Brooklyn Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Did a drunk driver injure you or kill a loved one in Brooklyn? If so, the Brooklyn Drunk Driving Accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help you recover compensation for your losses. All too often, accident victims are left frightened and insecure after a crash. You deserve the help, guidance, and knowledge that you need to empower yourself to fight for your rights. Contact us to see how we might help you.

Meanwhile, we’ve elected to take this opportunity to educate curious individuals on the legal concepts surrounding drunk driving accidents.

Drunk Driving Accident Injuries

If you were in an accident with a drunk driver, you could have sustained one of any number of injuries. Drunk driving does not guarantee graver injury or greater damage in the event of a crash. It can, however, contribute to worse accidents in some cases.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30 U.S. citizens die as a result of drunk driving every single day. In fact, more than 10,500 individuals were killed by crashes caused by drunk drivers in one recent year alone. There’s little question that this negligent and dangerous practice filters down to Brooklyn, where it poses an immense risk to everybody on roadways. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it’ll disappear anytime soon.

Type Of Accident2009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Total Brooklyn Alcohol-related Accidents340366333392378361296386517682
Brooklyn Fatal Alcohol-related Accidents1521202021189131413
Brooklyn Personal Injury Alcohol-related Accidents264284258294302290214313383366

When motorists drive drunk, they unlock the potential to cause unfathomable physical and financial damage in a victim’s life. The DUI Foundation has shared data indicating that alcohol-induced traffic incidents cost the American public as much s $114.3 billion per year.

Because driving under the influence is often associated with other reckless and endangering behavior, such as speeding, it can technically influence how an accident occurs. High-speed collisions, for example, are known to cause more damage on average than other crashes. Keep these factors in mind as you read on. Some of the most common injuries in drunk driving accidents include:

  • Broken bones | Broken bones can range significantly in severity. Minor injuries, while still incredibly painful, such as small shatters or hairline fractures lie on one end of the spectrum. Compound injuries, or fractures that fully break the bone and the skin, lie on the other.
  • Skin injuries | Skin injuries encompass a wide range of physical damages. Everything from scrapes and bruises to deep lacerations qualifies as a skin injury. In some cases, victims may even receive burns. Some skin injuries may lead to future disfigurement or scarring—this is important to note because these outcomes occasionally command additional compensation in court.
  • Traumatic brain injuries | Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can lead to severe issues with motor functions and cognitive abilities. Even “mild” TBIs, such as concussions, can leave serious, lasting impacts.
  • Back and spine injuries | The back and spine can take a lot of damage during a drunk driving accident. If your spine is injured, you could be paralyzed. Back injuries often become more complex over time and end up requiring complicated, painful, and expensive surgical procedures to correct.

Whom Can You Hold Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents?

While the easiest course of action in a drunk driving accident case seems to be holding the other motorist liable for their actions, you may have a much larger tree to climb. People need to ingest alcohol somewhere; and while plenty of people drink of their own accord, make their own mistakes, and proceed to drive negligently all on their own, some people have help.

Consider the places and circumstances that tend to prompt you to drink alcohol. While an adult is always responsible for his or her own wellbeing, other parties can and do supply alcohol to those adults. Certain parties, for example, maintain a responsibility to stop serving alcohol to an individual who appears already inebriated.

Some of the parties that may be held liable for drunk driving accidents include:

  • The drunk driver | This is obvious. No matter what, a drunk driver is responsible for his or her own behavior. This includes choosing to drive their vehicle after consuming alcohol
  • Hosts | If somebody hosts a party where alcohol is served, they could be at risk of being held liable for a drunk driving accident. The likelihood of this increases if the host knowingly provided (or allowed somebody else to provide) alcohol to a clearly inebriated guest
  • Bar and restaurant staff and owners | Restaurants and many upscale hotels serve a seemingly endless supply of alcohol. If an individual consumes too much alcohol to safely and legally drive at one of these establishments, management and staff could be held liable. They have a legal responsibility to stop supplying alcohol to patrons that are already visibly intoxicated

Why Does Negligence Matter so Much?

If you’re a victim of a drunk driving accident, you’re probably wondering why all of the emphasis of the legal process seems to rest on determining and proving negligence. Whatever small sense of relief you feel when somebody is deemed responsible for your accident, it’ll never begin to compare to the loss and damage you sustained in the process.

Determining and assigning negligence does little in and of itself to help victims on their paths to recovery. It does, however, move a giant roadblock out of the way to recovering the compensation needed to fund the services that you are using to work toward that recovery.

