New York City Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can more than double the risk of having a car accident in New York City. Drunk drivers risk not only their own lives, but they also endanger other motorists, pedestrians, bicycle riders, motorcyclists and everyone else who is sharing the road at the time. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, you may need a New York City drunk driving accident lawyer.
Drunk driving accidents often cause serious or even deadly injuries to innocent victims. This is partly because intoxicated drivers may fail to engage in crash-avoidance techniques, such as swerving to miss a head-on crash or slamming on the brakes to reduce the impact of a collision.
An intoxicated driver who causes a serious or deadly accident – and his or her insurer – may be made to pay for the losses that result. There may also be others to blame who can help cover a victim’s damages, such as bars or restaurants that sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated or underage patron. Understanding your rights and holding the right defendants accountable after a DWI accident can be confusing, but an experienced New York injury lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help.
Contact an Experienced New York Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., our experience with the most challenging New York accident cases can give you a distinct advantage if you need to pursue personal injury or wrongful death claims against a drunk driver. To learn more about our ability to help you get the most out of your claim, contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., for a free consultation.
We offer a no-cost initial evaluation of your claim, and our New York City personal injury attorneys will negotiate a prompt, fair and just settlement or fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation in accordance with the law. Call 212-279-2000 today or fill out our online contact form to find out how we can help you.
The experienced New York City car accident lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are ready to put our legal knowledge of these complex cases to work on your behalf. Call 212-279-2000 today or fill out our online contact form for a free claim evaluation and consultation.
Answers To Drunk Driving In NYC
What is the legal limit for drunk driving in New York?
New York drunk driving laws consider motorists to be intoxicated if their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 0.08 percent. However, this is not the only definition of drunk driving. There are zero-tolerance rules in place for drivers younger than 21, and commercial drivers are also not permitted to drive with a BAC exceeding 0.04 percent. The law holds that motorists can be arrested for drunk driving any time they are impaired or their ability to drive safely is affected by alcohol, by drugs or by a combination of alcohol and drugs. This is true even if the driver’s blood alcohol content does not exceed the legal limit.
While a driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent is close to 100 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident than a sober driver, a driver can actually become impaired well before this point.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a recommendation that states drop the permissible BAC level to 0.05 instead of 0.08. The NTSB has made this recommendation based on data showing that a driver with a BAC of 0.05 may be 39 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than a driver who hasn’t consumed any alcohol. This means that drivers who have consumed alcohol can be dangerous and present a risk on the roads even if they are below the legal limit.
How big a problem is drunk driving in New York?
According to the Century Council, there were 315 alcohol-impaired fatalities in New York in 2011. This means that around 26.9 percent of total driving fatalities in the state over the course of the year involved an intoxicated driver. Drunk driving is dangerous behavior, and drivers who choose to operate a motor vehicle while impaired are taking a major risk with their own safety and with the safety of others.
What should I do if I am involved in a drunk driving accident in New York?
You should get medical help for yourself and your passengers right away. You should also report the accident to police. Officers may perform a blood or breath test on the impaired motorist and may arrest the motorist for drunk driving if he or she is found to be above the legal limit or if the driver is impaired by alcohol.
You should also get the contact information of the intoxicated driver, as well as the contact information and names of any witnesses at the accident scene. Taking pictures of the crash scene, your injuries and the damage to the cars is also a good idea.
You should see a doctor immediately after the accident, even if you are not certain that you have been hurt or if you think your injuries are minor. Some injuries, such as whiplash, can take as long as 24-48 hours to show symptoms. Other injuries, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injury, may not have outward symptoms but could be serious or even fatal if not treated promptly. Immediate medical help can save your life. It also gives you a record linking your injuries to the accident caused by the drunk driver.
Reporting the accident to the insurance company preserves your right to make a no-fault claim if your injuries are minor, or to make an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim if you have serious injuries and the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover them. Consulting with a car accident lawyer is a good idea to find out whether you may have the right to make a claim for compensation against the drunk driver.
Can I take legal action against a drunk driver for causing my accident in New York?
New York has no-fault rules, which means that you can take legal action to obtain compensation after a car accident only if the injuries you sustained were serious, costly or permanent. You will have to prove that the other driver did something wrong and was to blame for causing the accident in order to take legal action and recover monetary damages.
When a driver involved in your accident was drunk, this can make it easier to show that the motorist was negligent. Drunk drivers may be considered negligent per se, which means that the very fact they were drunk is enough to show that they were negligent and unreasonably careless in the eyes of the law. This means that you will have to show that the drunk driver’s actions were the cause of losses that you deserve compensation for. This may include economic losses (actual financial losses), as well as compensatory damage (losses caused by physical pain or a decline in quality of life).
Can I recover compensation if my close relative was killed in a drunk driving crash?
If a person was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, surviving family members or representatives of the injured person may pursue a car accident claim. If surviving family members take action after a fatal drunk driving accident, this is called a wrongful death claim.
What if I was the passenger in the car with an intoxicated driver?
If you were a passenger in the car with a drunk driver, you may still be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation against the intoxicated motorist. You should not hesitate to take legal action just because the intoxicated motorist was your friend. In most cases, it is the insurance company that will pay the losses, not your friend personally.
Do the people who served or sold alcohol to the drunk driver have any responsibility if the driver causes a crash?
New York has both dram shop and social host laws that may impose legal liability on bars, restaurants, stores and even private homeowners who serve or sell alcohol to someone who is underage, who is obviously intoxicated or who is a habitual drunkard. Being able to take legal action against a bar, restaurant, store or other entity or individual who served alcohol to a drunk driver may make it easier for you to recover full compensation, since the bar or other entity may have more money or insurance coverage to pay for losses than the drunk driver did.
Do criminal proceedings against the drunk driver need to be finished before I can pursue a claim for compensation?
You do not have to wait for a criminal case to be resolved before pursuing a civil claim against a drunk driver. Evidence from the police that the motorist was intoxicated may be used to pursue your case even before a criminal conviction, and your claim can be filed right after the accident, provided you know the extent of your injuries.
What types of compensation could I be entitled to after a drunk driving accident?
You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and costs, including medical expenses you will incur in the future because of your injuries, as well as transportation costs to attend medical appointments. You may also receive payment for lost wages, future lost earning potential or a decline in income caused by the injury.
Since drunk driving accident injuries often cause significant pain and permanent impairment, you may be compensated for pain and suffering, a reduction in the quality of your life and emotional distress. In many cases, punitive damages are available as well, since the intoxicated person acted in reckless disregard for your safety.
Those who lost a close relative in a drunk driving crash may be entitled to wrongful death damages, including compensation for a lifetime of lost financial support and for lost companionship.
Should I hire a lawyer if I am the victim of a drunk driving crash in New York City?
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in New York City, it is important that you understand your legal rights so you can receive full and fair compensation for all losses caused by the intoxicated motorist.