An accident has happened – another driver collided with your car. Maybe they ran a red light or didn’t notice a stop sign, regardless, when you walk up to their window to exchange insurance information, you notice a pile of beer bottles. You smell alcohol on their breath and can see that they are having a difficult time understanding what just happened. Chances are, you’re dealing with a drunk driver. Florida has strict laws against drunk driving and for good reason. Drunk drivers are one of the largest dangers on the roads in Florida. These drivers are often unpredictable and get behind the wheel of a car without concern for anyone else on the roads.
While the national limit for BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.08% for those over the age of 21, many Florida drivers choose to drive when they are over the limit. The CDC found that one in three traffic deaths in the United States is caused by drunk drivers. These statistics are alarming and it’s important to practice defensive driving on the Florida roadways, especially if you believe you are driving near a drunk driver.
What to do if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver
If you’ve been hit by someone who you believe was driving drunk, after evaluating your immediate medical needs, your first act should be to call the police. When they arrive on the scene they are likely to subject the impaired driver to a list of sobriety tests to evaluate their condition. The results of these tests should be carefully documented in their police report. The police might also speak with anyone who was on the scene when the accident happened. Collecting eyewitness testimony can help to support the actual cause of the accident.
After you have finished working with the police at the accident scene, it’s important to seek medical attention. Even if you think you’ve only suffered minor injuries, a medical report is tantamount to showing evidence of physical damage after an accident. A doctor will be able to perform a thorough review and advise next steps. There is a good chance you will be required to come back for a follow-up examination a few days or a week later to make sure that your injuries are healing properly. In the event that you have suffered serious injury in the accident, you might need to spend time in the hospital.
One thing you should remember not to do – wait to give a statement to any insurance company until you have reviewed the details of your case with your attorney. Oftentimes, the insurance companies will try to get you to assume responsibility for the accident in order to avoid a settlement. It’s better to play it safe and avoid all conversations because it can be difficult to know if what you say is actually hurting your case. Since you are not required to provide a statement, it’s advisable to wait and let your attorney provide one for you.
How Working with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
After an accident, it can be difficult to know next steps to take. You’ve filed a police report and gone to see your doctor who evaluated your injuries. There’s a good chance that the insurance companies are trying to get you to settle your claim and aren’t offering anything close to the cost of your medical bills. Working with a skilled car accident attorney can remove these burdens and allow you to focus on resting and recovering from your injuries. An attorney can help with the following:
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf – insurance companies are notorious for offering an initial claim that is much lower than your actual claim is worth. An attorney can work with the insurance companies to present evidence showing that your current and future medical needs require a larger settlement. The insurance companies have a legal team working on their behalf and you should too.
- Collect any necessary documentation to help support your case – a police report, medical records, traffic cam footage, and recorded statements can all be valuable evidence to support your case. A lawyer can help collect all of this documentation and organize it in an effective way.
- Speak with eyewitnesses if needed – if there were any bystanders on the scene when the accident happened, this testimony can be a great asset to your case. An attorney can reach out to those who were present at the time of the accident and gather their testimony on your behalf.
Employ experts who can provide valuable insight into the accident and your medical condition – working with a medical expert can help validate your claim for just compensation. Many times, the insurance company won’t factor your future medical needs into their settlement offer. A medical expert will help to outline your needs for current as well as future medical treatment.
In Florida, you have up to four years to bring a claim against a negligent driver, but it is advisable to start the process as soon as possible.
Call a North Miami, FL Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
Drunk drivers cause many accidents in Florida every year and if you are the victim of such an accident you understand how frustrating and difficult this can be. Not only are drunk drivers a hazard to themselves, but they disregard the safety of every other person on the road when they choose to get behind the wheel of a car after having too many drinks.
The aftermath of such an accident can be devastating. An injury can leave you unable to work for an extended period of time, and prolonged hospital stays result in expensive medical bills. Contact the skilled team of car accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman. We have been working with residents of the Northern Miami area for many years and are proud to defend the rights of our clients. We understand how challenging a car accident can be and will help to bring your case to its most positive resolution. Call us today at (305)-676-8154 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162