Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Accident Victims

It’s been one year since Matthew DeRemer was killed on New Year’s Day in South Florida. It happened on Jan. 1, 2016, just hours after the 31-year-old U.S. Marine veteran posted an inspirational message about the power of a positive mind set and moving on after a series of setbacks in 2015. Just a few hours later, he was struck by another vehicle while on his motorcycle. That other driver, 59-year-old Stephen Lee Clarke, was allegedly drunk. He is still facing DUI manslaughter charges. newyearseve

In DeRemer’s post, which was later shared tens of thousands of times, he reflected on the difficulty of the year, his renewed faith and his looking forward to a brand new chapter. He ended with, “I really don’t know where I’ll end up tonight, but I do know where I wind up is where I’m meant to be.” He died at the corner of 102nd Ave. N. and 98th Street in Largo, with the Florida State Highway Patrol finding that Clarke had turned left into DeRemer’s path, causing a collision.

New Year’s Day is widely known as the worst day of the year when it comes to impaired driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more people are ticketed for DUI on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday throughout the year.  Continue reading

Under limited circumstances, Florida law allows those injured by drunk drivers to recover from the establishments who served alcohol to the impaired motorist. F.S. 768.125 allows recompense from bars, restaurants and other establishments when the drunk driver either:

  • Was under the age of 21 OR
  • Was known to be habitually addicted to alcohol. beerbottles

Other states allow compensation when a bar or restaurant serves to someone who was clearly intoxicated. That’s not the case in Florida, unfortunately. Still, our dram shop law can be a useful tool in some situations.

Recently, The Lakeland Ledger reports one such lawsuit has been filed by the brother of a man tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident. The at-fault driver was later identified as a 52-year-old man from Mulberry. He is now facing charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving death and tampering with physical evidence. Continue reading

Florida’s dram shop law, F.S. 768.125, allows victims of drunk drivers to seek redress from the bar, restaurant or other establishment that negligently served alcohol to that driver. The only way service of alcohol can be negligent in Florida is if it involves a minor under 21 or if the recipient was known to be habitually addicted to alcohol. beerhand

But it’s worth pointing out that not all plaintiffs in these cases are entirely sympathetic. In fact, there have been successful DUI injury lawsuits in which the drunk driver was the one suing.

This is not to say the driver is not negligent. But comparative fault in a Florida injury case is not enough to prohibit litigation. That means a person could be partially – or even mostly – to blame for their own injuries and still recover a percentage of damages.  Continue reading

An appeals court in Florida declined to extend dram shop liability to bartenders or servers who recognize an adult patron’s intoxication, take measures to “sober them up,” but don’t stop them from driving. beer

In Torre v. Flanigan’s Bar and Grill, plaintiffs were injured in Broward County when they were struck by a drunk driver. F.S. 768.125 offers victims the opportunity to pursue a lawsuit against the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol only under very limited circumstances. However, victims in Torre sought a court ruling that the bar could still be responsible because it had assumed an additional duty of care that involved recognizing the patron’s level of impairment.

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal did not agree. Continue reading