Drunk Driver Leaves Clearwater Resident Critically Injured
A serious car crash occurred on the Courtney Campbell Causeway resulting in a 52-year-old Clearwater resident suffering life-threatening injuries. Reports indicate that a motorist was driving under the influence in the westbound lanes on the Causeway when they crashed into the back of a van driven by the 52-year-old victim. This caused the van to slam into a guardrail and overturn. The victim was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg where he was listed in critical condition, according to wfla.com.
Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are all-too-common in Florida. For example, in 2014, there were nearly 17,000 automobile accidents where alcohol may have played a role in the collision in the Sunshine State, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of the nearly 17,000 drunk-driving-related collisions, over 7,000 involved bodily injuries and close to 800 involved fatalities.
The numbers nationwide are not much better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in 2015. That translates to nearly one-third of all automobile-accident-related deaths in the United States.
Hold the Reckless Driver Accountable for Your Harms and Losses
Intoxicated drivers do not just place themselves in danger. Instead, they risk the health and safety of all motorists on the roads and highways they travel. This is why driving under the influence is against the law in Florida and carries serious criminal penalties. If someone is injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, they can file a civil action against the drunk driver and their insurance company to seek compensation for the following harms and losses:
- Medical bills, including the cost of rehabilitation and other long-term treatment
- Lost wages (including future lost wages if you cannot return to work)
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Inconvenience, stress, and other pain and suffering damages
Punitive Damages Could Be Recovered
In addition to pursuing compensation for the damages described above, you may be able to pursue an additional form of compensation known as “punitive damages,” depending on the facts of your case. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault driver.
An injured motorist can pursue punitive damages when there is clear and convincing evidence that the drunk driver either knew the wrongfulness of their conduct and the high possibility that harm could occur or their actions were so reckless that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference to the health and safety of others.
But keep in mind, even if you can pursue punitive damages, there is a cap on the amount you can recover in Florida. The punitive damages cap is three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is more.
Clearwater Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Is Here to Help
If you or a loved one was hit and seriously injured by a drunk driver in Clearwater, it is extremely important that you contact an attorney right away. The Clearwater car accident injury attorneys at Roman & Roman are here to help. Our firm is comprised of skilled personal injury attorneys who are not afraid to take a case all the way to trial. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.