If you were injured by a drunk driver in Tampa, you are probably experiencing physical injuries along with accident trauma. You might also feel angry that a drunk driver’s negligence caused you harm and want to hold them accountable. It’s completely reasonable to feel that way and you have every right to get compensation after a drunk driver harms you.
You need an experienced Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney if you were injured in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver.
Florida Drunk Driving Statistics
Tampa has an astonishing rate of drunk driving accidents in the US. According to statistics, there are nearly 10,000 car accidents in Tampa annually. And almost one-fourth of all car accidents in Tampa involve a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. This can lead to serious passenger injury and even death.
Drunk driving is not a unique problem to Tampa; it’s an issue all throughout Florida. In 2020, there was a sharp decline in DUIs and drunk driving accidents, but that number skyrocketed again in 2021. A total of 43,787 Florida drivers were caught operating vehicles over the legal alcohol limit (.08%). FLHSMV recorded 194 drunk-driving related deaths in 2022, which was a slight decrease from the 328 people who died in 2019.
How Common Are Alcohol Related Crashes in Tampa?
Data shows that Tampa is the 7th highest city in the state for DUI deaths (3.77 per 100,000) people.
According to Hillsborough County statistics from 2019:
- 481 car accidents involved a drunk driver
- 20 people in Hillsborough county were killed by a drunk driver
- 256 people sustained injuries from a drunk driving accident
It’s as simple as taking an Uber or Lyft home to prevent injuring others after a night of drinking. Sadly, many people still get behind the wheel after drinking past the legal limit. If you were hurt by someone who decided to irresponsibly drink and drive, speak to a Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney for help with your case.
What Are the Consequences for Drunk Driving in Tampa?
Despite the fact that Florida state laws are some of the toughest in the country, drunk driving is still a huge problem in Tampa. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of over 0.08%. Anyone found guilty of drunk driving could potentially face penalties outlined below.
We can all make the roadways safer by choosing not to drink and drive. Perhaps one of the most disturbing facets of drunk driving accidents is that they could have been prevented, had someone chosen to drink and chosen a safe way to get home.
Florida Drunk Driving Laws
Drivers in Florida who are convicted of driving drunk are subject to penalties under Florida Statutes 316.193:
DUI, First Conviction
- Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000
- $1,000 to $2,000 fine (BAC .15% or above)
- 6 months in prison (or more)
- 9 months in prison (BAC .15% or higher)
- Impound or immobilize car for 10 days
- License revocation, 180 days to 1 year (if no bodily injury was done)
- License revocation for 3 years (if there was bodily injury)
DUI, Second Conviction
- Fine of $1,000 – $2,000
- $4,000 fine (BAC .15% or above)
- 9 months in prison
- 12 months in prison (BAC .15% or above)
- Impound or immobilize car for 30 days (if 1st conviction was less than 5 years ago)
- No driver’s license for 5 years
DUI, Third Conviction
- Fines of $2,000 to $5,000 (if second conviction was less than 10 years ago)
- $4,000 fine (BAC .15% or above)
- Mandatory 30 days in prison (if second conviction was less than 10 years ago)
- 12 months in prison (if 2nd conviction was more than 10 years ago)
- Impound or immobilize car for 90 days (if 2nd conviction was less than 10 years ago)
- License revocation 10 years (if 2nd conviction was less than 10 years ago)
- license revocation for 180 days (if 2nd conviction was more than 10 years ago)
DUI Fourth Conviction
- Upwards of $2,000 in fines
- Upwards of $4,000 in fines (BAC .15% or above)
- Maximum 5 years in prison
- Mandatory permanent license revocation
The Kinds Of Injuries Caused By Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents are often catastrophic events, and can cause substantial injuries to the victims and their families. Injuries range from head trauma to broken bones to nerve damage. These types of injuries can leave people with lifelong disabilities that require ongoing medical care and treatment. Such costs are often unimaginable or nearly impossible for families to handle without recovering accident-related damage compensation.
These injuries don’t just inflict physical pain. They also cause emotional and psychological distress to injury victims and their families. On top of all that, severe injuries require medical care which can quickly add up and overwhelm injury victims.
The most common type of injury caused by drunk driving accidents is traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs happen when the head suffers a blow or sudden impact, causing the brain to strike the skull and disrupt normal brain function. Symptoms to look out for after hitting your head in a car accident include: confusion, drowsiness, headaches, and loss of consciousness for longer than 30 seconds.
Head injuries are among the most serious types of injuries that someone can sustain in an accident. Moreover, what makes them particularly scary is that they can go undetected because they are not obviously visible injuries. You would need special, medical-grade imaging tests to accurately diagnose a head or brain injury. When someone is hit by a drunk driver, it’s common to sustain head injuries such as concussions or skull fractures. And such types of injuries are not just insidious; they can also be particularly difficult to treat or they can have lasting effects on a victim.
