Drunk driving continues to plague Orlando roads, despite the best efforts of advocates and legislatures to educate the public about its dangers and to punish those who make the catastrophic decision to drive after drinking.
Victims of Orlando drunk drivers frequently, suffer severe physical, emotional, and financial difficulty. Under Florida law, they deserve compensation from drunk drivers and other parties whose dangerous actions caused them harm.
As lawyers for those victims, we consider it a civic duty to educate the public about the tragic consequences of drinking and driving, and the legal and financial rights of victims of Orlando alcohol-related crashes.
Orlando-area Alcohol-Related Crashes by the Numbers
Over 300 alcohol-related accidents happen in the Orlando area every year, according to government data. That’s nearly one per day. In any given year, drunk driving crashes kill between 20 and 50 people in the Orlando region, and injure hundreds more. Sadly, those figures have remained relatively constant over the past five years.
Common Alcohol-Related Crash Injuries
Victims of Orlando drunk drivers rarely escape accidents unscathed. As noted above, some tragically die in crashes.
Those who survive often suffer severe, life-altering injuries, which can include:
- Traumatic brain injury, which can cause severe cognitive, physical, and psychological impairments, even if doctors diagnose it as “mild”;
- Spinal cord injury, which can leave a victim paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair;
- Crushed or amputated limbs, the loss of which causes a lifetime of disability, pain, and expense;
- Severe cuts and penetrating injuries that cause dangerous blood loss, disfiguring scarring, and damaged nerves;
- Damage to vital organs that can inflict lifelong health complications that interfere with every aspect of a victim’s life; and
- Soft tissue and orthopedic injury that causes chronic pain and limited mobility, even long after the injury heals.
These are just a few examples of the wide range of harm that an Orlando drunk driver can cause to others in a crash. No matter what kind of injury an alcohol-related accident inflicts, victims deserve compensation.
Seeking Damages for Orlando Alcohol-Related Crash Injuries
Experienced, skilled attorneys represent victims of alcohol-related crashes in Orlando in securing compensation for crash-related injuries and losses. To obtain that compensation, lawyers must determine who has a legal liability to a victim, and how much money the victim deserves to receive under Florida law.
Identifying Parties With Liability
Victims of Orlando drunk driving crashes deserve to receive compensation from anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions caused them harm.
It often surprises victims to learn that multiple parties may owe them damages, including:
- The drunk driver, whose reckless and illegal conduct caused a crash;
- The driver’s employer, if the driver crashed a work vehicle while on-the-job, particularly if the employer knew or should have known the driver was intoxicated;
- An Orlando-area bar or restaurant that sold alcohol to the drunk driver, if the driver was underage or known to have a drinking problem; and
- Anyone else whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions played a role in causing the crash (even if not related to the actions of the drunk driver).
Experienced lawyers for Orlando drunk driving victims know the importance of exploring the facts and identifying every party that may owe compensation to an injured crash victim. The more parties who have legal liability for the devastation caused by an Orlando drunk driver, the better the chances that the lawyer can secure full and fair compensation for the driver’s victims.
Damages Orlando Drunk Driving Crash Victims May Recover Compensation
Lawyers typically secure compensation for their clients injured in Orlando alcohol-related crashes by taking legal action on their clients’ behalf. Although they cannot guarantee that legal action will always have a favorable outcome, attorneys with years of experience can give their clients the best possible chance of obtaining the most money possible for their injuries and losses.
The amount and type of compensation victims (or the families of deceased victims) might recover by taking legal action with the help of a skilled lawyer can vary widely.
However, as a general matter, a lawsuit will often seek compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses connected to treating the victim’s injuries;
- Non-medical expenses that result from the accident and injuries, such as the costs of replacing damaged property or hiring help with daily activities;
- Past and future lost income that the victim did not earn because the victim missed work or suffered a disabling injury;
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life caused by the injury, which can include harm to personal relationships and loss of the ability to engage in favorite hobbies or activities; and
- Sometimes, victims can obtain punitive damages, which punish and deter especially outrageous or dangerous conduct.
The total amount of compensation that might fall into each of these categories tends to vary based on the severity of the victim’s injuries and their impact on the victim’s life. A skilled, experienced Orlando drunk driving accident injury lawyer can build the strongest possible case on the victim’s behalf, in hopes of securing as much of those damages as possible.
Victims Have Rights to Compensation Even If the Drunk Driver Does Not Suffer Criminal Consequences
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Orlando, just as it is everywhere else in Florida and throughout the country. Local prosecutors will often pursue criminal charges against drunk drivers who cause accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities.
However, that does not mean the prosecutors will always succeed. Some drunk drivers may get off easy, or avoid criminal liability altogether.
No matter the outcome of a criminal case, however, Orlando victims of alcohol-related crashes can still pursue compensation through a lawsuit. Their right to seek monetary damages from the drunk driver or others does not depend on the driver facing prosecution.
So, if you or a loved one suffered harm in an Orlando alcohol-related crash, do not wait to contact an experienced Orlando alcohol-related accident injury lawyer to learn about your right to compensation.