We understand that no amount of financial compensation will ever make up for the emotional, physical, and monetary loss that you experienced as a result of a drunk driving accident. It’s just one of the countless reasons we prioritize maintaining a team full of empathetic individuals. Our place in your case is to help you move beyond the stepping stone of a claim—it’s often the first leap towards real recovery.

Drunk Driving Accident Victims Deserve Compassionate Support

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you deserve justice. Nobody should have to suffer emotional or physical pain, monetary loss, or other physical damage as the result of another’s blatant negligence. We believe that every drunk driving accident victim deserves their own chance at fair compensation.

That’s why we take every step in our power to ensure our clients’ success. Nobody can guarantee the outcome of any case—but Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can guarantee our utmost dedication to your claim. We retain a team of experts from numerous industries like the automotive and medical sectors who can give feedback and input throughout cases. Our skilled lawyers are always prepared to litigate your case in court to assist your pursuit of justice.

Interested in learning more about our legal representation services? Give our offices a call and take advantage of our free initial evaluation for potential clients. We believe in the right to compensation. As partners, we seek to assist you throughout every step of the legal process.

Drunk Driving and Punitive Damages—The Basics

Victims of any car accident have the right to pursue compensation for damages in the legal system. Those who have suffered at the hands of a drunk driver, however, may have a unique opportunity.

Drunk driving accident victims may be eligible to pursue punitive damages. Most damages are intended to help repay the victim for some loss that he or she experiences during or due to an accident. Things like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage are all standard damages that can lead to compensation.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, serve a different purpose. They’re meant to directly punish the plaintiff of a case. Oftentimes, the reason for this is twofold. Punitive damages may decrease the likelihood that a plaintiff performs similar actions again. They can also deter others from acting similarly. Some people say that punitive damages “make an example” of negligent parties in court.

Other Recoverable Damages

All of this talk about punitive damages may have you forgetting that drunk driving accident victims are eligible for the typical compensation associated with car accidents. Victims may pursue compensation for damages including:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills
    • This includes bills for emergency transport, surgeries, and even physical and psychological therapy
  • Loss of wages or earning potential
    • Many injuries have the potential to take a victim out of work for weeks, days, or months at a time. Some injuries even lead to a permanent loss of earning capacity. If somebody works a physical job and loses the loss of limb, for example, they may receive compensation for loss of earning potential
  • Emotional pain and suffering
    • The experience of surviving a car accident can prove deeply traumatic. Many victims and their attorneys elect to pursue compensation for some level of the pain and suffering that they have endured after an accident

DUI Convictions and BAC

While blood alcohol content (BAC) guidelines are clearly published in numerous places, many of us don’t spend much time looking up the intricacies of the laws that we follow. One of the laws that’s central to keeping drivers safe from inebriated motorists places a limit on the acceptable blood alcohol content (or BAC) somebody should demonstrate before driving.

New York is one state that separates driving whilst impaired by alcohol and driving under the influence. A driver’s first New York DUI offense, known as a DWI, is classified as a misdemeanor; however, penalties quickly rise once a second conviction occurs. Individuals with a second DUI conviction within five years of their first are legal felons in New York.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI or DWI)

An individual is driving under the influence of alcohol when their blood alcohol content is equal to or greater than 0.08 percent. Initial convictions come along with a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000, as long as a year in jail, and a minimum six-month revocation of a driver’s license.

If a driver commits DUI again within ten years of the first incident, they must face additional penalties. These involve fines as high as $5,000, up to your years in jail, a minimum one-year driver’s license revocation, and installation of an ignition interlock device.

Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI)

The concept of a DWAI can be most simply explained as a DUI-lite. DWAIs in New York are viewed as lesser crimes than DUIs. This means that they are also associated with lesser penalties. The penalties for DWAI offenses include:

  • Fines ranging from $300 to $500
  • Up to 15 days in jail
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension

Individuals who have accumulated two or three DWAI offenses may face fines ranging as high as $1,500 and jail sentences as long as 180 days.

Criminal penalties will not reimburse you for the injuries a drunk driver caused you, but your drunk driving accident lawyer might use a conviction to help prove your civil case. In other words, even if the person who injured you goes to prison or must pay a fine, you will still need a drunk driving accident lawyer to help secure compensation for your injuries.

Brooklyn Drunk Driving Accident FAQs

Get the Facts About Drunk Driving Accidents

Car accidents are terrifying. Drivers who travel on our roadways under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause accidents resulting in serious injuries to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Impaired drivers are dangerous for everyone on the road. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about drunk driving accidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal definition of drunk driving in Brooklyn?

