Palm Harbor Auto Accident Lawyer
If there’s one societal problem that consumers, law enforcement, lawyers and the medical sector agrees on, it’s that drunk driving is unacceptable on any level. Few types of personal injury or preventable deaths provoke the anger and emotional pain of those caused by drunk drivers. In the span of a few seconds, a life can be altered or ended as the result of a car accident involving another vehicle, bicyclist or an innocent pedestrian. For far too long, innocent victims have suffered injuries, lost their lives and lost their loved ones because of the irresponsible acts and negligence of someone who was convinced that he could drink while under the influence. The attorneys and staff Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. are relentless and aggressive in our representation of drunk driving victims and their families. Our car accident lawyers have successfully sought and won legal cases against irresponsible drinkers and the bars, nightclubs and restaurants that improperly serve them.
A Common Denominator in Florida Drunk Driving Arrests
It has been our experience that drunk drivers often drive a vehicle that is uninsured or underinsured. In addition to a lack of insurance, many drunk drivers have few if any assets to compensate victims for their losses. It’s just one more frustrating fact that victims must come to terms with, as they realize they may never receive fair compensation for their losses. It doesn’t mean there aren’t other options, however. Even if there is no way to obtain recovery against a drunk driver, Florida DUI laws provide for recovery options against the person who provided the alcoholic beverage to the drunk driver if they’re proven to be liable in any way. This can include legal action against bars, restaurants and their parent companies in an attempt to recover compensation for your damages and losses. We will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of just financial compensation. Our law firm will aggressively and strategically work to help you or a loved one who has been harmed by the irresponsible and illegal actions of a drunk driver.
What is Florida Implied Consent Law?
Florida has steep consequences for those who are caught driving while intoxicated. If you’re pulled over and ordered to take a breathalyzer, blood or urine test, your cooperation is mandatory. Florida’s Implied Consent Law means that when you sign your driver’s license, you are consenting to those tests if you’re ever requested to undergo them. If you refuse, and whether or not you are deemed under the influence, you automatically lose your license for one year. If you refuse a second time, you’ll face an 18 month driver’s license suspension.
There are also fines with the possibility of community service, probation and imprisonment.
What is the Florida Dram Shop Law?
Dram shop laws are in place in most states and they allow victims of injured in DUI accidents to seek compensation from a third party, such as a bartender or other vendor. Each state is different, including Florida. Florida Statutes section 768.125 states that if a person “willfully and unlawfully” provides alcohol to a minor under age 21 or “knowingly” provides alcohol to a person “habitually addicted” to alcohol, that person may be held liable for any injuries caused by the minor or the “habitually addicted” person.
Florida does not have, however, a social host liability statute. That means if a guest is in a private home and consumes too much alcohol and then causes injury to another, the host cannot be held liable.
Compensation in dram shop cases may include recovery for medical bills, lost wages, damaged or destroyed property and pain and suffering. There are statute of limitations considerations, so it’s important to speak with a legal representative as soon as possible to protect your rights. In most instances, these types of claims must be filed within four years.
What Can a Victim of a DUI Accident Expect?
Palm Harbor auto accident lawyer Jeffrey Hensley has represented victims of DUI accidents and their families secure fair compensation for their losses. Florida offers very strict and specific laws that are written to better protect those most deeply affected by drunk driving. No matter the type of injuries or even if you think they’re not “serious enough”, you may be surprised to learn that there may be long term problems you hadn’t considered. You may face losing time from work or school from injuries you’d underestimated months or years earlier. This means lost wages, medical bills and almost always, there are psychological considerations, especially if the injuries are proven to have a serious impact on your life.
Jeffrey Hensley vehemently supports Florida’s laws and its ongoing efforts to eradicate drunk driving from our state. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents in the United States and the number of arrests from boating and operating ATVs is on the rise as well, and certainly within our state, which is surrounded by water. Those numbers could – and should – be at zero. Until that happens, we will aggressively seek claims against those who are responsible for the injuries and deaths their actions create.
From the young man who’s suffered from a traumatic brain injury as an infant when the car his babysitter was driving was hit by a drunk driver who crossed the median to the family that will forever grieve the loss of a beloved grandmother because a man, who had already had a previous DUI conviction, chose to drive drunk yet again, our committed staff of Palm Harbor auto accident lawyers, paralegals and support work tirelessly to at least ease some of the financial worries for the family that’s forever changed. Even when these cases move successfully through a criminal court, families still have civil remedies they can pursue.
The reality is, these are often the toughest legal cases. They’re difficult because we know how unnecessary they are and we know the permanency of the damage one selfish person created with his decision to break the law. Each time we work with a family that’s doing its collective best to move forward, we are reminded once again of why we show up each day and vigorously represent our clients. It’s a battle they don’t fight alone. You shouldn’t fight it alone, either.
Contact us today to receive a confidential and complimentary consultation. Our experienced team of Palm Harbor injury attorneys know what it takes to help you recover compensation for your losses, including damages to your vehicle, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and other losses. Our car accident attorneys are happy to answer any questions you have and explore the details of your case. We stand ready to guide drunk driving victims in Palm Harbor and their families, working toward a more certain future while ensuring that the ones responsible are held accountable.