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Are Drunk Drivers Financially Responsible for Damage They Cause in Boynton Beach?

— January 25, 2022

A driver who is found to be under the influence may be sued by the accident victim.

As a general rule, drivers should be prepared to cover costs related to their actions on the road. In most cases, this is done through liability coverage that is required for everyone. Drunk drivers who cause property damage or accidents can also face criminal charges and civil lawsuits. The criminal charges may include restitution to the victim, but the main way that drivers will have to pay for losses is through any civil actions taken against them. Personal injury lawsuits may award amounts that cover all of the victim’s losses, even if the costs are very high.  

Drunk driving laws in Florida

Driving under the influence of any controlled substances or alcoholic beverages is illegal in the state. The officers that find a person who they believe to be under the influence are allowed to make an arrest based on suspicion of drunk driving. However, there are also many cases where a person who should be arrested causes an accident before they are ever caught. These kinds of accidents often have significant costs, as the drunk driver may hurt someone, damage vehicles, and destroy various forms of property. 

Lawsuits against drunk drivers

Handcuffs and key sitting on fingerprint card; image by Bill Oxford, via
Image by Bill Oxford, via

A driver who is found to be under the influence may be sued by the accident victim. This is true regardless of whether they are prosecuted or found guilty of drunk driving. The fact that they were driving under the influence may only be considered evidence of negligence in a civil case. However, the fact that the law was broken means that the defendant did not observe the standard duty of care on the roads, and it is very likely that they would be considered negligent as well. 

Punitive damages

There are a special type of damages available in cases where the defendant engaged in some kind of reckless behavior or malicious acts. These are called punitive damages, and they are meant more for the purpose of punishing the defendant than compensating the victim. In Florida, it is possible that punitive damages may be awarded against the drunk driver due to the reckless nature of their actions. This can become another significant expense on top of any compensatory damages that are awarded. 

Other damages

Aside from punitive damages, the drunk driver will likely have to pay for medical costs and treatment, lost wages, and the accident victim’s pain and suffering. 

Assistance from drunk driving accident lawyers

There are lawyers in Boynton Beach who help people after their accidents. The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg is available to assist with the process of a lawsuit. 

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