I have no pity for drunk drivers. These menaces to society recklessly endanger lives. Thankfully, the court system has a powerful remedy and sanction for drunk drivers who crash into victims. DUI victims not only have the right to pursue recovery for their actual losses, but also PUNITIVE DAMAGES, which are designed to punish the drunk driver and to deter other drunks from getting behind the wheel of a car and driving drunk.
There are restrictions and procedural requirements for fully pursuing a drunk driving victim claims, but the rewards for success can be great – both recovering monetary compensation for victims and “sending a message” that our society will not tolerate drunk driving, will punish those who drive drunk and will fully compensate victims. By pursuing a punitive damages claim against a drunk driver, you are helping other would-be victims by giving drunks a strong monetary disincentive to getting behind the wheel and endangering good people like you.
People often ask the following questions when they’ve been injured by a drunk driver.
Usually, no. While the criminal case usually involves an order of restitution (where the convict is ordered to pay the victim), this order is often not worth the paper on which it is printed. If you wish to recovery money for your losses, you should hire an injury attorney to pursue an insurance claim.
Most victims can only recover money to replace what they lost or to pay bills they incurred. Punitive damages are different. They are designed to monetarily punish drunk drivers and send a message to scare others from driving drunk.
You have two primary insurance claim options when the drunk is uninsured. First, you can pursue a claim against the car owner’s insurance. (Claims can be brought against the driver and the car owner, even if they are different people.) Second, you can claim against your own uninsured motorist liability insurance coverage, if you have that as part of your policy. We should talk about the particular facts of your case to explore your claim options.
As a Jacksonville DUI victims lawyer, I can advocate your best interests and help you through the process. Claims adjusters working for insurance companies are trained to minimize claim payouts to increase company profits. You need someone who is trained to maximize the claim payout for your loss. An experienced personal injury attorney helps to “level the playing field” and pursue your best interests.
I am a Board Certified advocate that commands the respect of the claims adjusters.
Board Certification in Civil Trial requires courtroom experience (more than 15 jury trials), passing an intense certification test, and high peer reviews. It is a difficult standard that few meet.
Only 7% of Florida lawyers are Board Certified.
My Board Certification helps bring larger settlement offers. Why? Insurance companies know which lawyers will take cases to trial and which won’t. Cases with Board Certified lawyers don’t settle “on the cheap” because, unlike most other personal injury lawyers, Board Certified lawyers go the distance. Adjusters often pay more on those claims to avoid trial expenses and the increased risk of a large jury verdict.