Victims of Drunk Drivers – Can You Get Punitive Damages?
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Florida with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. The penalties for the driver who is caught driving while intoxicated can be severe. The first offense carries a possible fine of $1,000.00 and up to six months in jail. Though it sounds severe, it does not deter many drivers from going out and consuming alcohol past the point of legal intoxication and driving on a regular basis.
Drunk drivers endanger the general public with slowed reactions, poor decision making and reckless behavior. Too often, I read about the drunk driver that was involved in an accident, severely injuring or killing the other driver while the drunk driver managed to walk away unscathed. The victims, or the victim’s family, in these cases often want justice in the way of making sure that the drunk driver receives the maximum penalty. They also want to be compensated for their injuries or the loss of a loved one. In the case of a death or a catastrophic injury, money damages seem insufficient.
Punitive damages are damages which are awarded not to compensate the victim for their injuries or loss. Punitive damages are awarded in excess of those damages and are designed to punish the wrong doer financially. To determine whether punitive are appropriate a court will examine the nature of the defendants behavior and the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. Some factors the court will consider are:
1. Did the accident result in a death or a catastrophic injury?
2. Did the defendant plead guilty to DUI?
3. Did the defendant behave in a reckless or intentional manner?
4. Did the defendant leave the scene?
5. Did the defendant voluntarily become intoxicated?
Have you been involved in a car or motorcycle accident which you believe you believe may have been caused by a drunk driver? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. The decision to hire an experienced personal injury attorney is an extremely important one. We at Jones Law Group invite you to come in, meet us, question us and experience the level of customer service that each of our clients receive.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or operating car or motorcycle and have been victim of drunk driver, you should immediately call The Law Offices of Bobby Jones at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707