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Drunk drivers nationwide cause about 35 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents because alcohol slows their thinking, coordination, and reaction time. Getting hit by a drunk driver can produce devastating injuries that can completely upend your life. Our experienced car accident attorneys cannot reverse your injuries, but they could help you recover compensation from the person who caused the accident. Assistance from a Miramar Beach drunk driving accident lawyer could ensure you get the payout you deserve.

Drunk Driving Laws

Under Florida Statutes § 316.193, any person who is high on drugs, impairs their driving, or consumes alcoholic beverages and has a blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 is driving drunk, which is a crime. If the drunk driver causes an accident, those injured have the right to sue and be compensated for physical, financial, and emotional losses.

Statute of Limitations for Filing an Injury Claim

There is a limit to the amount of time a plaintiff can take to file a general negligence action against a defendant, such as a drunk driver who causes a car crash. The statute of limitations is two years from the date the action accrues, which would be the date of a drunk driving accident. An experienced drunk driving accident attorney in Miramar Beach could keep track of all relevant deadlines on the plaintiff’s behalf.

The Doctrine of Negligence

To prevail in an injury lawsuit, plaintiffs must prove the four elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages.

All motorists have a duty to those they share the road with to behave in a reasonable manner. A breach of that duty occurs when the offending person’s behavior is unreasonable, such as driving drunk. When that behavior foreseeably causes an accident and the plaintiff is injured, negligence is established. A Miramar Beach lawyer could help someone injured in a collision properly establish the connection between the drunk driver and their own injuries.

Negligence Per Se

A drunk driver who hits another motorist and injures them is presumed negligent under Fla. Stat. § 316.193. Florida simplifies a plaintiff’s burden to establish the defendant’s negligence under the doctrine of negligence per se. This means if the driver was drunk, they can be automatically considered negligent for any injuries that followed.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Sometimes accidents happen because both parties involved have done something wrong. In the past, Florida had a pure comparative negligence law, in which a plaintiff found more responsible for an accident could still recover a damages award, reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Now, Florida House Bill 837, signed into law on March 24, 2023, has changed the doctrine under which plaintiffs who have some responsibility for an accident can collect compensation. The new modified comparative negligence statute disallows any recovery by a plaintiff found more than 50 percent at fault for an accident.

Learn How a Miramar Beach Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Advocates for You

Through no fault of your own, an impaired driver could crash into you, potentially causing catastrophic harm that also puts you in financial difficulties. Make sure you get immediate medical help to bolster an injury claim, record the details of the accident with the police, and call a Miramar Beach drunk driving accident lawyer to advocate for you. Reach out to us today for a free case review.