Another common and catastrophic injury that results from drunk driving accidents is a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury can result in permanent paralysis or death. Unfortunately, victims of spinal cord injury often also suffer from long-term nerve damage and pain.
Finally, internal organ damage is another severe injury that commonly results from a drunk driving accident. Like a head or brain injury, internal injuries are scary because you can’t see obvious symptoms. You need special imaging tests to detect and diagnose internal bleeding. If left untreated, internal bleeding can be life-threatening. Even if the person makes it out alive they often require extensive medical treatment to stop the internal bleeding. For example, they might need surgery, a long hospital stay, and need to see several different specialists. All of this will add up quickly to create overwhelming medical bills for the injury victim.
No matter what type of injuries you sustained, you’ll want a professional Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney to handle your case and ensure you get adequate compensation for your injuries.
Are Drunk Driving Accidents A Problem In Tampa, Florida?
It’s no surprise Tampa has one of the highest rates of DUI-related injuries and charges in the state of Florida; it’s one of the most dense metropolitan areas in the US.
According to recent data, DUI-related injury incidents increased by 9% from 2018 to 2019 in Hillsborough County. Tampa is also the city with the highest number of DUI-related charges in Florida.
Data also reflects the following figures:
- Tampa has higher drunk driving fatality rates than other cities in Florida
- there were 751 DUI arrests and 35,404 injury crashes in Tampa in 2019
- Over 5,000 people suffered from crash-related injuries involving a drunk driver
- In 2020, there were 38 alcohol-related fatalities in the city, which is a sharp increase from the 24 alcohol-related deaths that occurred in 2019.
The numbers don’t lie – these statistics, while alarming, remind us of the need to drink and drive responsibly and follow the laws of the road. All drivers in Florida have a duty of care to drive in a reasonable and cautious manner to prevent harming others. Failing to do so is considered negligence and could ultimately lead to being liable for causing someone else’s damages. Even a tiny lapse in judgment can lead to a serious and costly accident, which is very easy to do while driving drunk.
If someone’s poor decisions injured you or a loved one in a Tampa car accident, reach out to our Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys so we can help you hold the negligent party accountable.
What If I Am Charged With A DUI Or DWI Charges In Tampa, Florida?
Getting charged with a DUI or DWI in Tampa can be a scary situation to find yourself in. If you are facing DUI charges, you need to seek legal representation from a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney.
Who Can I Pursue for Damage Compensation if a Drunk Driver Caused My Accident?
Under Florida law, injury victims and their loved ones can take legal action against the responsible party for a drunk driving accident. That means you can file a legal claim against either the at-fault driver or their insurance company.
Under certain circumstances, you might have a “dram shop claim”. Meaning, you may also be eligible to take legal action against the bar, restaurant, owner, or establishment who sold alcohol to the drunk driver who caused your accident. If the driver was already drunk when purchasing alcohol, you have an even stronger case against them.
A Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney can help you identify all liable parties and understand all possible avenues and for pursuing financial reimbursement.
What Is the Process for a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Tampa?
The backbone for any successful drunk driving accident claim is strong evidence. So you need to prove, with evidence, that the drunk driver injured you or your family. You can expect the at-fault party to deny your allegation and potentially have their own legal counsel.
Therefore, your best chance at winning a full and fair recovery is through a knowledgeable Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney. They will help you conduct a private investigation into the accident to get all the evidence needed to support your claim.
Finally, drunk driving accident victims need to remember that there is a time limit in Florida to file a claim. Under Florida’s Statute of Limitations, there may be two applicable deadlines for your Tampa drunk driving accident case:
- Civil lawsuit allows 4 years from the accident date (if there were no accident related deaths)
- Civil lawsuits concerning wrongful death allow 2 years from the date of the accident.
You will file the lawsuit in whichever county the accident occurred. So if you were injured in a Tampa drunk driving accident, you will file a lawsuit in Hillsborough County.
A Tampa Drunk Driving Accident Attorney can help you recover financial compensation for accident damages like:
- Medical bills
- Missed income
- Long-term medical care
- Future lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Financial losses associated with a loved one’s death
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional pain and suffering
- And more
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
We are so sorry that you have had to experience this horrifying event. But, we promise to commit to your case and dedicate ourselves to winning you justice. That means we will fight hard to get you the maximum compensation possible for everything you’ve been through.
Our Tampa drunk driving accident attorneys have the experience to help you make sure you get the recovery you deserve. We provide each client with only the best legal representation and advice.
Our passion for helping individuals suffering from physical and psychological injuries caused by a drunk driver. We understand that an accident can turn your life upside down, but we are here to help you get your power back. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Tampa, Florida, contact a Tampa drunk driving accident attorney today to see how we can help.
We offer a free initial consultation so schedule yours now.