Drugged Driving Accidents
When it comes to car accidents caused by driving under the influence (DUI), the good news is that there has been a steady decrease in the number of people killed in DUI crashes each year. The bad news is that there is a growing number of substances other than alcohol that contribute to the number of DUI accidents in Florida and across the nation. If you have been hurt by the reckless actions of a drugged driver, the Pembroke Pines car accident attorneys at Cohn & Smith can help you pursue fair compensation from the driver responsible for the crash.
Florida DUI laws criminalize the operation of a motor vehicle not only when one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or above but also when there is an “impairment of normal faculties.” This means that a person who has consumed no alcohol at all (or only a small quantity) may be convicted of DUI if they were under the influence of another substance that impaired their faculties. Drugged driving may occur as a result of the use of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine, or it may also occur due to the use of prescription and over the counter drugs, such as antidepressants, valium, and sleeping pills.Taking Legal Action After a Drugged Driving Accident
Since the offense of DUI may be prosecuted criminally, there may be two separate cases in the court system because of a drugged driving accident. The action in criminal court, prosecuted in the State of Florida by the district attorney, is designed to punish the drugged driver through jail time, fines, and other penalties. Moreover, when another motorist (or a passenger, pedestrian, or other person) is hurt in a drugged driving accident, they have a legal right to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit based on negligence.
In a civil negligence action, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions breached the applicable standard of care and that the plaintiff suffered damages as a proximate result. In criminal cases, the State must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but in civil cases, the plaintiff need only offer evidence that convinces the jury by a preponderance of the evidence. If the plaintiff is successful in proving the defendant’s liability, the jury may award them compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other damages resulting from the crash. In contrast to typical motor vehicle accident cases, there is also the possibility of punitive damages in a case in which reckless or criminal activity was a factor, although this is not guaranteed.Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Pembroke Pines or Surrounding Areas
With many years of combined experience handling a multitude of cases, including those in which DUI or drugged driving was a factor, the knowledgeable Pembroke Pines car accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith have the skills and experience to help you pursue maximum compensation following an accident. Call us at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation regarding your drugged driving crash case. We also represent victims who need a drunk driving accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Hollywood, Weston, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, Aventura, Coral Springs, and cities throughout North Dade County.