When a driver is under the age of 21, their actions fall under New York’s zero-tolerance laws. This means if their blood alcohol level (BAC) is between 0.02 and 0.07, they may face a DUI. The law considers drivers over the age of 21 operating with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05 as impaired, and drivers with a BAC over 0.08 as intoxicated. Drivers with a BAC over 0.18 face an aggravated DWI charge.

What steps should I take following a Brooklyn drunk driving accident?

After any accident, make safety your primary concern. First, call 911 and let them know there has been an accident and advise them of any potential injuries. If you are physically capable of doing so, obtain contact information from the other driver including their name, address, insurance information, and telephone number. Ask any witnesses on the scene to provide contact information, as well.

Once law enforcement arrives, they will take care of determining whether the other driver is impaired. However, if you have reason to believe the other person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, make a note of it by sending yourself an email or texting a friend. This may be helpful information to have later.

If you safely take them, photographs can also be very helpful. Take pictures of the scene of the crash including signage, debris in the roadway, and the condition of the involved vehicles. Chances are that the police will also collect evidence such as broken glass and other debris.

Once you have completed the interview with law enforcement, you must seek immediate medical attention. Even if you believe you were not seriously injured, you may have suffered internal damage and should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional. After you have been treated for your injuries, you should seek guidance from a drunk driving accident lawyer to make sure you know your rights under New York law.

When filing a Brooklyn drunk driving accident claim, what damages should I include?

New York operates on a no-fault insurance system. This insurance limits your benefits to economic damages. At a minimum, you should file a claim for your lost wages and medical bills. Collision insurance may cover the repair or replacement of your vehicle.

When you file a claim under a no-fault policy, this does not mean 100 percent of your medical bills will be covered. In fact, many policies only cover 80 percent of the bills submitted, which could mean you will be responsible for thousands of dollars in costs.

Should your costs exceed your PIP coverage, you can then pursue compensation—including for pain and suffering—from the at-fault party.

What impact does no-fault coverage have on my Brooklyn drunk driving accident claim?

Motor vehicle operators are responsible for carrying minimum insurance coverage in the event of an accident. Minimum coverage includes “liability insurance of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident.” New York uses a no-fault rule for auto accidents, meaning you file a claim with your own insurance company in the event you are involved in an accident. As previously mentioned, the insurance company will usually cover 80 percent of your medical costs.

However, with a serious injury, this may not even come close to covering your financial losses. The law, therefore, allows victims with “serious” injuries to file a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

To file a successful Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit, your injuries must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Injury resulting in disability for 90 days or more;
  • Injury resulting in impairment of a limb or organ;
  • Injuries resulting in broken bones;
  • Injuries causing disfigurement via scarring or other defect which is significant; and/or
  • Injuries causing limits on the use of bodily functions.

Victims of drunk driving accidents who are uncertain about what their rights are following a Brooklyn accident should seek legal advice. Because of the complexities of New York’s personal injury laws, it can be challenging to figure out your options without the help of an experienced attorney.

Are Brooklyn drunk drivers solely responsible for accidents they are involved in?

There is little doubt a drunk driver is behaving negligently and if they cause an accident in Brooklyn, they are liable for the damage and injuries that result. However, they may not be the only responsible party.

New York has a dram shop law, which means if the intoxicated driver was served alcohol at a bar, restaurant, or other facility, the server and the company they work for may also bear some responsibility for injuries caused in the accident. Specifically, a dram shop law makes someone liable if they sold or served alcohol to a person who displayed signs that they were already intoxicated. This applies to bars, retailers, and private citizens.

Because of these types of complexities in New York’s laws, seek the advice of an attorney who has previously handled drunk driving accidents. Rather than only filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver, you may want to file a suit against another party who may also be partially liable for your injuries.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a Brooklyn drunk driving accident?

Victims have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit. There are some exceptions to this rule; for example, should the victim die as a result of the accident, their personal representative can file a lawsuit for wrongful death for a period of up to five years. Keep in mind, however, these cases require gathering evidence, obtaining police reports, and speaking with witnesses. Therefore, the sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better.

What should I do if the insurance company offers a settlement in my Brooklyn drunk driving accident claim?

The first thing you should do is exercise caution! Insurers who offer a fast settlement are hoping you will accept what they offer so they do not have any further liability. If the offer comes in writing, contact your attorney and have them review the terms of the offer. In nearly all cases, the insurer will require that you waive future liability. This means that once you accept the offer, the insurance company will not be liable for any future medical care, lost wages, or other costs associated with the injuries you suffered in a drunk driving accident.

