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Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

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According to MADD, one person will be involved in an alcohol-related crash every minute and thousands of people will die in drunk driving accidents this year. The sad reality is that far too many of these Tampa car accidents occur in the Tampa Bay area. With 4,038 DUI convictions in 2009, Hillsborough County had the greatest number of drunk driving convictions in Florida that year. Unfortunately, when innocent victims are involved in drunk driving accidents, the results can be detrimental and, in the worst cases, deadly.

If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a drunk driver’s negligence, please contact our Tampa drunk driving accident lawyers at Vanguard Attorneys right away. Our legal team can examine the details of your case and determine who should be liable for your injuries. When you choose to entrust your case to our team, we promise to stand by your side from beginning to end.

Do not wait to retain the legal representation you need. Call our Tampa DUI accident lawyers today! We can provide you with a free consultation.

Why Choose Our Tampa Drunk Driving Attorneys

  • Our lawyers have over 90 years of combined experience in personal injury law in Tampa. We will leverage our skills and knowledge to craft a compelling case in your favor.
  • Our firm combines the personalized attention of a small firm with the power and resources of a larger operation. Your attorney will be available to support you throughout your case.
  • We operate on a contingency fee basis to limit your out-of-pocket costs. If we do not secure compensation in your claim, you will not be charged legal fees.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is illegal in Florida for a reason. Alcohol significantly impairs many of the functions necessary to operate a vehicle safely. People who are drunk lack the concentration, judgment, motor skills, reaction time, and overall coherency to avoid accidents and follow traffic law.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 28 people in the United States die every day in a drunk driving crash. This amounts to one death every 52 minutes. Many more people experience severe and sometimes debilitating injuries in these collisions.

Drunk driving deaths and injuries are completely preventable, but negligent and reckless drivers still make the choice to drive while intoxicated. If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, you deserve justice—and the drunk driving accident lawyers at Vanguard Attorneys can help.

We represent injured Tampa residents in their drunk driving insurance claims and lawsuits. We will advocate aggressively for your right to recovery and fight diligently to hold the drunk driver accountable.

Drunk driving accident attorney in Tampa, Florida

Legal Options for Drunk Driving Accident Victims

If you are injured by a drunk driver, you can sustain serious damages like medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and emotional trauma. In these situations, you could pursue a claim to recover compensation for these losses. There are three legal options available to drunk driving victims: first-party insurance claims, third-party claims, and personal injury lawsuits.

  • First-Party Insurance Claims: Florida is a no-fault state and requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you are injured by a drunk driver, you could file a claim under your own PIP coverage and secure compensation for financial losses, like medical expenses.
  • Third-Party Insurance Claims: You could pursue a third-party liability insurance claim against the drunk driver if you sustain serious injuries in the crash. Under Florida law, a serious injury involves death, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
  • Personal Injury Lawsuits: Many drunk driving accident victims are eligible to file personal injury lawsuits in Florida civil court. To secure compensation in this type of claim, you will need to prove that the driver’s negligence caused your accident and resulting injuries. Drinking and driving is an extremely negligent act.

Although drunk driving is a crime, you could file a civil lawsuit against an intoxicated driver while pursuing criminal charges. These cases involve two different types of legal processes with two sets of goals and outcomes. While the purpose of a criminal case is to punish the driver with fines and jail time, a civil lawsuit intends to compensate you for the losses that you experienced due to the accident.

Type Of Compensation DUI Accident Victims Can Recover

If the drunk driver’s blood alcohol level was over the legal limit at the time of the crash, Florida law allows for punitive and compensatory damages. Furthermore, if the establishment serving the drunk driver knew he or she was a habitual drunk or kept serving the drunk driver after intoxication was obvious, there may be liability on the part of the establishment.

When an individual is injured in a drunk driving accident, he or she should retain experienced legal representation in order to pursue monetary compensation for the following:

  • Visits to the doctor
  • Chiropractic visits
  • Physical pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost wages
  • Physical therapy
  • Medical expenses
  • Emotional distresses

The Statute of Limitations for Florida Lawsuits

If you believe that you qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Under Florida law, drunk driving accident lawsuits are subject to a rule known as the statute of limitations. This rule establishes a filing deadline for certain types of claims, including personal injury lawsuits. If you file your lawsuit after the deadline passes, the court will dismiss your case.

According to Florida’s statute of limitations, you must file a drunk driving lawsuit within four years of the date of the accident. Although there are certain exceptions that could extend your claim, they are not common in drunk driving cases. In these situations, it is important to speak with a lawyer as quickly as possible to identify your appropriate filing date.

What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Tampa

If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, it is important to stay calm. Take the following steps to seek the help you need and take the first steps toward filing your claim.

  • Call 911: Following the accident, get to a safe location and call 911 as soon as you can. Report the drunk driver to law enforcement. If the driver flees the scene, do not chase him or her—instead, try to remember as many details about the vehicle as possible to help the police track him or her down.
  • Seek Medical Care: Next, seek medical attention, even if you do not feel injured. Save all records related to the accident, your injuries, and the treatment that you receive. These documents, along with the police report, will serve as valuable evidence in your claim.
  • Document Evidence: If you are able to do so safely, document evidence at the scene of the crash. Take photographs of your injuries, vehicle damage, the other driver’s car, and any signs or signals in the area. Collect physical evidence, such as clothing and broken possessions. Ask any witnesses in the area for their contact details.
  • Exchange Information: If you can, briefly exchange information with the other driver. Keep the interaction as short as possible. You do not need to take this step if the other driver is too intoxicated to engage with you or you are afraid to speak with him or her. The police report will likely contain the at-fault driver’s contact information, which you could provide to your attorney.
  • Contact an Attorney: After the accident, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not speak to the other driver or any insurance representative until you contact an attorney. Your lawyer will then evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options.

Why Hire Vanguard Attorneys To Represent You?

As your Tampa drunk driving accident attorneys, we know you simply want to move on with your life. We can assure you that our team will begin working on your claim immediately because we want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. We will gather statements from any witnesses to the drunk driving accident and those who were at the last place the drunk driver was consuming alcohol. Experts will also take photographs of all vehicles involved in the accident and any evidence that may be helpful to your claim.

We want to help those who have been injured at the hands of a negligent drunk driver because there is no excuse for driving under the influence. Our legal team will work relentlessly to obtain the compensation you deserve and deter the drunk driver from injuring another person.

Contact a Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

If you are injured by a drunk driver, the lawyers at Vanguard Attorneys can help. Our firm can represent your claim and help you recover the settlement that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your next steps with a Tampa drunk driving accident attorney.

We are open for business and continue to be available to existing and new clients through virtual meetings and teleconferences. Please call (813) 471-4444 or click here to be connected to our attorneys.