Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
The compassionate and knowledgeable team of Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn understands the challenges and devastation that come with drunk driving accident injuries. Contact us today at 1-866-HIRE-JARED for a free consultation, during which you can discuss the details of your accident and determine your next steps.
Most people know about the dangers of drunk driving, and many people either know someone who has sustained injuries in a drunk driving accident or has sustained injuries in such an accident themselves. Some people may struggle to accept the idea that some drivers will knowingly put others at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, drunk drivers suffer from impaired judgment, making them more likely to take risks and less likely to consider the consequences of their choices.
Hallandale Beach’s location along Florida’s Atlantic coast serves as a prime location for snowbirds, tourists, and spring breakers. Even those who don’t stay or reside within city limits can still encounter drunk drivers traveling from the party spots in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. When those encounters result in an accident, the aftermath sometimes devastates victims and their families.
Serious drunk driving accident injuries can leave victims with permanent injuries and interfere with their ability to work in the short-term and the long-term. As time goes on, medical bills add up, impacting the financial stability of some households. Mandatory Florida no-fault insurance policies provide some relief, but don’t fully compensate victims for their economic losses or provide benefits for non-economic losses often associated with the most severe injuries.
If you have suffered injuries in a Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident, you likely face some combination of physical, emotional, and economic challenges. You and your family should not have to shoulder these burdens when another driver chose to drink and drive. Florida law permits you to take legal action against a drunk driver to seek compensation for damages related to your injuries and losses, but you do not have to do it alone.
Jared Spingarn Fights for Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident Victims
After suffering injuries in a near-fatal car accident at age 18, Jared Spingarn has dedicated his life to serving people who have suffered injuries because of negligence. His team’s commitment to client advocacy and professional excellence has led to tens of millions of dollars in recovered damages from settlements and jury awards for his clients.
We cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome for your drunk driving accident claim; however, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn has the knowledge and resources to build the strongest case possible against the drunk driver that harmed you. With ample experience in the settlement, negotiation, and litigation of accident injury cases, the firm’s drunk driving accident lawyers are ready to help clients seek the maximum compensation commensurate with their injuries.
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Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accidents and Florida No-Fault Insurance
Florida requires residents to purchase a minimum of $10,000 each in personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage to comply with the state’s no-fault insurance laws. Even though a drunk driver caused the accident and your injuries, you still need to file an insurance claim under your PIP policy to receive benefits after an accident. PIP coverage also extends to family members who live at the same address as the policyholder and to other occupants in the vehicle.
Your Florida PIP coverage will pay up to 80 percent of medical treatment costs and 60 percent of lost wages up to your policy limit even if you played no part in causing the accident. Severe accident injuries usually cause policyholders to quickly exceed their PIP policy limit, especially if they only have minimum coverage.
Once someone reaches the policy limit, the law permits that individual to file a claim against the drunk driver. PIP benefits provide some financial relief shortly after an accident, but they usually do not fully compensate drunk driving accident victims for their losses. An experienced Hallandale drunk driving accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn can guide you through the claims process and help you fight for compensation beyond your PIP coverage.
Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Fortunately, some drunk driving accidents only lead to minor injuries that heal quickly and do not require bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. Other times, severe drunk driving accidents leave victims with permanent injuries that impact the rest of their lives. Drunk driving accident victims have a better chance of recovering compensation for these types of injuries when the victims hire a drunk driving accident lawyer. Many other accident injuries fall in between the extremes of minor and severe, sometimes making it difficult to decide to consult with an attorney.
To ensure that you maximize your chances of recovering compensation, you should contact a lawyer and explain your drunk driving accident story. During a free consultation, a lawyer can evaluate your claim and injuries and advise you on whether you have a viable claim. If you assume you don’t qualify for legal action because you only suffered minor injuries, you may miss out on recovering compensation for which you qualify. Your injuries may worsen over time, and you don’t want to have passed on your opportunity to pursue compensation to cover the full cost of those injuries, including estimated future costs.
Examples of injuries often associated with car accident claims, including those involving drunk drivers, include:
Fractures don’t often lead to personal injury claims. However, sometimes breaks prove so severe that victims do not make a complete recovery. Drunk driving accidents, especially those that occur at high speeds, sometimes lead to multiple fractures or crushed bones. Accident victims typically need to have one or more reconstructive surgeries and may require the installation of hardware, such as surgical pins and screws. Even after surgery, those who suffer broken bones sometimes face chronic pain, swelling, and other issues.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many serious traffic accidents lead to head trauma. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) rank among the most dangerous outcomes of head trauma. Even the mildest TBIs can cause permanent brain damage, and severe TBIs can prove fatal. Drunk driving accident victims who suffer from TBIs could face a wide range of long-term complications and issues.
