Most people use the term “impaired driving” to mean drunk driving, but driver impairment is actually a much broader category. Any time that a motorist is drunk, drugged, fatigued, distracted, or otherwise physically or mentally unfit to drive a car, they can be considered impaired. Unfortunately, in Hollywood and across Florida, impaired driving is a leading cause of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
If you have been injured and think you may have a claim, time is an important factor. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim and you may find that delaying can harm your case. In addition, important evidence may be lost or compromised if you wait. If you have been injured, contact Flaxman Law Group to get fast and professional legal advice and representation. Our attorneys can meet with you in a free consultation and get your case managed in a timely fashion.Types of Driver Impairment
Driver impairment can involve:
- Physical illness or physical impairment (including mobility problems, dementia, seizure disorders, and other ailments)
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Use of illegal drugs
- Incorrect use of over-the-counter or prescription medication
In some cases, impairment is intentional and clearly negligent. A driver who takes illegal drugs or gets behind the wheel after drinking, for example, is clearly taking unacceptable risks and may be subject to criminal charges as well as civil claims. In some cases, however, impairment is more subtle.
If a driver causes an accident after having a stroke or seizure at the wheel, for example, are they liable for the collision? In some cases, the answer is yes. If a driver has a serious medical condition that is not managed or treated correctly or if a motorist has a dangerous condition but continues to drive despite the fact that a doctor has advised against it, they may be held liable.
If you are not sure whether you have a claim, contact a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can help you understand Florida laws and how they might relate to your specific case. An attorney can launch an investigation into your collision and can help you understand whether you have a civil claim.When You Have been Injured
If you are injured by an impaired driver, keep in mind that in some cases your situation may be a criminal case as well as a civil case. If the at-fault motorist was drinking and driving, for example, they may have to face the charges in criminal court. No matter what the outcome of that case, however, you may also have a civil claim that lets you pursue the impaired driver for your losses. You may be able to seek recovery for:
- Future and past loss of earning capacity
- Past and future medical bills and hospital expenses
- Costs related to care (such as at-home care, rehabilitation, and other services)
- Property damage costs
- Incidental costs (such as transportation costs to and from doctors’ appointments)
Keep in mind that these costs can add up substantially. An adult who has sustained a permanent injury and cannot return to work may lose in excess of a million dollars in expected future income. A patient who has sustained a serious head injury or spinal cord injury may face more than $100 000 in hospital and medical bills in the first year alone. Medical costs in Hollywood and the rest of Florida can be expensive, and they are even more so if a patient does not have an income to pay for them. While car insurance can pay for some costs related to an accident, it is rare for the total costs of an injury to be fully covered out of hand.
Only you can decide whether to file a legal claim in your case. Before you make a decision, however, at least consult with a personal injury attorney. When you consult with Flaxman Law Group, your first consultation comes with no obligation and no cost, so you have nothing to lose by asking questions and getting some information. Contact Flaxman Law Group today for a free consultation.