Florida suffers from hundreds of drunk driving fatalities every year. According to ABC Action News, driving while impaired caused the deaths of 799 Floridians in 2021.
The consequences of drunk driving are severe for drivers and their victims. Dealing with the aftermath takes years; unfortunately, lives might never be the same.
Penalties for injury and manslaughter
Florida Statutes mandate that serious bodily injury caused by a drunk driver is a third-degree felony. Any deaths caused by the driver automatically becomes a second-degree felony. In both cases, the impaired driver faces significant jail time. Families affected by intoxicated drivers might wish to see justice done, but they still have the issue of financial restitution to deal with.
Minimum insurance requirements
The minimum insurance you must carry in Florida is $10,000 for Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 for Property Damage Liability. Florida auto insurance is no-fault, meaning you must use your insurance provider to pay for any damages. However, impaired driving accidents are often catastrophic. The minimum insurance coverage likely will not be enough. You must deal with their insurance company if you want to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
Possible defense of the at-fault driver
Be wary of quick settlement offers that do not cover your pain and suffering expenses. The driver might even try to show comparative fault to reduce their responsibility in the crash. Florida still allows you to recover damages if you share some fault in the accident. Usually, drivers found guilty of a DUI cannot pursue damages against you.
There is no good way to get past an accident caused by a drunk driver. However, the legal system offers several ways for you to recover some of the damages and help with the recovery process.