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People that are hurt in car accidents often seek damages in civil lawsuits from the parties that caused the accident. Typically, a plaintiff that proves a defendant’s liability in an auto crash case will be awarded compensation for the cost of treating injuries and repairing property damage caused by the accident. In some instances, though, a plaintiff may be awarded other damages as well. In a recent Florida opinion, a district court of appeals discussed when a plaintiff may assert a punitive damages claim in a lawsuit arising out of a drunk driving accident. If you were hurt in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver, it is in your best interest to speak to a trusted Florida DUI accident attorney to discuss what damages you may be able to pursue.

Background of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff was walking on a Florida sidewalk when he was struck by a car driven by the defendant. The plaintiff filed a civil lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim. An investigation revealed that the defendant was intoxicated due to marijuana and alcohol at the time of the accident. While the civil claim was pending, the defendant was charged with multiple DUI crimes, to which he pleaded guilty.

It is reported that after the defendant’s entry of a guilty plea, the plaintiff moved to amend his complaint to include a claim for punitive damages. The trial court held a hearing on the plaintiff’s motion, after which it issued an order granting the motion. The defendant filed a petition for certiorari review of the order, arguing that it should be quashed because the trial court did not set forth express findings when it determined the plaintiff could assert a claim for punitive damages. Upon review, the appellate court denied the defendant’s petition.

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The most expensive drink you can ever buy is undoubtedly the one that pushed you towards a DUI. Despite efforts to increase awareness and strict laws against drinking and driving, it continues to remain a huge problem in the United States. While we understand the financial implications of a DUI, not many know the hidden costs associated with drunk driving. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Jarrett Blakeley lists some for you:

• The Financial Cost:

The financial cost is the most significant and obvious impact of a DUI. Even if you successfully manage to fight a DUI, you will still have to pay for legal fees and other expenses. These include funds necessary to secure a bond, lost wages, expenses incurred when taking a taxi or Uber, fees for a review hearing to fight for administrative suspension, counseling fees, evaluation follow up fees, fines, etc. You will have to pay for impounding the vehicle if you’ve entered a plea for a DUI. A DUI conviction also involves paying for the ignition interlock device and the fees for an additional driver license reinstatement.


Electric scooters have become all the rage in the United States, but they’ve also become controversial because of the increasing number of accidents they cause directly and indirectly. Faulty vehicles and reckless drivers cause most accidents. Sometimes they’re caused by bad roads filled with potholes too. If you or a loved one is ever injured in a scooter accident, here are some things to do immediately after:

• Move to a Safe Area:

Irrespective of whether you are driving on a sidewalk, a walkway, or a bike path, the first thing that you must do after an accident is move to a safe area that’s away from traffic. Staying on the road only increases your chances of being involved in a secondary accident.


Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft have been great for helping people who either do not or cannot drive. These services are affordable, convenient, and relatively safe. In fact, the popularity of ride-share services has contributed to the bringing down of DUIs and fatal car accidents. But, ride-share services aren’t accident-proof. One problem with these drivers is that we don’t know whether they are getting enough sleep. Although Uber and other ride-share companies authenticate driver information, there’s still a chance there could be a driver who’s skirting rules and being negligent. If you or a loved one experiences an accident, Florida ride-share accident attorney Jarrett Blakeley lists some things you must do:

• Seek Medical Attention:

Naturally, the first thing you should do after an accident is seek medical attention. It’s important to seek medical attention even if an injury may seem minor or not worthy of a full examination. Car accident injuries don’t usually manifest until several days later, during which time the injuries can get worse. An examination report also helps your claim when you go to seek damages for injuries sustained during a ride-share accident.

It’s no secret that alcohol drastically affects the body: it slows down reflexes, impairs judgment, and could even affect your newborn if you are drinking while pregnant or breastfeeding. But alcohol damages us in a number of other ways. As a DUI accident lawyer, here are a few ways alcohol can affect the body:

• Alcohol Affects the Brain:

There are reasons behind why so many countries have strict regulations regarding permissible alcohol limits for drivers. Researchers have found that consuming too much alcohol could even cause temporary amnesia! Alcohol consumption releases two neurotransmitters, GABA and dopamine—each of these is responsible for calming the brain and offering pleasure. This is why the brain seeks alcohol; in a sense, you are rewarded for seeking alcohol. The problem, however, is that too much of these neurotransmitters can cause high blood pressure, hallucinations, and increased aggression.

