New York Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyer
Someone decided to drive while intoxicated, and you’re paying the price. When a drunk driver upends your life by making bad decisions, the law gives you the power to take control and hold them accountable. But to do so, you need to stand up against the driver that caused you harm. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we stand for our clients, so they can focus on getting their lives back to normal.
Drunk drivers that hurt others are dealt with by our criminal justice system. But jail time, license suspensions and community service don’t help the victims. That’s where our services help clients. The New York drunk driving accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC help victims of drunk drivers get the payment they need to cope with their injuries.
Contact our team today to learn more about your legal options.
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Drunk Driving Accidents in NYC
Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles and analyzes data about accidents on America’s roadways. In 2016 (the most recent year for which data is currently available), the statistics for crashes involving alcohol are staggering. The number killed by drunk drivers stood at 10,497 people nationwide (where the intoxicated driver had a blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of .08 or higher).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has some sobering national drunk driving accident figures for 2016:
- Over 50 percent of all accidents were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers
- Over half of all fatal highway crashes involving two or more cars were alcohol-related
- Over 65 percent of all fatal single car accidents involved alcohol
- And more than 36 percent of all adult pedestrian accidents were alcohol-related
In New York State, Suffolk County had the highest number of alcohol-related vehicle accident deaths, followed by Nassau, Queens, and Kings Counties. Drivers in New York State are legally driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. The minimum threshold is 0.04 percent for drivers who hold commercial driver’s licenses, even if they’re not behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. New York’s “Zero Tolerance Law” for drivers 21 and under is 0.02 percent.
DWI can be punished through fines, jail time, and assessment of driving points, which can ultimately lead to a driver’s license revocation. Additionally, those hurt by drunk drivers can file civil claims seeking compensation for damages from these careless, negligent law-breakers.
The NYC drunk driving accident attorneys with Kaplan Lawyers aggressively represent drunk driving accident victims throughout the NYC area, including Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Kings, New York, Bronx, and Richmond Counties. We’re ready to help you at Kaplan Lawyers PC by offering a FREE initial case evaluation.
Damages our clients are allowed to demand from a drunk driver include:
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Loss of current and future income
- Car repair/replacement and other property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Additional damages arising from wrongful death.
These claims are often paid by the drunk driver’s insurance company. However, if the driver acted with deliberate indifference to the safety of others, or it can be proved that he or she acted with willful intent, they may be sued for punitive damages – which can be paid out of their own pocket. But that’s not all.
New York’s “Dram Shop Laws” allow injured victims of drunk drivers to pursue a claim against the drinking establishment or restaurant which provided the liquor to a driver who was “visibly intoxicated” or if the driver was “actually or apparently” under the age of 21. Thus, drunk driving personal injury actions can involve many parties that may have overlapping claims and conflicts of interest.
In order to protect your rights and receive the maximum fair compensation amount, you need the advice, investigative abilities and tenacity of a knowledgeable and seasoned attorney. The Kaplan Lawyers team aggressively pursues all available channels of recovery which can help compensate you and your loved ones for all of your injuries and losses suffered at the hands of a drunk driver.
We understand that winning your claim is only part of your ability to right this wrong. No amount of money will bring back a loved one who suffered a wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence or willful actions. But financial compensation can ease your mind and help you – and your family – focus on recovering from this shocking loss.
Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today to learn more about our New York drunk driving attorneys.
Impaired New York Drivers Should Be Held Responsible for Your Injuries
Clients come to Kaplan Lawyers PC after suffering serious injuries. Each case is different, and every client faces their own set of challenges. Some of the most common injuries we see in personal injury cases stemming from drunk drivers include…
- Internal injuries or organ damage
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured hips, knees, ankles and knees
- Extensive soft tissue damage
- Wrongful death
These injuries alone are costly, but the secondary effects of a bodily harm are also important factors that must be considered when demanding payment from drunk drivers or their insurance companies. Serious, debilitating injuries rob people of their joy, curb their ability to do their jobs and strain their relationships.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we believe that these costs are just as consequential as the bodily harm or medical bills our clients are facing. We look at the entirety of your suffering, so you can be sure that we fight for damages that truly represent the impact injuries have had on your life.
Drunk Driving Accidents in New York
Frequently Asked Questions About Drunk Driving Accidents in New York
You likely have several questions about your situation. There’s nothing more difficult than being in the dark about your own future. The drunk driving accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC will meet with you for free to discuss your case. Each case is unique, and the answers to one person’s legal questions will be very different than someone else’s. For specific answers, don’t hesitate to give us a call or fill out a contact form.
