If you were injured, you should hire an attorney to seek monetary damages against the driver.
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You certainly have a civil action, or lawsuit, against the individual and I suggest you contact a local attorney. As to the incident report and the failure to note the use of alcohol, you can always talk to the responding officer or a supervisor and they have the ability to supplement the report if they feel it is warranted. You may want to retain the attorney first and get them to aid you in dealing with the law enforcement agency.
With regard to criminal prosecution, all you can do is provide the police with the information that you have. After that, the police and the district attorney will make decisions as to what, if any, criminal charges will be brought. However, on the civil side, if you have a claim for injuries you can make the allegation that the other driver was intoxicated even though there was no criminal proceeding. I don't know about Florida, but in California that would serve as the basis for a claim for punitive damages that can potentially strengthen your case. You should talk to a good Florida personal injury attorney about your claim.
You should consult with a personal injury attorney that has litigated previous automobile cases involving drunk drivers. Your attorney could find out if the other driver received medical care and attention following the accident and if so, the medical records may show substance results.
If you or your property were damaged in this collision, you have a civil claim against the adverse driver. It is up to the police and prosecutor's office to pursue any criminal charges.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Whether to charge criminally is up to the authorities. If you were injured, retain a local personal injury lawyer.
It doesn't matter in a civil case if the DUI driver was charged. If you were hurt, sue the driver and owner of the car!
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You have no recourse against the police department or officer. Citizens cannot force arrests to be made, and I sincerely doubt there is a "cover-up." It is far more likely that the officer felt there was insufficient evidence for an arrest or is awaiting the return of blood alcohol test results before he sends the case to the State Attorney's Office for review.
If you are injured, then hire a personal injury attorney. If you car was damaged, either have your insurance company pay for your damages (minus your deductible) and it will subrogate the other driver's insurance company (if he has coverage).
Based on the facts as you've described them, it appears liability is clearly to the other driver, drunk or otherwise. If you were seriously injured, ( i mean serious), the fact that at fault party was drunk and charged for that offense could have helped to facilitate settlements to avoid punitive damages if warranted.
I suggest you preserve the testimony and information of the witness and pursue your injuries claims against the at at fault party or his insurance company.
At this juncture, if he was not charged or tested at the scene for illegal substance, it's probably too late.
Whether he is charged criminally or not will have little impact on your personal injury claim (of course a conviction for DUI will make it strict liability, but it's not necessary to prove your case). You should hire an experienced personal injury firm.
Call a personal injury attorney if you already haven't. If want, you can contact me for a free consult. I'm more concerned about getting you in to a doctor regarding your injuries. Recent changes in the PIP law can have an affect on your PIP coverage if things are not done quickly and correctly.
I can understand how frustrating this can be. However, will all respect, your focus should be on you and treating with the appropriate doctors. If punitive damages was possible then your lawyer will want to investigate your opinion of the adverse drivers toxicology.
Get with a good lawyer immediately.
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