When someone chooses to drink and drive, they are irresponsibly and recklessly endangering their own lives, the lives of their passengers, and the lives of everyone else on the road. It is easy to call a cab or use the Uber app to make it home safely without endangering anyone. Yet, so many people would rather take the risk, despite knowing that the risk of causing a car accident while intoxicated is serious, high, and not worth the consequences.
To illustrate the catastrophic outcomes of drinking and driving, consider the recent case of a ten year old girl who was killed by the reckless and immoral decision of a driver operating a vehicle while drunk. In this accident, the ten year old child was in the front passenger seat of a vehicle that was struck in the side by a drunk driver who failed to stop at a stop sign.
Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents
The primary source of frustration in drunk driving accidents, like the one involving the tragic death of a ten year old girl, is the fact that all drunk driving accidents are preventable. All that the person has to do is to choose not to drive drunk. Instead, many people lose their lives through no fault of their own. The catastrophe could have easily been avoided if the at-fault driver had only decided to call a cab instead. This simple fact is enough to haunt the families of those who have lost loved ones to drunk driving accidents for the rest of their grief stricken lives.
Drunk Driving Accident Restitution
Whenever a drunk driving accident causes serious injury or death to an innocent victim, restitution can be received by the victim or loved ones of the victim in civil court. There are two types of damages that are available to these victims in personal injury and wrongful death cases. These two types of damages are compensatory and punitive.
The compensation that the victim or family of the victim can receive as compensatory damages include the medical expenses, lost wage reimbursement, and pain and suffering. All medical costs can be covered, including rehabilitation; and all time pissed from work and pain and suffering endured can be compensated as well. If you are facing a wrongful death case, then these compensatory damages will also include funeral expenses, loss of service, and loss of future earnings from the deceased.
The punitive damages, on the other hand, are meant to add direct punishment for the immoral behavior of the driver who chose to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. The punishment here is intended to ensure that other drivers are deterred from similar crimes. When there is evidence that the at-fault driver acted without concern for the value of human life, then punitive damages are warranted (Florida Statute 768.72).
According to Florida legislature, drunk driving cases are considered to be ‘uniquely qualified’ for punitive damages to be pursued by the injured victim or loved ones in a wrongful death case. The voluntary act of driving while intoxicated was defined in 1976 as a ‘sufficiently reckless attitude for a jury to … provide an award of punitive damages’ as long as there is liability for compensatory damages (Florida Supreme Court Case: Ingram v. Pettit, 340 So.2d 922).
Contact a Miami Car Accident Attorney
Whenever you face the aftermath of a drunk driving accident that causes serious injury or wrongful death, you should contact a Miami car accident lawyer to discuss your case and seek advice on moving forward with your case.