New Port Richey boasts a vibrant nightlife, with drinking, dining, dancing, and live music that captures the eclectic flair of the city. Unfortunately, when enjoying a night out in New Port Richey, many people fail to bring a designated driver or order a rideshare. Instead, they climb behind the wheel of a vehicle and place everyone around them at risk.
Tragic, preventable drunk driving accidents cause untold pain and loss in and around New Port Richey every year. Crash victims and grieving families can often seek compensation for their losses through lawsuits and insurance claims. The experienced New Port Richey drunk driving accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, handle that process on victims’ and families’ behalf.
- Choose Dolman Law Group, PA, to Handle Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim
- The Tragic Toll of Drunk Driving
- How much is a New Port Richey drunk driving accident claim worth?
- Our Role in New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident Cases
- Tips for Protecting the Value of Your Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim
- New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident FAQ
- Contact an Experienced New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyer Today
Choose Dolman Law Group, PA, to Handle Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is a nationwide law firm with offices along both Florida coasts. We have spent years building a sterling reputation as a firm that gets results for injured victims of preventable accidents. We fight for maximum compensation in every case we handle, whether that fight takes place in settlement negotiations or before a judge or jury in court.
Our recent case results include:
- $1.58 million for a client who suffered two herniated discs impinging on the spinal cord due to a car accident.
- $775,000 for a father and son injured in a motor vehicle accident.
- $425,000 for a client who sustained a lower back injury in a car accident.
Having Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, handle your New Port Richey drunk driving claim puts a wealth of legal knowledge and resources in your corner. We have the size and sophistication of a national law firm, but the local presence throughout Florida—including in New Port Richey—to provide personalized attention to our clients. We offer free in-person or virtual consultations to all prospective clients and you can connect with us 24/7.
The Tragic Toll of Drunk Driving
According to Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), in a recent year more than 250 fatal motor vehicle accidents in Florida involved intoxicated drivers. Drunk drivers also caused around 275 incapacitating injuries, 750 non-incapacitating injuries, and more than 1,000 possible injuries. In the New Port Richey area alone, drunk driving that year resulted in 11 deaths and 121 injuries.
New Port Richey drunk driving victims who survive crashes commonly suffer:
- Catastrophic injuries of the brain or spinal cord that permanently impact their ability to earn an income and, in many cases, deprive them of the ability to live independently;
- Internal injuries that result in damage to the body’s organs and can cause organ death or dangerous internal blood loss.
- Crushed limbs that lose function or may require amputation.
- Severe lacerations or burn injuries that can cause scarring, nerve damage, or life-threatening infections.
- Broken bones, which can cause significant pain while healing, and may never heal properly, resulting in chronic pain and limited mobility.
- Neck and shoulder soft tissue injuries, commonly known as whiplash, which can result in weeks or months of pain and the need for physical therapy.
The costs of treating serious injuries can range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on their severity and permanence. In addition, victims often face a mountain of other financial costs, including income loss, diminished earning capacity, and property damage.
Of course, financial losses constitute only part of the harm drunk driving causes. Victims also suffer from devastating physical and emotional pain. And families of those who die in drunk driving accidents endure untold grief and sorrow. Drunk driving is a tragedy in every sense, and its victims deserve full compensation.
How much is a New Port Richey drunk driving accident claim worth?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone dies due to a drunk driving accident in the U.S. every 45 minutes, on average. Hundreds of thousands more victims sustain injuries caused by drunk drivers.
The toll of those accidents is massive. Victims frequently need extensive medical treatment. They suffer from physical and emotional pain. They face mountains of expenses and crushing financial difficulty. All of those harms deserve compensation.
Elements of Drunk Driving Accident Damages
A person who gets hurt in a drunk driving accident, or the surviving spouse or family of a deceased drunk driving victim, can often claim compensation from the drunk driver, other at-fault parties, and insurance companies.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our New Port Richey injury lawyers handle the process of seeking that compensation on our clients’ behalf.
Every case we take differs, but we can often secure payment for an injured crash victim’s:
- Past and future costs of medical care for accident-related injuries
- Other costs associated with recovering from, adapting to, or living with an injury
- Loss of earnings, job benefits, and future opportunities due to limitations caused by the injury
- Physical pain and discomfort due to an injury or treatment for it
- Emotional difficulties associated with pain and trauma
- Loss of independence or enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
In the case of a fatal drunk driving accident, our team can represent surviving spouses, families, and estates in wrongful death and survival claims.
