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With Experience And Dedication


By: Morey Law Firm

October 24, 2023

DUI Wrongful Death Claims

Latest News

The Heartbreaking Consequences of Drunk Driving: Wrongful Death in Florida

Florida, with its sun-soaked beaches and bustling nightlife, unfortunately, has a darker side: the harrowing statistics of drunk driving and its tragic aftermath. Year after year, families are torn apart, not by natural causes, but by a preventable crime – DUI accidents. In many of these incidents, the ultimate price is paid: the wrongful death of an innocent victim.

The Grim Reality of Drunk Driving in Florida

Florida stands out with some of the highest numbers of DUI accidents in the country. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports thousands of DUI-related crashes annually. Out of these, a significant number results in fatalities, tearing families apart. The sad truth is, every DUI-related death is preventable, making the loss even more devastating for the families left behind.

DUI accidents aren’t just about the physical harm they cause; they shatter dreams, end futures, and leave behind a trail of emotional and psychological trauma. Families have to grapple not only with the sudden loss but also with the realization that their loved one’s life was taken away due to someone’s recklessness.

Wrongful Death Claims in Florida

For families who have suffered the immeasurable loss due to a DUI accident, there’s a glimmer of hope: the legal pathway of wrongful death claims. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that can be filed when a person’s death is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.

While no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one, a wrongful death claim serves two critical purposes:

  1. Compensation for Financial and Emotional Losses: Medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, and emotional pain are just a few of the burdens families face after losing a loved one. A wrongful death claim can provide much-needed financial relief.
  2. Holding the Guilty Accountable: It’s a way for families to seek justice and ensure that the person responsible for the DUI accident is held accountable for their actions.

Linking DUI Accidents to Wrongful Death

Establishing the connection between the DUI accident and the wrongful death is crucial for the lawsuit. This involves gathering evidence, such as:

  • Police reports proving the other driver was under the influence.
  • Medical reports linking the death directly to the accident.
  • Witness statements.
  • Expert testimonies.

Florida law also has specific statutes of limitation for filing a wrongful death claim, typically two years from the date of the death. Therefore, timely legal action is essential.

Florida’s Dram Shop Laws: Their Role in DUI Wrongful Death Claims

Fatal DUI accidents are tragically common, and while the intoxicated driver often bears the brunt of legal action, Florida’s Dram Shop Laws present another possible accountability avenue. Here’s a brief overview:

Florida’s Approach to Dram Shop Laws

Florida’s version of the law, according to Florida Statute §768.125, is more specific than many other states. Establishments in Florida can be held liable for harm caused by an intoxicated patron only if they:

  1. Served alcohol to a minor (someone under 21).
  2. Furnished drinks to someone known to be “habitually addicted” to alcohol.

This means that merely serving a visibly intoxicated individual isn’t grounds for liability in Florida, making these cases more complex.

Impact on Wrongful Death Claims

Florida’s specific dram shop criteria can shape wrongful death claims:

  1. Additional Compensation Source: If an establishment is deemed liable, it offers an extra source for damages, especially if the driver lacks enough insurance or assets.
  2. Evidence Challenges: To establish an establishment’s liability, one must prove they knowingly served a minor or a habitual drinker, complicating the legal process.
  3. Shared Responsibility: If a bar, for instance, is found partially at fault, both the driver and the establishment might share the compensatory burden.

Our DUI Wrongful Death Attorneys are Here

Given the complexities, families should consult lawyers familiar with Florida’s dram shop laws and DUI-related wrongful death claims. Expert guidance ensures all accountability channels are explored.

Florida’s dram shop laws, while specific, provide an additional avenue for families affected by DUI accidents to seek justice. With legal expertise, families can navigate these complexities, holding all responsible parties to account.

While dealing with a loved one’s untimely demise due to a DUI accident is agonizing, it’s essential to be proactive in seeking justice. If you or someone you know has lost a family member in such an incident, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced DUI accidents attorney as soon as possible.

The profound impact of drunk driving on families in Florida is both heart-wrenching and avoidable. As community members, it’s our responsibility to advocate for safe roads and ensure that we make responsible choices. If tragedy does strike, know that legal avenues exist to help bring justice to the forefront.

Remember, it’s not just about seeking compensation; it’s about ensuring that such reckless actions don’t go unchecked. Together, let’s make Florida roads safer and stand against drunk driving.

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