Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer in Pensacola, FL

a man driving a car while drinking alcohol

Being injured by a drunk driver can change your life. Suddenly, your entire world is chaotic as you try to balance medical care and all those unexpected bills. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on the exhausting task of seeking compensation from those responsible for your injuries. Instead, you can turn to Cardoso Law, PLLC, for help.

Drunk driving accident victims have rights, including the right to pursue compensation from the party responsible for their injuries and expenses. Contact us today for a free consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer and find out how we can protect those rights at no upfront cost to you.

Florida Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Pensacola, like many other large cities, grapples with the devastating consequences of drunk driving accidents. Although the connection between intoxication and car crashes is well-known, some careless individuals continue to drive drunk, leading to the following alarming drunk driving accident statistics:

  • Alcohol impairment causes 26 percent of total traffic fatalities statewide.
  • Alcohol-related traffic deaths in Florida account for 3.8 per 100,000 residents, far higher than the national average of 3.1.
  • The rate of under-21 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 residents is also higher in Florida: 1.4 versus the national average of 1.1.
  • Over 800 alcohol-related traffic deaths occurred in a single recent year.

What To Do After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver

Your safety and the safety of your passengers come first in the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving accident. Call 911 to report the accident and get emergency medical assistance. What you do in the days and weeks to come is just as important. Here’s what to do when hit by a drunk driver:

  • Continue medical treatment and follow-up care per your healthcare provider’s instructions. This is for your best health and to document your injuries and how they affect your daily life.
  • Keep all receipts, medical records, insurance company correspondence, and other documents related to the crash.
  • Start a pain journal, and include specific details about your injuries.
  • Avoid discussing fault with your insurance company or the drunk driver’s insurance company.
  • Don’t post on social media or make public statements about the crash that could jeopardize your drunk driving accident case.
  • Talk to an experienced drunk driving accident attorney about a potential drunk driving accident lawsuit.

How To Prove The Other Driver Was Drunk After an Accident

A skilled drunk driving accident lawyer can collect and examine evidence to prove the other driver was drunk. This evidence might include:

  • Police Report Analysis The official police report of a crash often includes a treasure trove of helpful information, including the officer’s observations, any field sobriety test results, and the driver’s demeanor during interactions with law enforcement.
  • Visual Documentation Examination – Beyond photos and videos, assessing the accident scene should involve a detailed inspection of any environmental factors that might have contributed to or indicated impairment. This could include skid marks, damaged road signs, or other indicators that align with the driver being under the influence.
  • Medical Evidence Collection – If the drunk driver received medical care, treating physicians likely administered a blood test to check the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The results of this test could prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident if their results exceed the legal limit.
  • Interviews with Witnesses Expanding the scope of witness interviews to include individuals who might have interacted with the driver before the accident can reveal behavior indicative of intoxication. The testimony of waiters or bartenders who may have served and observed the alleged drunk driver before the accident can prove particularly valuable.
  • Onboard Vehicle Data Retrieval – Your lawyer can obtain digital information from the other driver’s vehicle for evidence of erratic driving behavior or instances of abrupt acceleration or deceleration.

Florida Dram Shop Laws

A dram shop is a legal term for an establishment like a bar or tavern that sells liquor, a phrase derived from the historical measurement unit used for selling alcohol called a dram.

Most states have laws making dram shops liable in certain situations if they overserve drunk drivers who go on to cause accidents. That said, Florida’s statutes are comparatively lenient in this regard. Generally, bars and taverns enjoy some immunity from lawsuits under Florida’s drunk driving laws, but with two important exceptions:

  • Selling or Serving Liquor to a Minor If an establishment sells alcohol to an individual under the age of 21, they might be liable for personal injury or wrongful death claims. Importantly, lack of awareness is not a defense, meaning the seller doesn’t need to know that the person was a minor at the time of the sale.
  • Selling or Serving Alcohol to a “Habitually Addicted” Person  Dram shops that serve customers with a documented history of alcoholism might be liable for any injuries arising from the customer’s intoxication.

Compensation Available After a Florida Drunk Driving Accident

If a drunk driver caused your injuries, you can seek compensation for a wide range of losses, including:

  • Medical Expenses Current and future medical treatments related to your injuries
  • Lost Wages – Income you’ve lost due to the inability to work during recovery
  • Pain and Suffering – Compensation for your physical and emotional distress

Statute of Limitations for Florida Car Accident Claims

You have a time limit for filing a drunk driving accident lawsuit. Florida’s statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the drunk driving incident to pursue a personal injury claim. Getting a lawyer on board early is a smart move. It gives them time to grab all the essential evidence—what witnesses say, videos, and data from the other driver’s car—and avoid missing the deadline to file a drunk driving case.

Talk to an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Pensacola, FL Today

If a drunk driver in Pensacola has injured you, contact Cardoso Law, PLLC, today. We are proud to help drunk-driving crash victims pursue compensation and justice from those responsible for their injuries. Our mission is to provide exceptional legal representation for accident victims and their families throughout the Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Metro Area, the Emerald Coast, and the Florida Panhandle. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.