New York Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Drunk driving is an illegal, extremely dangerous activity that many drivers face on the road with frightening frequency. If an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel, they put themselves and anyone they share the road with at high risk for a collision. Due to reduced reaction times or a lack of attention to traffic as a result of intoxication, these collisions often result in severe, sometimes fatal, injuries.
When a drunk driver causes you harm in an accident, they can not only be held responsible under criminal law but also under civil law. This means they may owe you financial compensation for the injuries and losses they have caused you to endure. For help potentially pursuing legal action against the responsible person, contact the New York drunk driving accident attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, today at (212) 779-0057.
Do I Need a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?
Drunk driving accidents are complex and typically can lead to two different types of legal proceedings. The criminal proceeding will determine what kind of criminal penalties the person may face for drunk driving, which can include prison time, fines, and the loss of a driver’s license. It often makes sense for you as an injured victim to separately file a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver to recover compensation for the physical injuries and mental distress that you have suffered. If you fail to file a civil claim, you won’t receive any financial compensation to help pay for your medical bills and property damage, even if the drunk driver is convicted in criminal court.
An experienced New York car accident attorney understands how to use the evidence collected in a criminal lawsuit to leverage the best results for you as the injured person. This evidence can include witness statements from individuals who observed the accident, evidence collected from field sobriety tests, and the results of blood or breathalyzer tests. This valuable information should be in the hands of an attorney well-versed in the significance of this type of evidence.
Additionally, a drunk driving accident lawyer will assist you in filing a civil lawsuit and deal with insurance companies on your behalf. Because a lawyer with experience in this area knows how to deal with the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying when a drunk driver is at fault, it is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. With a lawyer’s help, you are likely to receive far more money than you would trying to handle your claim on your own.
Why Choose Hach & Rose, LLP to Handle My Case?
Hach & Rose, LLP is known for providing the highest quality of legal representation and putting our client’s best interests first. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have been recognized for their high-quality work by numerous organizations. Partner Michael A. Rose has spent his entire career obtaining positive results for injury victims, including many drunk driving accident victims. Mr. Rose has been named as a lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Additionally, he has been listed as a New York Super Lawyers attorney from 2013 through 2017, while maintaining a Superb 10 out of 10 rating on Avvo.
Overall, the team at Hach & Rose, LLP is focused on obtaining the compensation you deserve. Significantly, the attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP take cases solely on a contingency basis. This means that there is never a fee to be paid up front for using our legal services. We will only be paid once you have obtained an award, and we will take only a set percentage of the award that is agreed upon when we first start representing you. In the unlikely event that we fail to recover any compensation for you, you will never owe us a dime. This way, you can safely obtain the highest quality legal representation, without any financial risk for yourself.
Fighting for Justice from a Drunk Driver
A drunk driver may be directly or indirectly responsible for causing an accident. Either way, approximately 8,000 drunk driving accidents occur in New York every year, and about 300 people die as a result. Due to their unlawful and careless inebriation, they may be held liable for the extent of harm they cause others. Specifically, drunk drivers may be held responsible for the following traffic incidents:
- Colliding with another vehicle
- Colliding with a pedestrian or bicyclist
- Causing a driver to swerve, lose control, and collide with an off-road object or another vehicle
- Causing a driver to brake unreasonably fast, causing a collision
If a person files a claim against a drunk driver and is successful, they may be able to win compensation for costs related to their injuries and the accident, including treatment and recovery expenses.
Drunk Driving accidents result in numerous types of often serious injuries. Some common injuries sustained during a drunk driving accident include:
- Broken bones
- Concussions and whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
Many injuries resulting from drunk driving crashes, especially when they occur at high speeds, can permanently affect your life and finances even after medical treatment. These accidents can leave victims disabled and consequently, unable to work or reduce their earning potential. The cost of your injuries may not always be apparent until it’s too late. It is vital to pursue damages with the help of an attorney so you know that you’re receiving the maximum compensation you can to cover the cost of your accident.
Recovering in a Drunk Driving Accident Case in New York
First, it is important to understand what exactly you may be entitled to recover in a drunk driving accident case. For cases in which your economic losses are under $50,000, you may file a claim with your insurer to recover financial compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. This is because New York is what is called a “no-fault” state. This means that for damages under the threshold of $50,000, it does not matter who was at fault because your own insurance company should be responsible for compensating you.
However, drunk drivers may be sued for damages that are non-economic if you have been seriously injured. This includes suing for damages such as pain and suffering, which can include physical pain and mental anguish. In this instance, you would need to prove that the drunk driver was at fault. This is where the evidence gathered in a criminal case against the drunk driver can be useful. Additionally, if your economic losses exceed $50,000, you may also pursue a claim to recover compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance company.
A party other than the drunk driver may also be held liable in certain cases. When you obtain an attorney to work on your drunk driving injury case, part of the investigation should be to determine whether someone other than the driver played some part in causing the accident to occur.
Under New York’s dram shop law, it is possible that a store, bar, or restaurant that sold alcohol to a driver could be held liable if the sale of alcohol was made to a driver who was either visibly intoxicated or was under the age of 21.
New York also has a social host liability law, which means that a person who provides alcohol to an underage person may be held liable for an accident the person under 21 causes if an employee is impaired and causes an accident while on the job, it is also possible in some cases to hold the drunk driver’s employer responsible.
In some cases, it may make sense to pursue punitive damages, which are extra damages on top of your compensation that may be sought to punish the particularly dangerous act of driving drunk. It is essential to know that insurance companies cannot be forced to pay punitive damages in New York. If punitive damages are sought and obtained in a case, they must be paid from the personal assets of the drunk driver. Thus, it will be essential to understand whether the driver has any assets available to pay for this type of damages.
Because of the complexity of pursuing a drunk driving accident case when you have been injured, it is always best to discuss the particular issues in your case with an experienced New York drunk driving accident attorney.
While filing a drunk driving claim may seem daunting, it is best to fight for what you deserve to hold the driver accountable and ensure you can recover physically, mentally, and financially.
Drunk Driving in New York: By the Numbers
Drunk driving is a disturbingly common occurrence. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that in the U.S., one person dies as a result of drunk driving roughly every fifty minutes. That’s nearly thirty people a day and over ten thousand a year being lost to the careless drunk drivers.
The CDC also reports that there are over a million arrests for drunk or impaired driving each year, a small fraction of the 111 million self-reported incidents of impaired driving. In New York, 1.4% of adults reported driving after having too much to drink within the past thirty days.
According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, nearly a third of driving fatalities in New York state involved a driver under the influence. Also, over twenty-seven thousand drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in New York in 2017.
These statistics show not only the staggering frequency at which drunk driving occurs. These accidents cause billions in damage each year, and victims deserve compensation for their losses. Holding drunk drivers financially liable for the harm they caused you, as well as criminally liable may help deter future potential drunk drivers from getting on the road.
Drunk drivers should be held responsible for the injuries and destruction they cause. If you or someone you love has been injured because of a drunk driver’s thoughtlessness, we may be able to help file a legal claim against the responsible drunk driver. For more information about your options after a collision, contact a New York drunk driving accident lawyer of Hach & Rose, LLP, at (212) 779-0057 today.