Florida sees its fair share of drunk driving crashes. Problematic alcohol consumption remains an issue for many people around the state, and even those who don’t have a substance abuse issue may over-indulge while visiting the state on a vacation or business trip. Those who get behind the wheel after drinking can cause crashes that negatively impact others.
Even if you are a conscientious driver, you can’t always protect yourself from the actions of intoxicated drivers. As someone hurt in a drunk driving wreck, you have certain rights under Florida law.
What options for compensation are available to you when a drunk driver hurts you or wrecks your vehicle?
You can file an insurance claim
Every driver in Florida, including tourists in rental vehicles, should have basic liability insurance coverage. You can make a claim against the other driver’s liability coverage for your vehicle damage losses and medical expenses. You may also be able to make a claim against your own no-fault coverage for injuries.
You can take the other driver to civil court
When someone doesn’t have insurance or carries mediocre coverage, they could cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills that their insurance policy won’t pay. You can potentially take the other driver to court once insurance has paid the most that it will. However, if they don’t have enough assets to compensate you, you could still find yourself paying those costs yourself.
You can make a dram shop claim against a business. If a bar or restaurant served an underage patron or someone who was already visibly under the influence of alcohol, they violated Florida’s liquor laws and open themselves up to claim. Dram shop claims involve holding businesses accountable when they improperly dispense alcohol and it results in injury for others.
You may be able to pursue a business insurance claim against a facility that served alcohol to a drunk driver before a crash or even take them to court. Many people seriously affected by a drunk driving collision will need to pursue more than one option to get full compensation. Learning more about how Florida law protects you after a car crash can help you minimize the costs you have to pay.