When it comes to hiring a DUI accident lawyer, the candidate must be like any good professional; in other words, you have to be able to trust your DUI accident lawyer. For most people, legal troubles are scarce. That’s why, when individuals do get into trouble, they want someone that’s honest and straightforward working with them. Below are four additional qualities individuals should look for in DUI accident lawyers:

1. Professionalism:

Of course professionalism is an attribute all professionals must possess, but lawyers, more than anyone else, need to remain professional at all times. Any information given to a lawyer is considered confidential, and this rule must be respected unless the information given foretells of harming a person or property.

If you’re in an accident, the first thing you must do is seek medical attention. Once the initial confusion and commotion have died down, it’s wise to file an insurance claim. You could file a claim yourself or hire a DUI injury accident lawyer to file one for you.

Your chances of receiving a fair settlement are higher if you choose the latter. An experienced lawyer like Jarrett Blakeley understands the process well, and Blakeley Law Firm will settle for nothing less than what you deserve. If your adjuster advises you to not contact a lawyer and promises to make the claims process easy for you, don’t believe him/her! Here’s why:

• Insurance Companies Delay the Process:


Not all accidents require the help of a lawyer, but if you’re seeking compensation from the party at fault, an experienced Fort Lauderdale accident lawyer can be a valuable asset. Similarly, if you’ve suffered a serious injury and had to undergo expensive medical treatment, insurers can make it difficult for you to claim your rightful settlement. Jarrett Blakeley, an experienced DUI-accident lawyer, can be your ally, offering guidance about paperwork and other important aspects. If you’re looking for an attorney to help you or a loved one make a successful claim, here are a few things to consider:

1. Experience and Expertise:

There’s no doubt that experience is one of the most important things to consider when looking for a car accident lawyer. Choose a lawyer who has experience in car accidents, for their experience can not only help you make an accurate estimation of damages and treatment expenses but also help you collect evidence from experts to make a successful claim.


The number of car accidents annually has been declining for years, but the numbers are still depressing. In 2017, about 37,133 people were killed in car crashes. Did you know more people are killed in city car crashes than rural-area crashes? Also, an increasing number of pedestrians and bicyclists are being killed by motor vehicle operators. But why are there so many car crashes? Listed below are a few common reasons.

1. Failures to Use Designated Lanes:

A recent report found that operators not staying in their designated lanes caused close to 33 percent of accidents in the country. A lot of these accidents took place on U.S. highways. It goes without saying, but motorists must be very careful when switching lanes. More often than not, drivers don’t take the necessary time to assess whether it’s safe or not to change lanes. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Jarrett Blakeley suggests taking a few precautions. Use your turn signals before switching lanes. Also, remember to only switch lanes one at a time. And of course, never cross solid yellow lines.


Florida has a fairly good record when it comes to preventing DUI. Strict regulations and continued awareness are some of the factors that have created such a situation. What happens if you receive a DUI in Florida? How does a DUI citation affect subsequent DUI offenses? DUI accident lawyer Jarrett Blakeley explains below.

• Legal Limit:

The legal limit for BAC, or Blood Alcohol Concentration, in Florida and other states is 0.08 percent. If your BAC level exceeds this limit, you will be charged with DUI, though the first offense is considered a misdemeanor. When it comes to receiving a DUI, a lot depends on what are referred to as aggravating factors, i.e. driving with a child in the car, the driver being cited in a school zone, a driver threatening or causing serious physical harm to another person, excessive speeding, reckless driving, etc. You can also be charged with aggravated DUI if your BAC level is found to be abnormally high, i.e. around two to three times higher than the permissible limit. In an instance of aggravated DUI, you will be charged with a felony and liable for severe penalties.

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