Depending on the exact location of the injury in the brain and the severity of the damage, TBI victims might suffer from migraines, memory loss, logical thinking, and losses of other cognitive functions. TBIs can also lead to struggles with balance, vision, and hearing. Many TBI patients also have emotional struggles, such as increased aggression, depression, anxiety, and social appropriateness.
Neck and Back Injuries
During the impact of a drunk driving accident, bodies get jerked around in unnatural positions, making neck and back injuries common occurrences. The greater the speed at which a crash occurs, the more severe the impact and movement that leads to neck and back injuries. Whiplash is commonly associated with car accidents; it refers to damage to the neck muscles and ligaments. Severe whiplash can lead to chronic headaches and pain.
The extent to which someone suffers neck or back injuries also depends on whether the airbags deployed during the accident. Airbags stop some unnatural movements and protect people from injury. Even when safety devices work as they should, drunk driving accident victims sometimes face severe back injuries, such as broken vertebrae and herniated discs. Those who suffer severe back injuries may continue to deal with massive amounts of pain even after undergoing corrective surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury (SCI) ranks as one the worst of car accident injuries. Not only can the costs of spinal cord injuries reach lofty amounts, but they often result in permanent damage as well. The cells in the spinal cord do not regenerate like other cells in the body. Back injuries can lead to bruising and swelling of the spinal cord, sometimes causing temporary paralysis. However, it’s common for accident victims to regain their lost function when the swelling subsides. More severe drunk driving accidents lead to more severe spinal cord injuries that can lead to permanent paralysis. The extent of the loss depends on where the injury occurred along the spinal column. Injuries closer to the brain result in greater functional loss because they block more messages from the brain to the rest of the nervous system. Drunk driving accident victims who suffer spinal cord injuries will likely need to take legal action to recover damages to ensure that they have the funds to support the lifelong treatment often associated with permanent paralysis.
Dram Shop Laws Can Impact Your Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident Claim
Drivers who consume alcohol, get behind the wheel, and cause an accident often bear all the financial responsibility for injuries that others suffer because of a resulting accident. However, some situations warrant involving a third party in a drunk driving accident claim. Florida’s dram shop laws govern the responsibilities that businesses and social hosts have when serving alcohol to others.
Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other establishments in Hallandale Beach that serve alcohol can face liability for damages after a drunk driving accident. Florida law prohibits businesses from knowingly serving alcohol to “a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages.”
Florida businesses also open themselves up to liability for a drunk driving accident by serving alcohol to minors. Social hosts generally enjoy protection from a lawsuit if they serve alcohol to an adult who subsequently causes an accident, but hosts can face liability for serving alcohol to a minor. Your drunk driving accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and identify any third parties that might bear liability for damages under Florida’s dram shop laws.
Seeking Compensation After a Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) estimates that approximately 5,000 drunk driving accidents occur across the state each year. Once drunk driving accident victims exhaust PIP insurance benefits, they have the legal right to seek compensation for damages from the drunk driver who caused the accident.
Those who reach a settlement with the insurance company or receive court-awarded damages could receive compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs beyond PIP benefits, including ambulance rides, emergency room treatments, hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic imaging, lab testing, doctor visits, medication, and transportation costs to and from the doctor.
- Estimated future medical expenses when a drunk driving accident victim suffers permanent, life-changing injuries that require continuous care and treatment, sometimes in a long-term care facility.
- Costs for rehabilitation services, including visits with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, mental health counselor, or another specialist that helps drunk driving accident victims face different aspects of their injuries.
- Loss of income from missing work because of a drunk driving accident.
- Costs for assistive devices, including wheelchairs, artificial limbs, canes, and crutches.
- Reduced earnings capacity when drunk driving accident victims cannot return to work or seek future employment because of permanent injuries.
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of consortium.
- Reduced quality of life.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Punitive damages in drunk driving cases involving gross negligence.
If you have lost a loved one in a Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident, you might also qualify to seek compensation for your damages. Florida law permits eligible family members to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver to recover damages for losses. Families can receive some damages listed above, including funeral expenses, burial costs, and other damages related to their relationship with the decedent. Your Hallandale Beach drunk driving lawyer can answer questions you have about a wrongful death suit and advise you on the best course of action for your family.
Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident FAQ
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) estimates over 5,000 drunk driving crashes occur across Florida each year, with a few hundred of them occurring in Broward County. Hallandale Beach’s coastal location and proximity to Fort Lauderdale and Miami increase the likelihood of drivers being involved in a drunk driving accident, with those enjoying cocktails while hanging out on the beach.
