Injured By A Drunk Driver Over The Holidays? Here’s What You Need To Know!
December is National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month, or National 3D Prevention Month, as it is referred to by some campaigns. It is a month to highlight the dangers of drunk/drugged driving and emphasize the importance of never driving impaired.
Sadly, due to a variety of factors (such as it getting darker in Florida earlier during December, people being more prone to rushing and speeding, and there being more people traveling on the roads to family, friends, and parties), the amount of car crashes that occur increase significantly during the holidays, specifically Christmas & New Year’s. However, drunk driving is tragically one of the primary reasons for the increase in accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals has stated that the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is described as “one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in impaired driving”.
Here are some sobering statistics that you should be aware of:
During the winter holidays, 40% of highway deaths are alcohol-related.
Christmas was the deadliest holiday in Florida from 2013 – 2017.
Compared to an average day, crash fatalities involving alcohol increase about 5 times during the holidays.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day say a 56.5% increase in drunk driving deaths from 2013 – 2017
Between Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Eve in 2020, there were over 1,133 lives lost to drunk driving nationwide, accounting for 30% of all traffic-related deaths.
Many people today have been lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that drunk driving is a thing of the past – that education and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have decreased the amount of accidents that occur – but tragically, that has not yet proven to be the case. People do, unbelievably, still drink and drive, especially during Christmas and New Year’s.
There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel if you are not sober, yet it still happens frequently. If you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver over the holiday season, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and seek compensation for your injuries.
First, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t “feel hurt” – some injuries can take days or weeks to present themselves, and may be severe or deadly if not addressed immediately by a medical professional. Getting a full exam or visiting the ER not only ensures that your injuries are properly treated, but it also creates a record of your injuries and the care you received. This documentation can be used as evidence in any legal proceedings that may arise from the accident.
Second, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident, if you are physically able to do so. This can include taking photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the surrounding area, as well as collecting the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. You absolutely need to call the police and file a report, as this can provide an official record of the accident and the circumstances surrounding it.
Once you have taken care of your immediate needs, it is time to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling auto accident cases involving drunk drivers. Drunk driving is a criminal offense, but the driver can also be held liable in civil court and their insurance company may be responsible for paying you monetary damages. An experienced drunk driving accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Your lawyer will investigate the accident and help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including both your economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages are tangible losses that can be easily quantified, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, but can include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Depending on the extent of your injuries, the total cost of your accident could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars when it was caused by a reckless drunk driver.
Once your lawyer has gathered all of the necessary evidence and calculated your damages, they will negotiate with the drunk driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay out large settlements, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to advocate for your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer may recommend taking the case to trial; especially if the drunk driver has already been criminally charged or convicted, it is likely that you will win your case easily.
The Florida Law Group has recovered over $1 billion in compensation for our clients since 1984. We have over 100 years of combined experience on our top notch legal team! Our prestigious law firm has been recognized by organizations such as the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, The Trial Lawyer Board of Regents, The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The Best Lawyers In America, Avvo, Florida Super Lawyers, and more.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to call us and schedule a free consultation. We are dedicated to winning and to pursuing justice for our clients. Our lead attorney, Chris Limberopoulos, is a board certified civil trial specialist – an expert in personal injury and drunk driving claims. He and our team will take the time to listen to you, explain your options, and take care of everything for you so all you have to worry about is healing and moving forward with your life. We proudly offer all of our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t owe us anything until a settlement has been obtained! Call today to speak with our compassionate team and get started.