement without speaking with a drunk driving accident attorney first and do admit any liability.
This is where a drunk driving lawyer in Miami can help. To ensure that nothing is said that could create a problem, a Miami drunk driving injury lawyer can advise you on what relevant information should be relayed to their insurance company and what information is unnecessary. Following a drunk driving accident, be sure to contact a drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible so they can better evaluate the circumstances of the accident and determine the best way to proceed.
What if I was Partially to Blame for the Accident?
Even in circumstances where you might have been partially to blame for an accident, compensation might still be available. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that any compensation you receive would be reduced by the percentage you were responsible for the accident, even if you were partially at fault.
Some other states do not follow comparative negligence, and instead, follow the doctrine of contributory negligence. In those states, a plaintiff is barred from compensation if they are more than 50% responsible for the accident. Fortunately, in Florida, the comparative negligence doctrine does not bar all compensation. The burden is on the defendant to prove that the plaintiff was negligent. When the other driver was driving drunk it may be easier for a plaintiff to establish that the other driver was the cause of the accident. Having a copy of the police report stating that the defendant failed a drunk driving test can only bolster an already positive position.
It is unfortunate that so many drivers today take the risk of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Even with the decline in drunk driving accidents, attributed to fewer millennials driving on the roads and the increase in road share companies such as Uber and Lyft, statistics don’t help if you were one of the unlucky victims of a drunk driver. The costs associated with an accident can be exorbitant. From medical bills, lost wages, long-term medical care, property damage – these costs can add up. A drunk driving lawyer can help. The Miami drunk driving lawyers at Schlacter Law understand the importance of getting you back on the road, and back to good health, and we will work hard to get you as much compensation as possible. Call us today for a consultation so we can get started.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to file a lawsuit right away?
If a lawsuit is required there are limits on the amount of time an accident victim has to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations and for personal injury negligence lawsuits, a plaintiff has four years from the time the accident occurs to file a lawsuit. Letting this deadline pass could result in a dismissal of a claim and leave no other avenue for compensation. For this reason, be sure to contact a Miami lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you get as much compensation as possible.
How do I pay for a lawyer?
A Miami lawyer is typically paid through a contingency fee where their fee is a percentage of any money they secure on your behalf. This amount is usually between 33.33% and 40% and depends on how far along in the process they successfully secured your compensation. By paying a percentage of any money they recover you would not be required to pay anything upfront, allowing you to initiate the process without it costing you anything now.
What is the average amount of compensation I can expect?
Without knowing the circumstances that led to your accident or the severity of your injuries it is difficult to estimate the amount of compensation available. Compensation might include property damage, loss of income, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Additional factors may play a role in how much money you can recover. Call a Miami attorney today for an evaluation.