Insurance adjusters are specifically trained to minimize the insurance company’s exposure to high-value claims. They understand that the more serious the injury, the more the claim will cost them in the long run. Therefore, they have a vested interest in settling claims quickly.

What impact do criminal charges have on a Brooklyn drunk driving accident case?

Generally, criminal charges will not result in you recovering compensation. Drunk driving injury cases are civil cases. While a conviction for a criminal charge can strengthen the Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit, they are not directly connected. Criminal cases have different requirements when it comes to proof, so even if the driver is not convicted, you may still have a strong Brooklyn drunk driving accident case. Discuss the specifics of your case with your Brooklyn drunk driving accident attorney.

What can I expect to receive as a financial settlement in my Brooklyn drunk driving accident case?

This is a very common question and one of the most difficult to answer. Many variables go into calculating each victim’s claim, and every case is different.

Some of the relevant factors include:

  • The extent of injuries – Every settlement in a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit depends on the severity of the injuries the victim suffered. A broken leg probably is going to get a lower settlement than a brain injury.
  • Recovery time – The longer it takes for your recovery, the longer you will be out of work. Your long-term income may decrease less you have a broken arm versus if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
  • Medical bills – The higher the costs of the necessary medical care to treat your injuries, the higher the settlement you may seek. Multiple surgeries, extensive special tests, and pain medications all have different costs associated with them.
  • Punitive damages – Victims may also have the right to seek punitive damages when they suffer an injury in a drunk driving accident. This is something you should discuss further with your attorney.

These are only some factors that can affect the amount of a potential settlement. Some factors will weigh more heavily when it comes to the final settlement amount. Finding an attorney with a proven track record of successful negotiation on behalf of their clients will help you get the maximum possible settlement.

Can I represent myself in a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit?

You should never represent yourself in a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit. Keep in mind, insurance companies hire a team of high-priced lawyers to represent them whenever a lawsuit is filed against them. These attorneys know their business and they will come to court fully prepared to discredit everything you say. When you go to court without the help of a lawyer, you are taking a huge risk.

Remember, lawyers know the law inside out, and they know when you walk into court you are not as familiar with the law as they are and they will do everything possible to capitalize on that lack of knowledge. When you walk into court with an attorney who has gone up against insurance companies in the past, you can have the peace of mind of knowing you are on an even footing.

How long does it take to settle a Brooklyn drunk driving accident claim?

How quickly a claim settles depends in large part on how willing an insurance company is to negotiate. In some cases, your attorney may reach an agreement with the insurance company before you get to court. In other cases, the case may have to go to court to obtain a reasonable settlement. During your free initial consultation, your lawyer will discuss all options with you and help you decide what options will work best for you and your family. Remember, the idea behind a Brooklyn drunk driving accident claim is to ensure your family’s financial future is not put in jeopardy because someone else behaved negligently.

How do I afford a Brooklyn drunk driving accident attorney if I am out of work?

Paying for an attorney is never a concern when filing a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawsuit.

Drunk driving accidents can mean you are facing weeks or months out of work, straining your savings, and having a devastating impact on your income.

But here is what many people who decide not to hire a Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawyer do not know.

Our Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawyers offer a free initial consultation. During this consultation, we will ask you about the facts of your case. Once we understand the complexities of your particular case, we will explain your options to you and tell you if we can assist you with getting the maximum possible settlement for your injuries.

If you choose to hire our Brooklyn drunk driving accident lawyers, you will not need to pay attorney’s fees unless your attorney successfully obtains a settlement on your behalf. By hiring an attorney on a contingency fee—meaning the lawyer’s payment is contingent upon you getting a settlement – you can feel confident your attorney will be advocating for you. The better your settlement, the better for your attorney.

When a drunk driving accident injures you, contact an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer to advocate on your behalf. You can focus on getting your physical strength and health back and your lawyer can focus on making sure you recover financially for your injuries.

Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Partnering With Drunk Driving Accident Victims in Brooklyn

You are much more than the accident that you were involved in, but it can feel difficult to move past what happened when you’re still suffering from its impacts. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s team of compassionate personal injury attorneys understands your desire to return to life as you know it. We aim to make the legal process as concise and painless for drunk driving accident victims as possible, and serve as trusted advocates every step of the way.

If you’d like to find out more about our seasoned team of capable personal injury attorneys, reach out to us today at (877)-565-2993.

Remember: your life is about things far beyond a drunk driving accident. Allow us to help you regain control and live how you want to, not how your accident forces you to.

Call us today at (877)-565-2993 and make an appointment.

Brooklyn Office

8701 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
1-877-488-1707

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