According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accidents caused more than 11,000 deaths in 2020. Alcohol can reduce a person’s muscle coordination, critical thinking, and reasoning ability. These abilities are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and that is why driving when under the influence of alcohol is so dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death.
If you are the victim of a drunk driving car accident, you are entitled to compensation for your suffering. At Jesse Minc Personal Injury Law, we can help you fight for justice and get maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. A Bronx drunk driving accident attorney can guide you through each step of the way, and if needed, they can represent you in court.
Drunk Driving Accidents Can Lead to Serious Injuries
The cost of a drunk driving accident goes far beyond economics, as the victim and their family can suffer from chronic pain, long-term illness or disability, anxiety, PTSD, and wrongful death. Some of the common injuries associated with drunk driving accidents include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, organ failure, and more.
If an accident happens between a driver and a pedestrian, there can be even more serious injuries. A traumatic brain injury can lead to seizures, stroke, or death. The victim’s injuries in a drunk driving accident can be worse than a regular auto accident as a drunk driver might not have been able to react in time, resulting in a high-impact collision. It is also common for drunk drivers to violate traffic signals leading to high-impact collisions.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Aggressive or Reckless Driving
- Ignoring Red Lights
- Inclement Weather
BAC Legal Standards for Driving Drunk in the Bronx
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime and the drunk driver must be held accountable for their wrongdoing. In New York state, there are different categories of alcohol-related violations. If the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of the drunk driver is 0.08% or higher, it is considered a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense.
For drivers of commercial vehicles, this threshold is 0.04% BAC. If the BAC of the drunk driver is above 0.18%, it becomes a more severe violation and is known as Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI). The BAC test is performed by a police officer at the accident site.
A BAC of more than 0.05%, but less than 0.07% would be considered Driving with Ability Impaired (DWAI). New York law allows individual bartenders to be held liable for drunk driving accidents. This includes private and commercial bartenders that served the drunk driver.
Fault in New York Car Accidents
New York has a no-fault policy for car accidents, which means that the victims get compensated by their insurance provider regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, to get compensation from your insurance company, you must reach the threshold for no-fault. That is determined by the severity of your injuries and damages. An attorney can guide you on whether your case meets the minimum threshold for no-fault. If this threshold is not reached, you can still claim damages from the driver responsible for your suffering.
Penalties For Drunk Driving in New York
An attorney can help you fully understand the potential penalties of a DWI/DWAI in New York. In most cases, the severity of the penalties will be based on the number of similar offenses committed by the individual in the past. In New York, first-time DWI offenders are typically charged with a fine of up to $1,000 and a license suspension of a minimum of six months. They can also face jail time for up to one year or up to 3 years of probation.
First-time DWAI offenders have less severe penalties with license suspension for 90 days, and jail time up to 15 days. Each subsequent DWI/DWAI offense will increase the penalties. A third DWI/DWAI violation can lead to up to 7 years of jail time, up to $10,000 in penalty fees, and license suspension for a minimum of 1 year.
Zero Tolerance Policy for Drunk Drivers in Bronx, NY
It is important to note that New York has a zero-tolerance policy for any drunk driver who is under 21 and gets caught driving under the influence. This means that small traces of alcohol in the blood, as low as 0.02% BAC, can lead to automatic license suspension and penalty fees for the drunk driver. According to New York laws, a convicted DWI offender must have his vehicle fitted with an ignition interlock device, even if the vehicle is registered out of state.
How a Bronx Car Accident Attorney Can Help
As a victim of a drunk driving accident, you can seek legal assistance and representation to get compensation for your economic and non-economic suffering. This includes your costs for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair bills, emotional pain and suffering, and other types of compensation.
You can choose to represent yourself in a case against an impaired driver who caused you injuries and damages; however, if you have an attorney by your side, you increase your chances of getting full and fair compensation in your injury claim. You also benefit from a reduced burden, as an attorney can handle several aspects of the drunk driving accident claim settlement or litigation.
While the attorney builds your case and handles the communication with the drunk driver’s insurance company and lawyers, you can concentrate on recovering from the accident, or if it was your loved one who was in the accident, you could assist them as they recover from the accident.
An experienced attorney will ensure you get all types of compensation for your personal injury, vehicle damages, lost income, punitive damages, emotional trauma, rehabilitation care, and more. If the insurance company does not agree to a settlement, your attorney can prepare for a trial to prove that the other party was responsible for your damages and must be held accountable.
You will also get guidance on steps to take after the drunk driving accident, including getting a police report, seeking medical care, taking pictures or videos from the scene, and getting witnesses to reinforce your case. The attorney can also guide you on whether you can hold additional parties responsible for your personal injury and damages. This includes the vehicle’s owner, passengers, the driver’s employer, vehicle manufacturer, and the location where the driver was served alcohol.
Car accident attorneys are also experienced in settlement tactics used by the insurance company to reduce their payouts in the drunk driving accident claims. A lawyer can also help you appear more professional to the jury if your case goes to trial.
What Should I Do if I’m in a Bronx Car Accident?
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries
- Seek medical attention for any injuries suffered
- Contact the local police immediately
- Document the accident
- Notify your insurance company
- Seek legal assistance
Call Us for a Free Consultation
The lack of experience and legal knowledge of accident victims can weaken their cases. You need an attorney with the legal knowledge, skills, and experience to get you the best possible outcome for your case and reduce your burden of dealing with the insurance company.
At Jesse Minc Personal Injury law firm, we will fight to get you justice and get you compensated for your personal injury, damages, and other types of suffering. There are no upfront charges; you will only have to pay if we settle your case. Please call us to schedule a free consultation.