Were you or a loved one injured in an accident involving a drunk driver? Drunk driving accidents in Fort Walton Beach, FL, are a serious problem. An experienced Fort Walton Beach car accident lawyer at Brannon & Brannon can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Your family deserves justice. Our lawyers have decades of experience handling serious personal injury cases. We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars to help clients like you get the justice they deserve.
How Brannon & Brannon Can Help After a Drunk Driving Accident in Fort Walton Beach
Science tells us that drunk driving is dangerous. The law tells us that driving while intoxicated is also illegal. If a drunk driver hurts you, you deserve to be compensated.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t always make that easy. Our experienced Fort Walton Beach car accident attorneys at Brannon & Brannon can greatly increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
Our lawyers have over 60 years of experience. We’ve earned an AV-preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell–because we’ve helped countless clients recover fair compensation over the years.
When you hire us, you’ll have a lawyer in your corner to:
- Locate and analyze the evidence to prove your case
- Identify all responsible parties and insurance coverage
- Hire experts as needed
- Calculate the fair value of your losses
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance company so you can focus on recovering
Our lawyers approach every case with one goal: maximizing our client’s financial compensation. Call for a free case review today to learn more about how an experienced Fort Walton Beach car accident lawyer can help with your claim.
How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents in Fort Walton Beach?
Drunk driving is a nationwide problem. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, someone dies in a drunk driving accident every 52 minutes in the U.S. That amounted to 28 fatalities per day in 2019, when 10,142 people lost their lives because of drunk drivers.
Florida is one of the worst states in the nation for drunk driving. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported 341,399 motor vehicle accidents in 2020. Unfortunately, alcohol was confirmed to have played a role in 4,554 of those car crashes.
Statewide, 384 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2020. Over 390 people suffered incapacitating injuries. Thousands more sustained non-incapacitating injuries because of drunk drivers in the state of Florida.
What is My Fort Walton Beach Drunk Driving Accident Case Worth?
It’s common to have questions about how much your injury case is worth before taking legal action. While every case is different, some of the most important factors that will influence your case value include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you’ll suffer a permanent disability or impairment
- The cost of your medical treatment and other expenses
- Damage to your quality of life
- Your physical and emotional suffering
Expert witnesses can often help us put a value on hard-to-value losses.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Drunk Driving Accident Victims?
Under Florida personal injury laws, compensatory damages are grouped into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages usually include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning potential
- Property damage
Non-economic damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
Drunk driving is more than careless. It’s reckless. Sometimes, courts may be inclined to award punitive damages to punish the drunk driver for intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida?
Drunk driving is always wrong. However, it’s still possible that more than one factor may have caused your accident. Under Florida comparative fault laws, financial liability is divided between everyone who was partly responsible for the crash.
That can include the victim. If the insurance company can prove that you were partly liable, you’ll be assigned a percentage of fault. Your settlement will be reduced in proportion to that percentage of fault.
Our lawyers can work to prevent that from happening. Insurance allegations aren’t always right. If you’re being blamed for causing a DUI accident, call our lawyers for help today.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
DUI accidents in Fort Walton Beach can cause serious injuries. Our experienced attorneys at Brannon & Brannon often represent clients who have sustained:
- Whiplash injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one (DUI manslaughter)
Do you need help recovering compensation after a serious bodily injury in Okaloosa County? Call for a free case review today.
What Causes Most Drunk Driving Accidents in Fort Walton Beach, FL?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous for a number of reasons. Drunk drivers often underestimate the danger of driving while intoxicated. That’s because alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment.
Drunk driving is dangerous because alcohol causes:
- Loss of judgment
- Diminished visual function
- Loss of full muscle control
- Distracted driving
- Delayed response times
- Impaired self-control and reasoning skills
- Loss of ability to focus and concentrate
All of these factors impair a drunk driver’s ability to respond to surrounding conditions. Because drivers often must react quickly to prevent an accident, drunk drivers are a significant danger to everyone on the roads.
Under Florida DUI laws, drivers are considered “drunk” if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.08% while driving. Unfortunately, the NHTSA has found that in about 70% of all fatal drunk driving accidents, the driver’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15% or higher.
Were you or a family member injured by a drunk driver or in a speeding accident involving alcohol? Call our Fort Walton Beach drunk driving accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon for a free case review today. We’ll help your family fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida?
To recover damages after a traffic crash involving a drunk driver in Florida, you’ll have to show that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.
You’ll have to establish:
Drunk driving is a breach of the driver’s duty to drive carefully. However, it isn’t always easy to prove that the driver of the vehicle directly caused your accident.
In Florida, drunk driving is illegal. When someone breaks the law, evidence from the criminal case can be used to prove negligence in civil court. This theory is called “negligence per se.” Someone is negligent “per se” when they break the law and cause the type of harm the law was designed to prevent.
Remember, you can seek damages even if the drunk driver isn’t convicted of a DUI. Our lawyers know how to handle these complex cases. We’ll locate police department reports, toxicology results, and other evidence to support your personal injury claim. Just call our law offices today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Can Someone Other Than the Drunk Driver Be Held Liable for Damages?
Possibly. Sometimes the drunk driver’s insurance coverage isn’t enough to cover your expenses. It’s possible that a bar or restaurant could be liable for damages under Florida’s dram shop laws.
A bar might be liable if:
- The drunk driver was under age 21
- The bar knew the drunk driver was habitually addicted to alcohol
It’s also possible that more than one party shared responsibility for your accident. For example, we may be able to seek compensation from a responsible:
- Manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle part
- Third-party driver
- Trucking company or the drunk driver’s employer
- Government agency or transportation authority
Cases involving multiple parties are notoriously complex. You deserve an experienced car accident lawyer in your corner. To learn more about how our legal team can fight for you, give us a call today.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida?
Most auto accident victims have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. It’s important to pay attention to this deadline. Once the statute of limitations expires, you’ll lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries.
In drunk driving cases, you may have more time if the drunk driver is facing DUI charges. The statute of limitations can often be paused–or tolled–until the criminal case is resolved.
Contact a Lawyer to Learn More About Drunk Driving Accidents in Fort Walton Beach, FL
Every year, thousands are injured in drunk driving accidents in Fort Walton Beach, FL and across the Panhandle. If you were hurt, call our Fort Walton Beach car accident attorneys at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation today.