What Should I Do If My Auto Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?
You probably know that if you’re having symptoms after a car accident, you should get […]
Being hit by a drunk driver is a traumatic event that can throw your life into turmoil. Connecting with the right DUI accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident can help in more ways than you might imagine.
You probably know that an experienced auto accident lawyer that specializes in drunk driving cases can help you pursue the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, replace the income you lost during your recovery, and cover other losses. The injury attorneys at Harrell & Harrell will also free you up to focus on healing and rebuilding by taking high-stress issues off your plate. For example, we’ll use our extensive experience in personal injury law and procedure to:
To learn more about how we can help, call 904-251-1111 or fill out the contact form on this page.
Florida courts recognize negligence per se in some circumstances. Negligence per se means that engaging in certain actions is automatically considered negligent, and there’s no need for a court to decide whether or not the defendant acted unreasonably. Florida doesn’t consider a violation of a traffic law negligence per se. That means an accident victim hit by someone who was speeding or ran a red light will still have to prove negligence (though the jury can consider the violation as evidence of negligence).
A drunk driving accident is different. Someone driving under the influence is violating a criminal statute intended to protect public safety. In other words, showing that someone caused an accident while driving under the influence will typically be enough to establish a claim. But, that may not be quite as simple as it sounds.
The injured party will still have to prove that the drunk driver caused the accident, and that they were in fact operating under the influence.
If the drunk driver who hit you is prosecuted, that prosecution can make your case a bit easier. If the driver pleads guilty to driving under the influence or is convicted, that issue has been decided and the conviction or guilty plea will generally suffice to prove that the driver was operating under the influence.
If the driver is convicted, they may be ordered by the criminal court to pay some restitution. However, restitution is unlikely to cover all of the damages you may be entitled to in a personal injury case, and accepting restitution may impact your rights in your car accident case. So, it is best to speak to an experienced Jacksonville DUI accident lawyer right away after a drunk driving accident, so they can advise you before a criminal case against the driver who hurt you is resolved.
If the drunk driver isn’t charged, that doesn’t hurt your case. It just means a little more work will be required to establish that the driver was under the influence. If the driver is charged and found not guilty, you might think that would damage or put an end to your case. But, since the burden of proof in a criminal case is much greater than it is in a civil case, it is very possible for someone to be acquitted of a crime but found civilly liable for the same action.
Don’t take chances with the compensation you need to rebuild after a serious accident. The attorneys at Harrell & Harrell have extensive experience fighting for people who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. Schedule a free consultation to learn how we can put that experience to work for you. Just call 904-251-1111.
The best source of information about your drunk driving accident claim and the best options for you is always an experienced local drunk driving accident attorney. Every case is different, and it is important to get personalized advice based on the circumstances of your accident, the extent of your damages, and other factors. The information below provides general answers to frequently asked questions, but should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
Finding the right attorney for you can be tough. Comparing law firm websites can be overwhelming and confusing. One good way to get an idea about whether you can trust a firm is to look at what past clients have to say. Another is to look at the results the firm has achieved for other clients–while every case is different and there’s no guarantee that your case will be comparable to the results you see, you will get an idea of the work the firm does for its clients. You can also check with the Florida Bar to make sure the attorney’s disciplinary record is clean. Ultimately, though, you will want to meet with the attorney before making a decision.
Hiring an attorney to represent you in your claim against a drunk driver has many benefits. First, handing off to an experienced lawyer will allow you to focus on your recovery while someone else does most of the work of pursuing fair compensation for you. An experienced DUI injury lawyer will know how to navigate the court system, how to avoid common insurance company traps, how to collect evidence on your behalf and get it introduced into evidence, and how to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Small mistakes in dealing with the insurance company can hurt your case, so you’ll want to connect with a DUI accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Important qualifications for a drunk driving accident attorney fall into two categories. The first is skills and experience. It’s important to work with an attorney who is very experienced in handling motor vehicle accident claims since they will have knowledge of the specific laws and procedural requirements. A local car accident lawyer will also have knowledge of the judges, attorneys, and insurance companies typically involved in these cases.
The other qualification is less technical, but just as important. You may be working with your DUI accident lawyer for a long time, and must be able to trust them and rely on them for the information you need. So, it’s important to meet with the attorney and ensure that they listen, answer your questions in plain English, and make you comfortable sharing information about sometimes sensitive areas of your life.
Yes! “Drunk driving accident” doesn’t just mean a collision between two cars or other motor vehicles. A drunk driving accident attorney can help pursue a claim on behalf of anyone who suffered significant damages due to a drunk driver–whether it’s a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, driver of another vehicle, passenger in another vehicle, or otherwise. The key to all of these cases will be the same: proving that the drunk driver’s negligence caused the injury and other damages.
Many variables impact how long it takes to settle a DUI injury case. For example, if your injuries are serious and you are still receiving medical care, your DUI accident attorney may advise holding off on settling until the ultimate extent of your recovery and the amount of additional medical care required is clear. The timeline may also be impacted by the size of your claim, the insurance coverage available, how clear liability is, whether there are other possible responsible parties, and even which attorneys and insurance companies are involved.
When you consult a local DUI accident attorney, they will be able to tell you more about how these variables may play out in your case and what the average time to settlement looks like in circumstances similar to yours.
Certain types of compensation are common in DUI accident injury cases. These include payment of medical expenses, replacement of lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. However, every case is different. And, no attorney can guarantee you a specific outcome.
An experienced Jacksonville drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to tell you more about the damages that may be available in your specific case.
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I had an auto accident but did not believe there was going to be a positive outcome, as the opposing insurance companies fought the process. However, Lauralee Rodriguez assured me that she would be persistent in the case, if I would be patient. Well, I was patient (as well as doubtful, lol), but SHE DID IT and SHE DID IT WELL!!! I am very satisfied with the service and the outcome of the case. GREAT FIRM!!! Thank you Harrell & Harrell for employing competent staff.star star star star star