If you have sustained serious injuries during a drunk driving accident in or near Hallandale Beach, Florida, the law likely entitles you to take legal action against the drunk driver who caused the accident to recover compensation for your injuries. You and your family should not have to shoulder the economic burden that comes from severe accident injuries, especially when someone else is responsible.
Consult a drunk driving accident attorney at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn to learn about your next steps. Until you have the opportunity to meet with a lawyer, the answers to the following frequently asked questions provide a broad overview of drunk driving accidents in Hallandale Beach and the process of recovering damages for injuries after an accident.
For more specific questions about your legal options, contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today.
Can I Still Sue a Drunk Driver Even Though Florida Has No-Fault Insurance?
Yes. Once you exhaust your no-fault insurance policy limit, you can take legal action against a drunk driver. Under Florida law, drivers who register a motor vehicle must purchase at least $10,000 in (PIP) personal injury protection coverage to comply with the state’s no-fault insurance laws. After a drunk driving accident occurs, each party who suffers injuries in the accident files a claim under their own PIP policy to recover economic losses related to their accident injuries.
Florida PIP insurance benefits pay 80 percent of medical expenses related to an accident and 60 percent of a policyholder’s lost wages up to the policy limit. After a severe drunk driving accident, it does not take much to meet the $10,000 minimum. Drunk driving accident victims can seek further compensation by filing a claim against the drunk driver.
However, you should consult with an attorney before you use up your PIP insurance coverage. PIP policy benefits do not pay for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and loss of consortium. A personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your drunk driving accident case and determine the best way for you to receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn for more information.
Does My PIP Insurance Apply if a Drunk Driver Hit Me While I Was Riding My Motorcycle or Bicycle?
It depends. Florida’s no-fault insurance laws do not apply to motorcycle drivers. In fact, Florida does not require insurance for motorcycles at all. If you have motorcycle insurance, you should contact your insurance company even if you are not at fault. However, you likely will need to consult with a lawyer and file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance policy to receive compensation for your injuries.
Florida PIP insurance extends to policyholders and their immediate family members if they are walking or riding a bicycle. If a drunk driver struck you while on foot or riding a bicycle, you should file a claim under your PIP policy. Once you meet or exceed your limits, you can bring a suit against the driver for additional compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident?
If you choose to file a claim or lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused the accident and your injuries, you could recover damages related to your injuries. Damages refer to economic and non-economic losses that accident victims incur because of an accident.
If you win your claim, you could receive compensation for any of the following losses that apply to your case:
- Medical expenses not covered by PIP insurance, including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, surgery, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, lab tests, medication, and follow-up visits
- Estimate future medical expenses when a drunk driving accident leads to severe injuries that need extensive treatment for recovery or a permanent disability requiring continuous care and treatment
- Costs for rehabilitation including specialized treatment from a physical therapist, occupational therapist, mental health specialist, or another specialist who helps people face the physical and emotional aftermath of their accident injuries
- Costs for assistive technology and devices including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, artificial limbs, and computer programs
- Lost wages for missing work because of a drunk driving accident, injuries, hospitalization, healing, and recovery
- Estimated future lost wages when a drunk driving accident causes permanent damage that prevents a victim from returning to their job or working someplace else
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Scarring and disfigurement
Am I Eligible for Punitive Damages After a Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident?
You might receive punitive damages after a drunk driving accident, but there is no guarantee. Punitive damages exist to punish defendants, deter future negligent actions, and provide additional money to plaintiffs for pain and suffering. However, courts reserve punitive damages for extreme cases of willful harm or reckless disregard for the law. Compared to some other types of personal injury cases, drunk driving accident claims are more likely to include punitive damages.
Whether you receive punitive damages after a Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident depends heavily on the circumstances of the drunk driving accident, the extent to which the drunk driver was intoxicated, and the drunk driver’s history as it pertains to driving under the influence.
If the drunk driver who caused your accident has injured people in previous drunk driving accidents or been arrested for driving under the influence, it will increase the chances that a court will award you punitive damages. Your drunk driving accident lawyer can review the facts of your claim and determine whether you should request punitive damages in your lawsuit against the drunk driver. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn to get started.
Can I Sue the Bartender Who Served the Drunk Driver Who Caused My Injuries?
Florida courts find the drunk driver liable for damages in drunk driving accident claims if the plaintiff proves the driver’s negligence led to the accident and injuries. However, some claims include other parties who share financial responsibility with the driver for damages.
Under Florida law, you have the right to sue others who serve alcohol to drivers if a driver gets in a vehicle and causes property damage and/or bodily harm.
