When you are seriously injured in a drunk driving accident in Florida, recovering your losses requires proof that the drunk driver was at fault in the collision. While it may seem obvious that the drunk driver caused your crash, you need evidence in order to convince the insurance companies to settle (and to prove your claim in court, if necessary).
So, how do you prove that you are entitled to recover your losses after a drunk driving accident?
1. Proving that the Other Driver was Drunk Behind the Wheel
In Florida, driving drunk is considered “negligence per se.” Essentially, this means that if you can prove the other driver was drunk, you do not need to prove that he or she made any other driving mistake (i.e. speeding or running a red light) in order to file a claim for damages. Depending on the events and circumstances both preceding and following your accident, some of the types of evidence that may be available to prove the other driver’s impairment include:
- Surveillance camera footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police report
- The driver’s own admissions
2. Proving that the Other Driver was Negligent (Regardless of His or Her Impairment)
Even if is not possible to prove that the other driver was drunk, it may still be possible to recover your losses by proving that he or she was otherwise negligent in causing the accident. For example, if the other driver was speeding at the time of the crash, or if the other driver hit you after running a red light or swerving into your lane, then the evidence from the scene of the crash may be sufficient to prove that you are entitled to just compensation regardless of whether it is possible to prove that the other driver was legally impaired.
3. Proving that a Business is Liable for Putting a Drunk Driver on the Road
In many cases, drunk drivers will not have adequate auto insurance to cover the costs of their mistakes. If your losses exceed the drunk driver’s policy limit (and your policy limit, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage), then you will need to look to other potential sources of financial recovery. Depending on the circumstances at hand, it may be possible for you to recover full compensation by filing a claim against:
- A bar or restaurant that over-served the drunk driver (under Florida’s “dram shop” law);
- The owner of the vehicle operated by the drunk driver (based on the law of “negligent entrustment”); or,
- The drunk driver’s employer (based on a claim of “negligent hiring and supervision”).
Discuss Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim with Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Maus
Joseph Maus is a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer who brings decades of experience in helping accident victims recover their losses. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your case, please call 855-999-5297 or contact us online today.