We also want to make sure that you have as much information as possible right now. Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
No. However, the insurance company employs an army of attorneys, claims specialists, and experts to win the case, so in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to you will need to hire an attorney that specializes in this type of law. Our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of maximizing settlements and we are in the best position to guarantee that you get everything that you are entitled to.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations (or time in which a claim must be brought from the date of the accident) is 3 years for a personal injury claim. If a claim is being brought for wrongful death the claim must be brought within 2 years from the date of death. If the claim is being brought against a municipality the time to bring a claim is significantly shorter depending on who the claim is against so you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Is the drunk driver 100% at fault?
New York law follows the pure comparative negligence rule which states that an injured party will receive compensation for their injuries in proportion to their percentage of contributing to the accident. For example, if a jury believes that a claimant was 10% at fault the other driver is responsible to pay 90% of the claimant’s damages. In most cases a drunk driver is held to be strictly liable, meaning that a drunk driver will be held 100% liable.
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
No. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee which states that if you don’t win your case we don’t get paid.
How much is my case worth?
If any attorney tells you that they know how much your case is worth before reviewing all of the documentation then they are lying or incompetent. However, our legal team has decades of experience and will maximize the value of your case.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Every case is different but our legal team utilizes the most advanced technology and aggressive legal strategy to expedite our client’s cases, generally resolving cases years faster than any other firm.
How will my medical bills get paid?
Whether you were the driver or passenger in the car your medical bills will be paid for by the insurance company for the car that you were in. However, you must file a No Fault application with the insurance company within 30 days from the date of the accident, if you fail to do so you have waived your right to file the claim for benefits.
Does No Fault pay for anything else?
Yes. No Fault will also pay for lost wages, prescription costs, transportation to medical providers, and reasonable expenses for household services.
Why does my insurance company have to pay the bills if the drunk driver caused the accident?
The insurance companies were involved in the drafting of the legislation that created this policy. The benefit to injured parties is that they can get the treatment that they need even if it is unclear who caused the accident because liability will not determine who pays.
Why would the insurance companies want that?
The insurance companies agreed to the legislation because the law also limits access for injured parties to the court system. The statute states that an injured person can’t proceed with a lawsuit unless they have sustained a serious injury as defined by the legislation, which significantly restricts an individual’s ability to collect money for pain and suffering.
What is the legal definition of a serious injury?
A serious injury has been defined as death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
How will I know if my injuries will be considered serious?
Many of the injuries sustained in drunk driver automobile accident cases become progressively worse with time so it is difficult to determine shortly after the accident. However the drunk driver accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC recommend that you retain an attorney immediately so that all filings are completed to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
How can I get my car fixed?
Even though the drunk driver will be held strictly liable if you have collision coverage we would recommend that you contact your insurance company and submit a claim under your policy. If you don’t have collision coverage you will have to file a 3rd party claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, a 3rd party claim can take significantly longer to resolve and the insurance company will try to twist your words against you so we recommend that you contact a legal professional before contacting the insurance company directly.
What You DON’T Need to Know Before Filing a Claim
We’ve offered you a lot of information about drunk driving and legal considerations for filing claims against drunk drivers in New York City. You should know that you don’t need to know how intoxicated a driver was when they hit you. You don’t need to know about the legal principle of liability. You don’t need to know the exact cost of a drunk driver’s careless actions. All you need to know is that you’re hurt, and you deserve payment.
Let us do the heavy lifting. Our DUI accident attorneys make it our job to know the details. We will…
- Investigate the causes of your accident
- Determine who was at fault and why their actions contributed to the accident
- Find out how much you should demand in a personal injury claim
- Deal with insurance companies, other attorneys or anyone else involved in your claim
- Handle all the day-to-day aspects of filing a claim
- Consult expert witnesses to prove our case
- Prepare your case to be presented at trial, if necessary
- Use our network of professionals to get you the care you need.
We understand how difficult life is for someone dealing with a serious injury. We use all our resources to help our clients. We know that you just want things to be like they were before a drunk driver caused you harm. Our goal is to help you get there.
If you want to talk to a New York law firm that knows how to make a difference for clients, then we encourage you to call Kaplan Lawyers PC. We offer free consultations so you can meet with our team, tell us your story and get our initial assessment of your case. Put us to work for you. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started.