At the same time that you leave your home for a quick trip to the store, someone else is likely leaving a bar or party across town. That individual’s decision to have a few drinks before getting behind the wheel may result in devastating consequences if he or she collides with your vehicle. In such a case, you and any passengers face the risk of serious injury and even death. No matter how defensively you drive, an impaired driver is a real threat to your safety. If you’ve been seriously injured due to the negligent actions of a drunk driver, contact a Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
How a Drunk Driver Can Change Your Life
Any type of car accident is a traumatic event, but driving drunk is a choice. When another driver makes the poor decision to operate his or her motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, you may suffer one or more of the following serious injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI). A severe traumatic brain injury from a car crash can result in hospitalization and possible long-term problems with memory, speech, hearing, vision, balance, and thinking.
- Spinal cord injury. There are two types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete. With a complete injury, the injured individual experiences no function below the level of the injury. Whereas with an incomplete injury, the injured individual will have limited function below the level of the injury.
- Back and neck injuries. It’s important to note that an individual can break his or her back or neck, yet not experience a spinal cord injury.
- Broken bones. Multiple broken bones limit a person’s ability to complete daily tasks unassisted and often require extensive physical therapy upon healing.
There’s no doubt that a drunk driver can negatively impact your life, at the time of an accident and long after. A crash victim may experience multiple surgeries, need expensive equipment and medications, and require at-home or nursing home care. The recovery process is lengthy, and for some, there is no recovery. Sadly, the result is even more final when a drunk driving accident causes a fatality.
It is illegal for anyone to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Florida; the legally prescribed limit is a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Florida law cites the impairment of one’s ability to effectively judge distances, act in emergencies, and make judgments as justification for setting this maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
Two or more drinks in one hour may increase a person’s BAC beyond the legal limit, depending on a variety of factors. For example, weight plays an important role in how alcohol affects a person’s coordination and mental function. Alcohol doesn’t just leave the body once a person stops drinking for the night. A driver may assume that they are safe to drive after waiting an hour; however, it generally takes one hour for every drink consumed for alcohol to leave the body and render an individual safe to drive.
Why Do People Choose to Drink and Drive?
No one knows exactly why some people choose to take dangerous risks, such as drinking and driving. Excuses include thinking that law enforcement won’t stop them or just not having any other way to get home. Regardless, these excuses do not justify putting other drivers in danger.
Alcohol gives many people an invincible attitude due to the impact it has on the brain. In fact, alcohol can trick the brain into feeling competent and bold when a drunk driver is actually unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Who creates the most risk?
The probability of a serious accident increases as a driver’s BAC increases. The more an individual drinks, the higher his or her BAC, and the higher the probability of a crash. In all drinking-related fatal crashes, the risk was highest among 16 to 20 year-olds. Furthermore, drivers who are legally underage for drinking alcohol are 10 times as likely to be involved in a fatal accident if they choose to drive while under the influence. In comparison, the risk is seven times as high among drivers age 21 to 34 and six times as high for drivers age 35 and older.
When are the prime times for drunk drivers?
A drunk driving crash is possible at any time of day, but the risk is especially high at night and on the weekends. The hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. are a dangerous time to encounter a drunk driver with a BAC at or above 0.08.
Despite numerous public safety campaigns and tough drunk driving laws, people continue to push their luck and the luck of innocent people. There is no safe level of intoxication. Drinking and driving at any level is reckless behavior, and individuals who suffer injuries because of this behavior deserve justice.
How Meldon Law Can Help You
Being involved in a drunk driving accident is a serious and traumatic incident. The most important step that you can take following an accident is to focus on your health and healing. Now is not the time to deal with aggressive insurance agents who simply want to settle your claim quickly and for a low dollar amount.
At Meldon Law, we’ve helped many Florida victims of drunk driving find justice. While each case is unique, and we cannot guarantee any favorable results, you may secure compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you file a personal injury claim with us.
Call Meldon Law today at (954) 334-1276 from Fort Lauderdale and the rest of south Florida, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation. [We also serve the Gainesville and Ocala areas; the phone numbers to those offices are (352) 373-8000 and (800) 373-8000.]
Our highly experienced team will review your case, and should we decide to proceed, we won’t stop until we reach a fair settlement for you. If we are unable to reach a settlement, we will take your case to trial.
When the reckless behavior of another driver disrupts your life, it is important to hold him or her accountable. We understand how frightening a car crash is for you and your family. Our legal team uses the latest technology, hires the best experts, and only takes a select number of cases.
After the crash, don’t talk to insurance companies; talk to us first. We’ll handle the procedural details of your claim, all while keeping you informed throughout the process. To learn whether your crash is grounds for possible litigation, schedule your free consultation today. The sooner we review your case, the sooner we can decide upon your best course of action.
Meldon Law serves Gainesville, Ocala, Fort Lauderdale, as well as the rest of Florida. Our phones are available 24/7, and our online form is completely confidential.