Carrollwood Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Most people are fully aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. Yet many people choose to get behind the wheel in these situations anyway. They usually tell themselves that drunk driving accidents only happen to other people. In other words, they intentionally disregard a known risk and place their own convenience above the safety of others. Therefore, many jurors are anxious to punish drivers in these situations.
The dedicated Carrollwood drunk driving accident attorneys at Moore Law know that juror preference alone does not ensure maximum compensation. So, we work hard to build evidence-based claims in these situations. This evidence must be strong enough not only to make a negligence case, but also deflect insurance company defenses. Our commitment usually produces results that exceed our clients’ expectations.
First Party Liability
In Florida, such reckless driving usually involves the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine.
Negligence per se is essentially a violation of a safety law, like the DUI law. Tortfeasors (negligent driver) could be liable for damages as a matter of law if:
- They violate a penal safety law, and
- That violation substantially causes injury.
Since the statute establishes the standard of care, there’s no need for a Carrollwood drunk driving accident lawyer to independently prove negligence in these claims.
Ordinary negligence is different. Even if they are not intoxicated, drivers still have a duty of care. This duty requires them to be at their best mentally, physically, and otherwise when they drive. Alcohol’s impairing effects, such as clouded judgement and slow reactions, clearly breaches this duty. Evidence on this point includes physical driver symptoms, like:
- Slurred speech,
- Bloodshot eyes,
- Unsteady balance, and
- Odor of alcohol.
If the tortfeasor exhibited these symptoms when s/he purchased alcohol, the commercial provider could be vicariously liable for damages, as outlined below.
The burden of proof in an ordinary negligence claim is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That’s one of the lowest burdens of proof in Florida law.
Third Party Liability
Intoxicated or impaired drivers usually got the alcohol they drank from a commercial source. If the restaurant, bar, or other provider illegally sold alcohol to a patron who later caused a wreck, the provider could be vicariously liable for car crash damages.
Common illegal sales in Florida include sales to underage patrons and sales to persons who were habitually addicted to alcohol. All underage sales are usually illegal, even if the patron used a fake ID. Evidence of habitual addiction includes the aforementioned physical symptoms, previous alcohol purchases at that establishment, and the tortfeasor’s statements about alcohol addiction.
Noncommercial alcohol providers, like New Years Eve party hosts, could also be vicariously liable for damages, under a theory like negligent undertaking.
Third party liability is especially important in catastrophic injury wrecks. Florida has a high number of uninsured drivers and a low auto insurance minimum requirement. Therefore, many drivers are uninsured or underinsured. Vicarious liability gives these victims an additional source of recovery.
Rely on an Experienced Hillsborough County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer in Carrollwood, contact Moore Law by going online or calling 813-510-5400. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.