Lawyer Comments: Hit by drunk driver lawyer Michael Haggard adds legal commentary in the second part of this story, discussing the legal options of DUI crash victims and their families.
A pedestrian was injured after getting hit by a 20-year-old suspected drunk driver in Clearwater on Saturday, June 13.
The crash happened on Gulf to Bay Boulevard, near the intersection with Arcturas Avenue, at around 11:55 p.m.
Police and Clearwater Fire and Rescue officials responded to the scene and discovered a 35-year-old man who had been hit by a car while trying to cross the street.
According to the police, 20-year-old Ezequiel Mezquite was driving a 2015 Toyota Camry westbound on the 1900 block of Gulf to Bay and hit the victim, who was walking outside of a crosswalk.
Police believe Mezquite showed signs of impairment. He was charged with DUI and possession of marijuana.
The pedestrian was hospitalized at Morton Plant Hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries. He has since been transferred to Bayfront Health-St. Petersburg.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard helps people recover the financial compensation they deserve after getting injured by drunk drivers. Here is Michael with some thoughts on the legal rights of those injured in DUI crashes in Flordia:
Tens of thousands of people are injured in drunk driving crashes every year, and many are innocent victims who were hit by another drunk driver. No one should have to struggle with paying medical bills or supporting themselves while out of work due to another person's reckless decision to drive drunk.
You can sue a drunk driver for injuring you, but this is not always the only type of lawsuit on the table. In some cases, a dram shop lawsuit can be filed against an alcohol vendor or social host who provided alcohol to the drunk driver before the crash.
Florida is one of many states with dram shop laws. In order to file a dram shop lawsuit in Florida, you must establish that the vendor or host served alcohol to someone who was under age 21 or to someone known to be "habitually addicted to alcohol.
If you or a family member has been injured by a drunk driver, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with one of our experienced DUI injury lawyers.