55-year-old Ruben Cortez, of Fort Myers, is facing multiple charges following a multiple-vehicle crash that left six others injured on Thursday, January 23. Cortez has been charged with DUI, DUI property damage, driving while license suspended, and careless driving.
The Florida Highway Patrol says that at around 7 p.m., Cortez was driving eastbound on Palm Beach Boulevard and rear-ended an SUV that pulled out from a shopping center parking lot, also heading eastbound.
Cortez's pickup truck pushed the SUV into two other vehicles that were stopped for traffic on the boulevard. Two people in the SUV were seriously injured. Four people from one of the other vehicles were also injured, including three with serious injuries. All six of these people were hospitalized at Lee Memorial Hospital.
Cortez suffered a minor injury and was arrested at the scene of the crash.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard helps recover financial compensation for people who have been injured by drunk drivers. Michael has offered to share some information on the legal rights of those injured by drunk drivers in Florida:
When a drunk driver causes a crash and other people are injured, those people are often left to struggle with a variety of financial and personal difficulties. These crash victims should be aware that there are financial compensation options available for covering these difficulties.
Drunk driving crash victims can sue drunk drivers directly in personal injury lawsuits. Additionally, there are some situations in which an alcohol vendor can also be held liable for providing alcohol to a drunk driver before a crash. These alcohol vendor lawsuits are known as dram shop claims.
Florida has dram shop laws, but there are more restrictions than in some other states. In Florida, an alcohol vendor can be sued in a dram shop lawsuit if the vendor provided alcohol to someone who was either under 21 years old or a person who the vendor knows to be "habitually addicted" to alcohol.
If you or a loved one has been injured after getting hit by a drunk driver in Florida, you can learn more about your options for financial compensation in a free consultation with one of our experienced drunk driving crash victims lawyers.