Despite the occurrence of drunk driving decreasing nationwide in recent years, drunk driving accidents remains a threat to Florida drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in the most recent year there were nearly 700 drunk driving fatalities. MADD also reports that there were over 26,000 driving under the influence (DUI) convictions in the most recent year and that the costs and harm of DUI-related fatalities cost Florida taxpayers nearly $3.5 billion annually.
The law firm of Kaiser Romanello has helped numerous victims of DUI crashes recover much-needed compensation in the wake of a drunk driving crash. Although few courts would disagree that driving while under the influence of alcohol or some other drug is a careless (perhaps even reckless) act, proving that a driver was under the influence is not as easy as it may seem. Experienced legal counsel from Kaiser Romanello can help you prove your case and obtain the compensation you deserve.
WHY DRUNK DRIVING IS DANGEROUS
“Drunk driving” is actually a general phrase that often refers to operating any type of vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating or impairing substance. While alcohol is the most often-thought-of intoxicating substance, the truth is there is a variety of substances – both legal and illegal – that can render a person incapable of driving safely. These substances can include:
- Beer or hard liquor;
- Cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine;
- Over-the-counter drugs such as cold and flu medicine;
- Prescription drugs;
Depending on the specific substance that is consumed, the “drunk” driver can be impaired in a variety of ways. Many times the driver’s gross motor skills, coordination, and fine motor skills are negatively impacted, making it more difficult for the driver to safely operate a vehicle. Alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicating substances can impact:
- A driver’s judgment, which may make him or her engage in riskier and more reckless behavior like speeding;
- A driver’s reaction time, which may require the driver a longer period of time to observe and react to an obstacle or hazard;
- A driver’s coordination, making it difficult for the driver to perform multiple tasks at the same time (accelerating while steering, for example); and
- A driver’s attention, making it difficult for the driver to focus his or her attention on more than one thing at a time (the driver may only be able to observe his or her speed and may not be able to process other information such as car horns or traffic signs).
All of these symptoms can combine with one another, making the intoxicated or impaired driver incapable of performing even the most basic of driving-related tasks safely.
HOW DO I WIN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT AGAINST A DRUNK DRIVER?
Winning a drunk driving lawsuit and recovering compensation for your injuries begins with a complete and thorough investigation conducted as quickly as possible after the crash occurs. While there may be police reports and investigations that yield important evidence pertinent to your case, your personal injury attorney will need to conduct his or her own investigation as well. Law enforcement officers are trained to collect and preserve evidence necessary to convict a person of a crime; your drunk driving accident lawsuit is designed to get you compensation for your injuries. Because of these two different purposes, your attorney will want to investigate:
- Individuals who either served the drunk driver alcohol or who observed the driver consume alcohol or other substances. This can be especially important if police did not obtain a breath or blood sample from the impaired driver following the crash. There may be other evidence which can be used to show that the driver consumed impairing or intoxicating substances before the crash.
- Expert witnesses who can testify as to the driver’s condition near the time of the crash. If “standardized field sobriety tests” like the walk-and-turn test or one-leg-stand test were administered to the driver, an expert witness can analyze the driver’s performance and offer insight into the level of the driver’s impairment. Other experts can testify as so the meaning of breath or blood test results and reconstructionists can “recreate” how your crash occurred if these are issues in dispute.
- Medical evidence will need to be introduced to establish the extent of your injuries and how much compensation you are entitled to receive. Medical evidence from the drunk driver can indicate not only whether intoxicating substances were found in his or her system, but the observations of medical personnel can prove valuable as well:
- EMS crews smelled alcohol or an inhalant on the driver;
- The driver made statements to doctors, nurses, or other personnel about what he or she had consumed;
- The driver may have given an account of his activities before the crash – including bars he or she visited or quantities consumed – to medical workers.
FOR AGGRESSIVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION, CONTACT KAISER ROMANELLO TODAY
The drunk driving accident team of Kaiser Romanello has conducted drunk driving investigations on behalf of numerous clients. Doing this ensures clients receive the maximum amount of compensation available as quickly as possible. A thorough investigation conducted by Kaiser Romanello drunk driving accident attorneys may be sufficient to encourage the drunk driver and his or her insurance company to settle your claim quickly. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.