Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Hit by a Drunk Driver in Tampa
Nationwide about one in three fatal crashes involve a drunk driver. Rates of drunk driving car accident deaths in Florida actually tend to exceed the national average. With options like designated drivers, taxis, Uber & Lyft, and yes, even HART, there is simply no reason to drink and drive, yet thousands make that decision every day. 2.1% of Florida drivers report driving after drinking too much. That’s 441,000 people on the road when they shouldn’t be, posing a very real threat to you and your family when you share the road with them.
If you are hit by a drunk driver in Tampa, you may suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. The Tampa drunk driving lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group can help make sure you get the medical care you need, and we will also work to hold the drunk driver accountable to you for the harm they have caused. There is no excuse for drunk driving and the needless tragedies it causes. Our team is devoted to making sure you are adequately taken care of after being injured in a Tampa car accident caused by a drunk driver.
Why Drunk Driving Car Accidents are so Dangerous
Drinking alcohol affects just about every part of the body needed for safe driving. Intoxication slows reflexes, dulls attention, blurs vision, and impairs both judgment and motor control. Drunk drivers are known to blaze through intersections heedless of stop signs or red lights, and even to fall asleep at the wheel. You may have seen a drunk driver weaving or swerving in and out of his or her lane. This is dangerous enough, but a drunk driver who suddenly becomes aware of such dangerous driving is likely to overreact or overcorrect and cause an accident with a person in an adjacent lane, or even worse force a head-on collision with a driver in the opposite lane.
Drunk driving car accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death to the occupants of the other vehicle, because a drunk driver is less likely to apply the brakes or try to avoid a collision before it happens, increasing the speed and force of the accident. Drunk driving car accidents therefore often fall outside of the no-fault system, allowing the injury victim to sue the driver for negligence when the accident has caused any of the following:
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent loss of a body function
When suing the at-fault driver, you have to be able to prove the driver’s negligence. Proof that the driver was intoxicated is often enough to prove negligence. If the driver was convicted of driving under the influence, we can use that conviction in a civil trial for damages. Even if the driver was not convicted or even charged with DUI, we may still be able to prove intoxication in a trial for negligence. There are different standards of proof in criminal and civil trials. Our team at Rinaldo Law Group has the litigation skills and experience to know how to develop a strong case against an intoxicated driver and prove their negligence caused the accident and subsequent injuries.
Punitive Damages may be Available against a Drunk Driver
In addition to recovering compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, punitive damages may also be appropriate in a drunk driving car accident case. Punitive damages are meant to punish an individual for conduct which is not only negligent but goes beyond the boundaries of what society tolerates as acceptable behavior.
Punitive damages are not appropriate in every case, and they are typically more difficult to prove and obtain than the actual damages incurred. In the case of drinking and driving, it would be necessary to prove one of the following:
Intentional misconduct – The driver knew that drinking and driving was wrong and had a high probability of causing injury or damage, but intentionally drove drunk anyway.
Gross negligence – The driver’s conduct was so reckless or lacking in care that it amounted to a conscious disregard or indifference to the life, safety or rights of others.
We make the extra effort in appropriate cases to pursue punitive damages against drunk drivers who cause an accident.
Help is Available for Tampa Car Accident Victims Hit by a Drunk Driver
If you or a loved one were injured in a Tampa car accident caused by a drunk driver, call the Rinaldo Law Group at 813-831-9999 for a free consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable Tampa drunk driving lawyers.