Drunk Drivers Pay More in Florida, Too

January 4, 2010
By Gabriel Mejia, Esq. on January 4, 2010 10:46 AM | | Comments (0)

A circuit court jury in Missouri recently awarded the family, fiancee, and daughter of a man killed by a drunk driver $89 million dollars in damages.  The man was killed, and his 13-week-pregnant fiancee seriously injured, when the drunk driver crashed head-on with his vehicle.  After police responded and tested the drunk driver's blood alcohol level, they found that the driver was nearly 2.5 times over the legal limit with a blood alcohol content of 0.20.  Making a horrific incident even worse, the drunk driver was driving on a hardship license at the time of the accident issued because of a previous drunk driving arrest.  According to reports, the jury was sending a message with the verdict of their distaste for such blatant disregard for the law and human life.  The drunk driver was sentenced to 10 years in prison in his criminal case for his past drunk driving arrests.

In Florida, juries tend to punish drunk drivers more than drivers who simply cause an accident with no evidence of intoxication or impairment.  Insurance companies tend to offer more money, generally, in drunk driving cases, as well.  If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement in an intoxication case, a lawsuit will often bring about the desired result of a larger settlement or large jury verdict.  Florida law allows punitive damages to be sought against drunk drivers in civil cases under certain circumstances.  Even if punitive damages are not awarded, or the defendant driver is "judgment proof", there is a punitive element in most of these verdicts.  Drunk driver accident cases are more persuasive to most jurors and tend to entice insurance adjusters to offer more reasonable settlements.

Our law firm has handled numerous cases involving persons driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.  A personal injury attorney experienced in handling drunk driving accident injuries can help protect your rights, deal with the insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you may be legally entitled to.

Dan Cytryn, Esq. contributed to this blog.  Mr. Cytryn is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer practicing accident and injury law throughout the State of Florida for 28 years, with an emphasis on vehicular type accidents and injuries.

Gabriel Mejia, Esq. is a Coral Springs personal injury attorney handling accident and injury cases in Florida for Law Offices Cytryn and Velazquez, P.A.




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