23 Jun

Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Claims: Seeking Justice for the Loss of a Loved One

Car Accidents

Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Claims: Seeking Justice for the Loss of a Loved One

Losing someone you love is never an easy thing to go through, but losing someone in an accident caused by a negligent, drunk driver can be an especially tough pill to swallow. Alcohol impairs cognitive and physical driving abilities like vision, reaction time, judgment, decision-making, motor skills, and concentration, making drunk drivers a danger to not just themselves, but everyone else on the road. 

Drunk-Driving History & Statistics

  • 1897 – The first drunk driver is arrested. 

George Smith, a London taxi cab driver was driving under the influence and crashed his cab into a building. 

  • 1910 – The first laws relating to driving while intoxicated went into effect in New York. 
  • 1936 – The “Drunkometer,” a balloon-like device created by Dr. Rolla Harger to determine if people were inebriated. 
  • 1954 – Robert F. Borkenstein created the first breathalyzer. 
  • 1960s – Limited penalties for drunk-driving lead to nearly 25,000 drunk-driving-related crashes (M. Talley, 2016). 
  • 1978 – Journalist Doris Aiken started the first anti-drunk-driving organization “Remove Intoxicated Drivers,” (RID). 
  • 1980 – Mothers Against Drunk Driving was formed by Cindy Lightner, a mother who lost her 13-year-old daughter because of a multiple repeat offender of drunk driving. 
  • 1990 – More than 22,000 people died in drunk-driving-related accidents. 

The list of astonishing statistics goes on and on. In fact, in 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 37 people died a day in a drunk-driving crash, which amounted to 1 person every 39 minutes for the entire year of 2021. 

In a world where safe transportation like Uber or Lyft can be ordered on the phone in a matter of seconds, it isn’t fair that drivers will still get behind the wheel impaired, causing themselves or innocent others to lose their lives. When a family member’s life is taken by someone who’s had too much to drink, legal action can and should be taken. In fact, in the state of Florida, if an individual’s death is a result of the wrongful actions, whether negligent or intentional, of another party, the estate of the deceased individual has the option to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida Statute 768.21 also says that each survivor of a decedent may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death. In addition to financial support, holding the responsible party accountable for their actions can even help those left behind gain a sense of closure and reparation for the devastating impact of the at-fault driver’s actions. 

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims 

Now that you know what a wrongful death claim is, it’s important that you also understand the necessary components to file a claim which includes, the death of a person, an at-fault party who caused the death (intently or not), the survivor of family members who is suffering monetarily as a result of the death, and the appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate. 

Essential Aspects Of Proving Negligence

  • Establishing the duty of care

This is a requirement that a person act towards others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would use. For example, not drinking and then driving, putting others on the road in danger. 

  • Demonstrating breach of duty

Breach of duty breaks the duty of care, for example, the at-fault party driving the vehicle while intoxicated. 

  • Connecting drunk driving to the incident

If you are going to file a wrongful death claim, gathering evidence like police reports and medical documentation is crucial. Without these things, it can be difficult to prove liability in the accident and to recover any sort of compensation in a wrongful death claim, so proving negligence is essential. While driving under the influence is an act of negligence, it still has to be proven that the driver was not only impaired but that their negligence led to the accident. Proper documentation can provide substantial evidence for doing so. 

Seeking Damages in Drunk-Driving Wrongful Death Claims

Types of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim: 

Non-economic damages: These are damages related to pain and suffering due to the loss of a family member. 

Financial/economic damages: These are damages for the injury or illness that led to death, loss of financial support, inheritance, and funeral expenses. 

About The Florida Law Group

The Florida Law Group can help those who’ve suffered the loss of a family member at the hands of negligent drivers including but not limited to:

  • Drunk-drivers
  • Drowsy-drivers
  • Distracted-drivers
  • Fatigued-drivers
  • Reckless-drivers
  • And more!

How The Florida Law Group Can Help

If you’ve lost a loved one to a drunk driver, let us first extend our condolences. There are no words that can heal the hurt you’re experiencing during such a tragic time. However, we care about what happens next to you and your family, and we believe that you deserve to recover damages for what you’ve suffered. The Florida Law Group’s dedicated attorneys can investigate the accident, evaluate your claims for wrongful death at the hands of a drunk driver, and help you build a strong case. We have a track record of success for cases like these, in fact, we’ve recovered several million dollars in wrongful death claims. Let us put our skills and knowledge to the test on your behalf. We can help you reach a desirable result and will fight for the maximum amount of compensation. It’s important to us that you can focus on mourning the loss of your family member, which is why we handle the paperwork, negotiations, and the court. Call The Florida Law Group today for a free consultation, and allow us to explain your options and answer your questions so that you can have confidence moving forward with our attorneys. Don’t wait to get the representation you need and deserve.