Third parties who could share liability in a drunk driving accident lawsuit include:
- Drunk drivers who cause an accident while driving a company vehicle open their employer to financial liability, even if they are not working when they cause an accident.
- Business owners. Bartenders, servers, and others who work in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs open the business owner up to financial liability for drunk driving accident injuries if they knowingly serve someone who struggles with alcohol addiction. Business owners can also be liable for damages if their waitstaff knowingly serves alcohol to a minor under age 21, the legal drinking age in Florida.
- Social Hosts. Anyone who hosts a party or gathering and serves alcohol could be liable for damages in a drunk driving accident claim if they knowingly served a minor who caused the accident.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Drunk Driving Accident Claims in Florida?
Under Florida law, you have four years to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver and other parties whose negligence led to the accident and your injuries. The law binds Florida courts, so it is doubtful a court will listen to your case once the four-year statute of limitations has ended. However, the law allows for some unique situations that can toll or pause the time clock and provide more time to bring a suit.
A court might extend the statute of limitations if you cannot serve papers to the drunk driver.
This typically occurs for one of three reasons:
- The drunk driver fled the accident scene.
- The drunk driver fled the state to avoid a lawsuit.
- The drunk driver provided false information/fake identification to law enforcement at the accident scene.
An experienced attorney can advise you if your case qualifies for a rare extension from a Florida court. You should always take action as soon as possible after suffering injuries in a drunk driving accident, so you do not lose the opportunity to recover damages related to your injuries.
The Drunk Driver Who Hit Me Is Uninsured. Now What?
Immediately after the accident, you need to file a claim under your PIP policy to recover some damages for medical expenses and lost wages. Once you have met your PIP policy limit, you will have to seek compensation in other ways. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your policy will kick in to pay benefits up to your policy limit if your insurance provider approves the claim. This coverage will also kick in if you suffer injuries from a hit-and-run drunk driver.
Florida does not require drivers to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, so you may not carry this coverage. This forces you to absorb the losses you have incurred because of a drunk driving accident. For many, the final possibility of recovering some compensation for their injuries comes with bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. However, if the drunk driver had great financial means, he would have insurance. Winning your case could be simple, but collecting damages from an insured driver often proves to be far more difficult.
Your Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident lawyer can review your case and advise you on the best course of action. Sometimes they can also identify a third party who shares some responsibility with the drunk driver for the accident.
Can I Sue a Drunk Driver if I Suffered Injuries While Riding in the Same Vehicle?
Once you file a PIP claim under your policy and exhaust the policy limit, you could take legal action against the driver. Some choose to avoid taking action because they were riding with an intoxicated friend or family member. Letting a personal injury lawyer handle this situation can remove the emotional element and ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. A court or insurance provider might reduce your award because you chose to ride with a drunk driver, but you may still have the right to seek compensation for the driver’s negligence. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today to discuss your options.
Will My Drunk Driving Accident Case Go to Trial?
More than 90 percent of traffic accident claims settle out of court long before going to trial. Litigation is expensive, and both sides want to avoid the extra time and costs. However, sometimes negotiations fail because of disputes over liability and the value of the claim. It is difficult for defense lawyers to fight liability when a drunk driver caused an accident, so they turn to other strategies to reduce or avoid financial responsibility for their policyholders.
For example, the insurance company might argue your injuries are not as serious as you claim or that you have a preexisting injury, so they can justify low settlement offers. Although your case may not go to trial, if the other side refuses to offer fair compensation for your injuries, your lawyer would have to prepare your litigation case.
How Can I Afford a Hallandale Beach Drunk Driving Accident Attorney?
Everyone deserves legal counsel to seek compensation after someone else harms them, and everyone can afford a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers who help drunk driving accident victims offer equal access to all because they do not require an upfront retainer like a divorce lawyer or criminal defense attorney. Instead, drunk driving accident lawyers accept new clients on a contingent fee basis. If they win a claim for their clients, they deduct attorney fees from settlement money or court-awarded damages. This helps ensure victims do not have to pay out-of-pocket legal fees to hold a drunk driver responsible for their actions.
Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today to discuss your legal options.
The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn Can Help You
The skilled Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn understand the challenges you face after suffering Hallandale Beach drunk driving accident injuries. If you have a viable claim, our team can guide you through the claims process and help you seek justice. Money cannot repair the damage that has been done, but it can help provide the care you need going forward and potentially reduce or eliminate financial stress from medical expenses and lost wages related to your accident. Contact us today online or call (866) HIRE-JARED for a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident and injuries.
“What a great team. Took care of my accident case and got me a very great settlement. Thank you so much to the team for their great efforts and always being transparent with all the information they provided. Highly recommend they will take care of you like family.”
2500 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., #808
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009