Through those legal actions, we may secure damages that include:
- Loss of the victim’s income, financial support, or services
- Loss of the victim’s society, companionship, guidance, or consortium
- Mental pain and suffering of the surviving spouse or family member
- The victim’s medical expenses prior to death
- The victim’s pain and suffering prior to death
- Funeral and burial expenses
Injured drunk driving accident victims and grieving families can also sometimes seek an award of additional, punitive damages, which punish extremely reckless or intentional misconduct.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we work relentlessly to secure the maximum damages possible for every drunk driving victim we represent.
Other Factors Affecting Drunk Driving Accident Claim Value
The elements of damages above represent the amount you may have the right to claim from an at-fault party or insurance company. But they may not reflect how much you can realistically expect to receive. Other factors may impact your probability of obtaining full compensation for the losses you suffered in a New Port Richey drunk driving accident.
- The availability of evidence proving the drunk driver’s (or someone else’s) liability and the amount of your damages
- The skill and level of experience of the lawyer you choose to handle your drunk driving damages claim.
- The degree of dispute among the parties (including insurance companies) over the existence of liability or the amount of damages
- The number of victims who suffered harm in the drunk driving crash
- The financial resources available for the at-fault or liable party to use to pay your damage, including insurance policies and personal or business assets
The most reliable way to get a fix on the potential value of your New Port Richey drunk driving accident injury claim is to speak with an experienced legal professional.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, offers all prospective clients a free case consultation in which they can ask questions and learn about their rights.
Our Role in New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident Cases
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is a full-service personal injury law firm. Our team handles every aspect of the process of securing compensation for a drunk driving accident victim. Our clients can always rest assured that we have the resources and knowhow to get the most favorable result possible no matter what direction a drunk driving accident case leads.
- Identify the parties who may have liability for the harm caused by a drunk driver, including whether those parties carry insurance to cover the liability.
- Analyze insurance policies to determine whether and in what amount an insurance policy may cover a claim.
- Evaluate the scope of the damages our client has suffered to ensure they seek the maximum compensation available.
- Handle all communications with the drunk driver’s attorney and insurance carrier to protect the value of a claim and to position the case for effective settlement negotiations.
- interact with law enforcement and prosecutors in connection with their potential prosecution of the drunk driver.
- Answer our clients’ questions and advise them about making medical, financial, or life decisions that may affect their rights to compensation.
- Prepare and file lawsuits that satisfy Florida’s statute of limitations for drunk driving accident injury or fatality claims.
- Gather evidence to prove liability and damages.
- Present our client’s case in court, including at trial before a judge and jury.
- Collect and distribute the compensation our client is owed under the terms of a settlement or jury award.
We routinely perform these and other legal services in drunk driving accident cases on a contingent fee basis. That means we do not charge upfront fees or by the hour. We only receive a fee for our work if we get results for our client.
Tips for Protecting the Value of Your Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we aim to relieve our clients of the entire burden pursuing compensation for their injuries. But we also encourage our clients and potential clients to take care in the choices they make in the aftermath of a drunk driving crash. Following the tips below can help accident victims protect their rights while we work to achieve the best possible outcome for them.
Make Medical Care a Top Priority
Seek medical care as soon as possible after getting into an accident with a drunk driver, even if you feel ok. Only a qualified medical professional can screen you for potentially severe trauma that might not show immediate symptoms, such as internal bleeding or spinal injury. Then, follow your medical team’s advice about what you need to do to make a successful physical and emotional recovery. Go to your follow-up appointments, do your physical therapy, take your medication, and get the rest you need.
Your health may depend on taking these steps. So might your legal rights. To achieve maximum compensation, it’s critical to be able to demonstrate that you did everything reasonable to care for yourself. And the medical records of your treatment can also serve as essential evidence in proving your claim.
Save Bills, Correspondence, and Other Accident-Related Documents
Your expenses and losses will typically constitute a significant portion of your claim for damages. Any records you receive that reflect the financial impact of your injuries can constitute strong evidence. So don’t throw anything away! Save your receipts, invoices, letters and emails from insurance companies, and other documentation reflecting your losses, so that your lawyer can decide which of them to use to support your claim.
Exercise Caution in Any Interaction with an Insurance Company
An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will typically handle all interactions with insurance companies on your behalf. But in the event you find yourself talking to a representative from your own or someone else’s insurance company about the accident, it’s smart to exercise caution.
Insurers will look a reason to justify denying your potential claim for compensation, even if you are their policyholder—and especially if you aren’t. Stick only to the facts and do not get drawn into a discussion of who was at fault. And never, ever, sign or agree to any proposed settlement of your claim. Leave all settlement discussions to an attorney who knows how to negotiate to maximize your recovery.
