DUI / Drunk Driving Accidents
It is always a serious situation when someone gets behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol or taking intoxicating substances. When these impaired drivers cause an automobile accident, an innocent motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist often pays the highest price. At Moody Law, we have handled many cases for drivers, pedestrians, joggers, or bicyclists who were injured by the other driver’s impaired judgment. Many of these cases involved drivers with a history of felony DUI (driving under the influence) or drunk driving convictions, with either a suspended or permanently revoked driver’s license. These drivers have no business being on our roadways.
If you have been injured in a DUI accident in the Central Florida region, including Tampa Bay, Bartow, Haines City, Lakeland, or Winter Haven, contact a DUI / drunk driving lawyer at Moody Law about your rights and options under Florida law. In DUI cases, you have a right to pursue punitive damages in addition to those damages for physical injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, inconvenience, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage to your automobile.
Are DUI cases typically handled in civil or criminal court?
Drunk drivers are typically punished in criminal court as opposed to civil court. Prosecutors from your local State Attorney’s office may bring criminal charges against the drunk driver. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, criminal prosecutors may charge the drunk driver with DUI manslaughter or felony DUI with serious bodily injury. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of four years imprisonment in Florida for DUI manslaughter (see section 316.193, Florida Statutes). The judge in the DUI case may also order civil restitution.
Recovering Damages in a DUI Case
The attorneys at Moody Law are not involved in the criminal aspect of DUI cases. As civil trial lawyers, we are limited to pursuing monetary damages for you in civil court, including the possibility of punitive damages. Unfortunately, almost all automobile insurance policies exclude coverage for punitive damages against a DUI or drunk driver. In such cases, you will need an accident attorney from Moody Law, serving Winter Haven, Lakeland, Bartow, Polk County, Haines City, and surrounding areas, to help you put together the best strategy for recovery that is available under the law.
Can third parties be held liable for a DUI or drunk driving accident?
There are certain circumstances where we may pursue civil liability against a bar, restaurant, nightclub, or social host that served a clearly intoxicated patron who caused an automobile accident. Florida’s Dram Shop Act makes bartenders and social hosts liable for injuries and damages caused by their intoxicated patrons.
Contact a Central Florida DUI Accident Attorney - Lakeland, Winter Haven, Polk County
For a free DUI or drunk driving accident case evaluation with a qualified attorney, contact a lawyer at Moody Law. We have offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Bartow serving the entire Polk County and Central Florida region.