According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average drunk driver gets behind the wheel and drives while intoxicated 80 times before his or her first arrest. Each time that the driver chose to get behind the wheel, lives were at risk, and without intervention, there is a good chance that these drivers will eventually be involved in motor vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a drunk driver in New York, it is crucial that you have an experienced drunk driving accident attorney in your corner.
In the U.S., about 40% of car-related injuries result from alcohol consumption. The most common type of drunk driving accidents involves an intoxicated driver that falls asleep at the wheel. Sadly, these accidents are often fatal for both the intoxicated person and the innocent drivers of other vehicles.
Drunk drivers may be involved in a variety of different types of accidents, although some tend to occur more often than others:
While many drunk driving accidents involve other vehicles, this isn’t always the case. It isn’t uncommon for drunk drivers to get into crashes that don’t involve other cars, and they may strike guardrails, trees, or other stationary objects. In some cases, a drunk driver may not see a pedestrian and can hit and severely injure a person that is not even in a vehicle.
If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, the moments immediately after the incident will be important for your case, especially when it comes to establishing DUI. Keep the following tips in mind:
If you suspect that the at-fault driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important to tell any responding officers, especially if you smell alcohol on the other driver’s breath. Remember that in the time it takes for police to arrive at the scene, the driver may have used breath spray to try and conceal the odor, so your statement may lead the police to administer a field sobriety test.
Watch to see if the other driver attempts to dispose of or conceal bottles of alcohol, beer cans, or paraphernalia. If you saw this occur, make sure that you point it out to responding officers.
Make sure you know exactly which person was driving. Some drunk drivers will try to switch places with passengers that haven’t been drinking in order to avoid a DUI.
While another driver may still be found at-fault even if he is not found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a DUI will provide you with a stronger civil case when you attempt to secure compensation for damages.
If you were involved in a car accident with another driver who was cited or arrested for a drug or alcohol-related offense, your civil case will be in good shape. However, you will need to secure proof of the drunk driving. Police reports will contain a section called “Contributing Factors” and the investigating officer should note any outside factors that they believed contributed to the crash. Make sure you secure a copy of the report to take into your drunk driving accident attorney.
A car accident that results from drunk driving is different than any other type of accident because driving under the influence is against the law. If you are injured in a drunk driving car accident, you have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
However, you need to keep in mind that your claim for compensation will take the form of a civil case rather than one in criminal court. Even if a local prosecutor has filed criminal charges against the driver, unless you also file a lawsuit, you won’t receive compensation via the courts.
While a criminal drunk driving case is about punishing the drunk driver with sanctions like jail time, driver’s license revocation, or fines, the civil case is about compensating you and your family. You are entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, including:
In some cases, you may be eligible to pursue punitive damages, which are additional compensation that can be awarded to punish the wrongdoer. At Dansker & Aspromonte, we’ll evaluate your case to find out just how much you should receive, and we will fight tirelessly to get you the amount that you deserve.
Driving while intoxicated is a reckless and dangerous action. When a drunk driver injures – or even kills – another person, the criminal court system won’t do anything to compensate victims for their losses. You’ll need an experienced attorney in your corner to fight for your rights.
In addition to pursuing an at-fault driver for compensation, there may be other parties that hold some responsibility in a DUI case. If a bar or restaurant continued to serve the drunk driver alcohol before the crash, you may be able to pursue compensation under New York State’s tavern liability statutes. This way, anyone responsible for your suffering, pain, and injuries will be held accountable for their actions.
If you or someone that you love is injured by a drunk driver, you might feel let down by the criminal justice system. In many cases, drunk drivers responsible for devastating accidents have multiple prior DUI convictions. Fortunately, even if the criminal justice system lets you down, you can still get justice with the civil court system – that is where we come in.
At Dansker & Aspromonte, we are proud to be one of the top personal injury law firms in New York City. We represent DUI accident victims located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan, and we also serve clients on Long Island and Staten Island. With over 35 years of experience, our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims throughout New York.
After a DUI accident, your attention should be focused on recovering physically and mentally. That’s why we do all the legwork on your case, and you don’t have to pay any fees up front. Payment is only required after your case has been settled or won, and we will fight to get you the maximum possible award. Call us today at (844) 469-5291 to get started.