When you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, responsibility for the accident seems obvious: getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol is both illegal and negligent, and the driver should pay for any harm he or she causes. In fact, proving liability in a DUI accident is usually clear-cut. Unfortunately, winning a verdict and recovering compensation are two very different matters.
Uninsured Motorists in New York State and NYC
Most New York drivers don’t have the hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of dollars that may be required to fairly compensate the victim of a serious car accident or the family of someone killed in an automobile crash. That’s where automobile insurance comes in.
Unfortunately, not every driver is responsible about keeping insurance premiums up to date. Nationwide, 12.6% of motorists are uninsured. New York actually has one of the lowest rates of uninsured motorists, at 6.1%. However, given the number of drivers in New York state and NYC, the risk is still significant. There are more than 12 million licensed drivers in the state, meaning that about 734,000 are operating without insurance. NYC, with nearly 3.8 million drivers, is home to about 231,000 uninsured motorists.
In addition, the risk that a drunk driver does not have insurance is even higher. After all, someone who is willing to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol doesn’t feel bound to follow the law, nor to exercise care for others on the road. And, automobile insurance is significantly more expensive for those who have previously been convicted of DUI.
When the Driver Responsible for a DUI Accident Has No Insurance
When any driver responsible for a personal injury accident is uninsured, he or she is personally responsible for the damages. However, in most cases the driver won’t have sufficient resources to make payment. Most people can’t afford to compensate an injured party who may require lifelong medical care and face long-term limitations on income. Many drunk drivers are even less able to make compensation than the average person, since they may be facing jail time, loss of employment and other disruptions.
Fortunately, there are often other options available to victims of drunk driving accidents. Some possibilities include:
- Finding assets of the drunk driver that may allow for partial recovery
- Taking advantage of your own uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance
- Identifying third parties who share responsibility, such as:
- Tavern or restaurant owners who may have overserved the driver
- The owner of the vehicle the drunk driver was operating
- An employer or other party on whose behalf the driver was acting
Talk to a DUI Accident Lawyer about Your Options
If you’ve been in an accident caused by a drunk driver, an experienced NYC DUI accident victim attorney can be your best resource. An attorney experienced in handling DUI accident claims will know how best to investigate possible responsible parties, establish liability, identify assets available to satisfy a judgment, and otherwise assert your rights.
Dansker & Aspromonte has recovered millions of dollars for victims of New York DUI accidents. Just fill out the contact form on this page, or call 844-469-5291, to learn more about how we can help you.