New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident FAQ
Unfortunately, even New Port Richey is not immune to the prevalence of driving under the influence. These irresponsible drivers are a constant risk to our community: Drunk driving accidents often leave their victims with serious injuries, and often with lifelong complications. A drunk driving accident might, for example, leave you with traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. You might suffer multiple broken bones or find yourself with organ damage as a result of the accident. Not only does that leave you with many questions about your medical prognosis, it may also leave you with plenty of questions about your legal rights. Thankfully, there are resources available to help our neighbors who suffer injuries due to the negligence of a drunk driver. If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident in New Port Richey, contact an experienced drunk driving accident attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as soon after your accident as possible.
1. How much compensation do I deserve after a New Port Richey drunk driving accident?
The compensation you receive for a drunk driving accident in New Port Richey will depend on several factors. Consult an attorney to learn more about the specific details of your claim. Keep in mind that an attorney cannot guarantee the compensation you will receive for your claim. However, most people include these elements as part of a drunk driving accident injury claim.
- Compensation for your medical bills. Medical bills typically represent the foundation of a drunk driving accident injury claim, including a drunk driving accident claim. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may have substantial medical bills after your accident: bills for emergency care immediately after your accident, bills for any surgeries and procedures you received to help treat your injuries, or bills for ongoing physical and occupational therapy after your accident. You may also have substantial expenses for durable medical equipment, especially if you need to use a wheelchair to get around after your accident or if you need a prosthesis following limb amputation. Make sure you keep up with all of your medical expenses following your accident so that you can prove the extent of your expenses.
- Coverage for lost wages. In addition to substantial expenses, you may have lost a lot of time at work in the aftermath of your accident. That lost time can lead to lost vacations and, worse, lost income at a time when you desperately need access to those funds to help cover your medical bills and other expenses. An attorney will help you calculate all wages lost as a result of your injuries.
- Compensation for pain and suffering. Medical bills and lost wages represent tangible expenses that you can easily add up. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, usually proves more intangible. Consult an attorney to learn more about how your suffering after an accident can add to your drunk driving accident injury claim, including the compensation you can claim.
- Punitive damages. After a drunk driving accident, you may also be awarded punitive damages: funds designed to punish the driver who caused your accident, rather than simply providing compensation for your expenses. In the case of a drunk driving accident, punitive damages may result from the drunk driver's decision to drive while intoxicated: a decision that most drivers well know poses severe negligence. Consult a drunk driving accident attorney to learn more about punitive damages and how they may impact your claim.
2. What if the other New Port Richey driver did not get convicted of drunk driving?
The other driver's drunk driving conviction, or lack thereof, usually does not change the damages you can include in your drunk driving accident claim. The civil claims process is wholly separate from any criminal prosecution, and a failure to charge or convict a drunk driver does not preclude the victim from seeking damages in civil court. The driver's intoxication, however, may still prove an important evidence requirement in a drunk driving accident injury claim.
3. How should I handle paying my medical bills after a New Port Richey drunk driving accident?
As the individual receiving medical care, you must make arrangements to pay all of your medical bills, even if someone else caused or contributed to your accident. That does not necessarily mean, however, that you must pay for your medical expenses out of pocket. Drunk driving accident victims have several options for help with their medical expenses.
- PIP insurance. All Florida drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance in addition to their liability insurance. PIP insurance covers an initial portion of medical bills and lost wages after any type of serious auto accident, whether you caused the accident or someone else did. You typically do not have grounds to file a personal injury claim (such as drunk driving accident injuries) until your medical expenses exceed the amount of your personal injury protection insurance. You should provide this insurance information to the hospital when you receive treatment.
- Health insurance. Your health insurance may provide protection when it comes to your medical bills after a drunk driving accident. Contact your health insurance provider to learn more about how much coverage you have and how it will impact you after the accident, especially if you have specific concerns related to your coverage. Depending on your coverage, your health insurance company may require reimbursement out of the damages from your drunk driving accident claim, so make sure you understand what your insurance covers and how it will impact you. Better yet, entrust dealing with any insurers to your attorney.
- A drunk driving accident claim. You may have substantial medical expenses after a drunk driving accident. A drunk driving accident injury claim award or settlement, if proven, is usually funded by the insurance company that covers the drunk driver. That claim can provide much-needed compensation that can cover your medical bills and make it easier for you to manage those ongoing bills. If you need to wait for your claim's resolution to pay your medical expenses, talk to your lawyer. An attorney can issue a letter of protection, letting your doctors and other medical care providers know of your intent to pay your bills once you receive that settlement or award. A letter of protection can prevent those bills from going to collections and allow your medical care to continue without break.
