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 that same year (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 drivers 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 driving points assessments, 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.
Drunk Driving Accidents in New York
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.
New York Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, or Staten Island, you should contact the seasoned, deeply-experienced New York City DWI accident attorneys at Kaplan Law as soon as possible. Prompt notification empowers us to investigate the accident scene most effectively, speak with witnesses while the accident is still fresh in their memory, and review your medical prognosis to pursue an accurate claim for damages. This professional investigation is parallel to the criminal investigation done by the NYPD or county law enforcement. If their pursuit of the drunk driver results in a conviction, it certainly could positively impact your civil claims against the defendant(s). There are also deadlines for filing DWI injury claims, so it’s important to act quickly. We are committed to diligently representing your interests and working hard to see that justice is obtained for you and your family. Contact us today to arrange your appointment for a free assessment of your case.
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.