A two-year-old toddler died under extremely tragic circumstances early this month. One local Florida news report indicates that the toddler was killed because of a 24-year-old drunk driver. Florida Highway Patrol reported that the drunk driver was driving a Ford Expedition north on 1-75 around 5:00 p.m.on March 1st. Evidently, the woman veered off of the road and onto the shoulder of the highway. As a result of her sudden turn and loss of control, the SUV flew off the ground and became airborne. The SUV then began to roll over several times until it finally came to a stop after hitting several trees.
The car was filled with several people, including nine children and three adults. None of the minors were restrained with seat belts. Unfortunately, one toddler was declared dead at the scene of the accident, and an infant was severely injured and taken to a children’s hospital in St. Petersburg. The remaining children all suffered minor injuries and were taken to local hospitals. Additionally, the driver and the other two adults sustained serious injuries and were hospitalized as a result.
Florida Highway Patrol stated that the driver is currently facing several charges, including one count of DUI Resulting in Serious Injury, nine counts of DUI Resulting in Injury, and one count of DUI Manslaughter.
DUI Accidents and Deaths in Florida
Even though the tragic consequences of drunk driving are well known, individuals still continue to participate in this reckless behavior. Through the persistence and advocacy of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Florida has implemented mandatory ignition interlock devices for individuals who are first-time convicted drunk drivers if their blood alcohol concentration was .15 or more. However, even with this development, there continues to be deaths because of those individuals who drive while under the influence.
MADD has since proposed a law that now requires a committee to participate in a legislative study regarding all-offender interlock laws. This law also requires that the committee present a report to the legislature before the end of the year.
In the past year, there have been 676 drunk driving deaths, which represents over 28% of all traffic-related deaths. Furthermore, taxpayers are subsidizing over $3.5 billion because of these drunk driving fatalities.
Liability in Drunk Driving Deaths
The statistics discussed above exemplify the devastating number of people who are killed because of drunk driving accidents. However, those statistics do not include those people who are severely or permanently injured as a result of these types of accidents. It is crucial that victims and their loved ones understand that if they have been injured they can bring a civil claim against the culpable driver.
Have You Been Injured by a Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights and remedies. You may consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. An attorney at the Dean Law Firm can assist you at all stages of the lawsuit. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses. It is possible you may receive punitive damages as well, depending on the circumstances of your case. Contact the Dean Law Firm today at (352) 387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Canadian Motorcyclist Killed in Accident in Florida, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 22, 2015.
Florida’s “2 Drunk 2 Care” Driver Pleads Guilty to DUI Manslaughter in Fatal Crash, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 3, 2015.