4. What should I do if I suspect the other driver in my New Port Richey accident of driving drunk?
If you suspect that the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, you should take several steps.
- Notify the police officer who responds to the scene of the accident of your suspicions. Let the officer who responds to the accident know that you suspect the other driver of driving drunk. Include any information that made you suspicious: the driver's erratic behavior before the accident, for example. The officer will then know that he needs to conduct a test on the driver to determine his BAC if possible.
- Include your suspicions in any report you make about the accident. You may need to make a written report about the accident for your records. Include your suspicion that the other driver drove while intoxicated in any report that you make. Others, including your attorney and the police, will investigate this claim, but you need to share your suspicion.
- Contact our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys. Get in touch with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible. Let the attorney know about your suspicions and any evidence you may have about the other driver's intoxication. Keep in mind that you may have grounds for a drunk driving accident claim even if the other driver does not get convicted of driving while intoxicated.
5. Who bears liability in a New Port Richey drunk driving accident?
Most often, the drunk driver who causes an accident bears the most obvious liability for any accident that occurs as a result of the driver's inebriation. That does not necessarily mean, however, that the drunk driver bears sole responsibility for the accident. Consult an experienced drunk driving accident attorney for more information about factors that may have contributed to your accident and how they may affect your injury claim. An attorney may evaluate whether these factors could have contributed to the accident.
- The driver's employer. Was the driver who caused your accident on the clock at the time of the accident? If a driver drives for work, the driver's employer may share liability for anything that happens while the driver takes care of work responsibilities. Typically, that does not include drivers on their way to work or on their way home from work, but it does include commercial drivers, including truck drivers. The driver's employer may share liability if the employer knew that the driver was inebriated, if the employer had unrealistic expectations for the driver, or if the employer failed to properly maintain the vehicle, leading to an accident. The driver's employer may also share liability if the employer knew the employee had a record of driving while intoxicated, but chose to continue to allow him to drive anyway.
- The vehicle's owner. Did the driver who caused your accident own the vehicle? Did he or she have permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident? If so, the vehicle's owner may bear liability for the accident, particularly if the owner knew that the driver had consumed drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
- The vehicle manufacturer. Sometimes, the other driver's inebriation serves as little more than a footnote in the cause of the accident. If a mechanical failure caused the accident, an attorney may evaluate the vehicle manufacturer to learn more about its contribution to the accident.
6. What should I do if the New Port Richey drunk driver's insurance company offers me a settlement?
Do not accept a settlement offer, especially after a drunk driving accident, without talking to an attorney first. The insurance company that covers a drunk driver who has caused a serious accident may attempt to reduce its financial liability by trying to convince you to accept a settlement offer that does not reflect the funds you really deserve for your accident. If you accept that offer, you relieve the insurance company of future financial liability and decrease the compensation you can receive for your injuries. Talk to an experienced attorney to learn more about how much compensation you really deserve, including when to accept a settlement offer.
7. How long will it take me to get the funds I need after a New Port Richey drunk driving accident?
You should not expect a fast resolution to your drunk driving accident claim. Several factors can extend the length of time it takes for you to reach a satisfactory resolution and get the funds in your hands. While you should receive compensation within thirty days after you reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, it can take some time for you to reach an actual agreement. Several factors can contribute to the length of time it takes for you to receive the damages from your accident.
- Your recovery. Before you file your claim, your attorney may want you to wait until you have a solid idea of your future prognosis. In the case of many types of injuries, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage, it can take six months or more for your doctors to gauge your eventual recovery. Complications in the recovery process can also increase your medical expenses, which your drunk driving accident claim should reflect. Waiting until you reach that milestone can help your attorney better shape your claim.
- Your lawyer's need to negotiate. In some cases, the insurance company might quickly offer you a reasonable settlement. In other cases, however, you may need to go back and forth for some time before you reach an agreement that works for both sides. Each round of negotiation may add to the length of time it takes to settle your claim. Insurance companies may negotiate harder if you need a large settlement following a drunk driving accident. If you cannot reach an agreement through negotiation, you may need to proceed to mediation or, eventually, to court, which may also add to the time it takes to settle your claim.
- The investigation. Your attorney will want to fully investigate your drunk driving accident before filing a claim for damages. A long investigation period may extend the time needed to achieve a settlement.
Contact an Experienced New Port Richey Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyer Today
If a drunk driver injured you in New Port Richey, the experienced attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, are eager to evaluate your case for free and provide you with important information about your rights to claim compensation. With offices across both Florida coasts, including in New Port Richey, you can easily reach us by phone at (727) 477-9660 or can write to us on our online contact page.
New Port Richey Office
5924 Main St
New Port Richey, FL 34652