All You Need to Know When You Get Hit by a Drunk Driver in New York
It is possible for anyone to be involved in a car accident. Being involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, on the other hand, is a little different from other types of crashes. In New York, 30% of all deaths related to car accidents are caused by drunk driving. Naturally, if you are hit by a drunk driver, you will be concerned about receiving compensation for your injuries and other economic losses. If you are ever involved in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, there are some steps you should take to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. One of your first priorities after the accident should be to contact a drunk driving accident attorney.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Drunk Driver Who Hit Me?
While it is possible to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused a car accident, certain conditions must be met before the lawsuit can be filed. The state of New York is a “no-fault” state. This means that every driver must file a claim for compensation with their own insurance company. No-fault laws allow drivers to seek compensation for their losses without having to prove that the other party was at fault or negligent.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, also known as no-fault insurance, is required for all New York drivers. The minimum amount of coverage that can be purchased in the state of New York is $50,000. The amount you purchase will be the most you can recover. You can recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses through a PIP claim. However, if you have suffered a “serious injury,” you can opt out of the no-fault system. According to state law, these injuries are classified as “serious”:
- Broken bones
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent restriction in the use of a body organ or member
- Significant restriction in the use of a body function or system
If any of your injuries are considered serious, you have the right to sue the at-fault driver. In order to file a lawsuit, you must demonstrate that the driver was negligent and that their actions (or lack thereof) caused the accident.
6 Things to Do After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?
Seek medical attention:
The first and most important thing to do right after a car accident is to seek medical attention. If you or any of the passengers is hurt, call 911. Even if you feel well it is important to get checked.
Call the police:
It is critical to file a police report following a car collision. This document can be used to back up your claim. Furthermore, if you suspect the other motorist is drunk, you must notify the police.
Get the other driver’s contact information:
After an automobile collision, you must share contact information (name, phone number, car model, license plate, etc.) with the other driver or drivers involved. However, if the other motorist is inebriated, you never know how they may react. If you suspect the other driver is intoxicated, you can ask a police officer to assist you in obtaining their contact information. You can also take photos of their car and license plate in case you may need that in the future.
Identify signs of intoxication:
When a motorist is intoxicated, they may exhibit certain obvious indicators of intoxication. If you notice that they smell like alcohol, have slurred speech, or have bottles of alcohol in their car, call the police right away. A breathalyzer test may be administered to the driver by a police officer. The amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood will be determined by a breathalyzer. Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is unlawful in the United States.
Report the accident to your insurance company:
Even though you have 30 days to notify your insurance company, you should do so as soon as possible. It is preferable if you tell your insurance provider about the collision rather than them finding out because someone files a claim against you.
Call a drunk driving accident attorney:
An experienced drunk driving accident attorney can help you get the evidence necessary to build a solid case, by determining the worth of your case, negotiating with the insurance company, and representing you in court if necessary.
Is a Drunk Driver Always Liable in a Car Crash?
A drunk driver is not always at fault in an automobile collision. For example, if a drunk driver is stopped and someone rear-ends them, the drunk driver is not at fault. They may, however, face criminal charges and fines for driving while inebriated. If you want to sue a drunk driver, you must show that they were careless and that their conduct caused the accident. Driving while intoxicated is, of course, illegal. If there is evidence that they were driving while intoxicated, such as a BAC test, they may be held responsible for the accident.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop laws make a business accountable if it serves or sells alcohol to minors or drunk individuals who later cause a car accident. There is also comparative negligence in New York. This means that liability for the accident can be shared by the driver and the business that supplied the driver with the alcohol. Similarly, if a minor causes a car accident while driving under the influence of alcohol, the adult who provided the minor liquor may be held liable as well.
Recoverable Damages in a DWI Accident Claim
If you did not suffer a serious injury as result of the accident, you have to file a claim with your own insurance provider. Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will pay for:
A portion of your lost income (80% of your lost wages, up to $2000 per month)
A maximum of $25 per day for up to 1 year for reasonable expenses (transportation, household help, etc.)
Nevertheless, if you suffered a serious injury and you decide to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver you can pursue reimbursement for the following damages:
All for your lost wages
Other out-of-pocket expenses
Additionally, in a personal injury lawsuit you can also seek compensation for noneconomic damages such as:
Pain and suffering
Lost of enjoyment of life
Lost of companionship (if your loved one died in the accident)
Finally, you may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are rarely given, however they might be used to penalize a driver who acted excessively dangerously. Drunk driving is a behavior for which the authorities have limited tolerance.
Drunk Driving Accidents Settlements
Car accidents can range from trivial to catastrophic. Accidents involving intoxicated driving, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive than other types of car accidents. Drunk driving accidents typically result in settlements ranging from $80,000 to $125,000. Naturally, each vehicle accident is unique. Some circumstances, such as the severity of your injuries, can have a significant impact on the value of your case. A drunk driving accident attorney can help you evaluate how much money you should receive to be adequately compensated.
NYC Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
Being in a car accident can be a frightening and stressful experience. It can be quite irritating to be wounded and unable to work as a result of a drunk driver. At Greenberg and Stein P.C., we understand how you feel and believe it is unfair that you must deal with the financial consequences of an accident. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you in pursuing the recompense you deserve. Our legal team has extensive experience addressing drunk driving accident claims, and we have assisted countless clients in receiving appropriate compensation. Call us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.