Hempstead Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
For decades, governments and nonprofits have worked tirelessly to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving. And yet, drunk driving accidents continue to happen. According to official state data, 542 alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes took place in the Hempstead area in one recent year. Twenty people died in those crashes, and another 365 suffered varying degrees of personal injury. Statewide, in one recent year, nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities were alcohol-related.
In other words, despite the best efforts of public institutions, drunk driving remains a serious danger on the roads in and around Hempstead. This massive problem seems to resist even the most concerted efforts to eliminate it.
And it inflicts devastating consequences. Drunk drivers do not just harm the drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists with whom their vehicles collide. The deaths and injuries that they cause take a toll on entire families, workplaces, and communities.
Our Hempstead personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP believe drunk drivers should be held accountable for their harmful actions. One way to do so is to bring them to justice in criminal court. While that is certainly important, we believe it is equally important for victims of drunk drivers to have the opportunity to seek compensation for any injuries directly from the drunk driver, the driver’s insurance company, and any other party legally-responsible for the drunk driver’s reckless conduct.
If a Hempstead-area drunk driving accident has caused pain and suffering in your life, contact us online or at (516) 542-0931 to find out how we can help you recover compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Our Hempstead Drunk Driving Accident Injury Practice
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is a personal injury law firm with offices in New York (including Hempstead), New Jersey, and Connecticut. Since 1972, our firm has committed itself to the mission of representing injured victims of accidents and mishaps caused by someone else’s wrongful actions. Representing drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists harmed by drunk drivers constitutes a core part of our Hempstead law practice.
In case after case, we have recovered substantial settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of our clients. Proud as we are of those results, we take even more satisfaction in the appreciations our clients have shared about the skill and dedication to personal service shown by our talented team of attorneys, paralegals, and investigators. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we believe every client deserves the full measure of our respect and commitment to serving their interests.
“This firm was very understanding and attentive to my needs throughout the process. I highly Recommend them. Thank you!!” -Patrick J.
Hempstead Drunk Driving Accidents Destroy Lives
No one can ignore the massive toll that drunk driving takes on the lives and livelihoods of innocent Americans, and no one who has ever consumed alcohol can doubt the dangerous effects it has on a person’s ability to drive safely. Consuming alcohol impairs thinking and decision making, blurs and distorts vision, slows reaction times, interferes with motor control, and promotes aggressive driving behaviors.
In New York, as in every state in the nation, drunk driving is illegal. Significant penalties, including fines, driving privilege suspensions, and jail time await anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated. Like other states, New York defines the “legal limit” at which a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) deems them intoxicated as set 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter. That limit drops to 0.04 grams for drivers of commercial vehicles, and 0.02 grams drivers under age 21.
But “legal limits” are just measures of what constitutes deemed impairment. New York law also outlaws driving while “ability impaired by alcohol,” a violation that occurs when a person’s BAC is between 0.05 and 0.07 grams, or when other signs of impairment are present. In other words, a person does not have to be over the well-known “legal limit” of a BAC of 0.08 grams to be “driving drunk.” In fact, impairment starts at the very first drink.
Civil Legal Liability for Hempstead Drunk Driving Accidents
We all know that drunk drivers face potential criminal penalties. However, that is not the only way the law can hold a drunk driver accountable. Those injured by a drunk driver can also seek money damages through a personal injury lawsuit from multiple potential parties.
Liability of Drunk Drivers and Those Legally Responsible for Their Actions
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we focus on holding parties legally liable for damages to our clients injured by drunk drivers. (Criminal accountability is the job of the district attorney and is separate from our mission of recovering compensation for clients.)
Who do we typically seek to recover damages from in a Hempstead car accident? Among the “usual suspects” are:
- The drunk driver. Obviously, a drunk driver will face liability for damages resulting from an accident the driver causes. Typically, that driver will carry liability insurance as part of his or her auto insurance policy.
- The drunk driver’s employer. Sometimes, drunk drivers cause a crash while driving a company vehicle on-the-clock. In those circumstances, the driver’s employer may also face legal liability for damages, based on the principle that an employer is responsible for its employees’ actions while they are working, even actions as reckless as drunk driving;
- A restaurant, bar, or club that sells alcohol directly to a patron who is “visibly intoxicated” may face liability for damages that patron causes in a drunk driving accident under New York’s Dram Shop Law.
- Anyone who supplies alcohol to a minor. New York law also imposes civil liability on anyone who causes the intoxication of a minor, who then injures someone else as a drunk driver.
These are not necessarily the only parties who may face liability for injuries caused by a drunk driver, of course. Every case has its own unique facts and circumstances. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s lawyers work to identify all parties whose relationship to a drunk driver makes them legally liable for the drunk driver’s brazenly reckless actions.
Liability of Others
Some lawyers who represent clients injured in drunk driving accidents stop at investigating the drunk driver and parties responsible for the driver’s actions. Not the team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. We also recognize that even though an accident may involve alcohol, that does not always mean the drunk driver was the only party whose actions caused a client’s injuries. Our lawyers look deeper at every case, to identify any other parties with legal liability, such as:
- Drivers of vehicles who, even though they were sober, acted negligently and contributed to the accident;
- Car and car-part manufacturers, if their products failed and contributed to the accident; and
- Local and state governments, if they failed to design, build, and maintain safe roads, and thereby contributed to the accident.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we believe that our job as advocates for victims of drunk drivers does not end until we are satisfied that we have identified every party who may have legal liability to pay damages to our client, and have investigated which of those parties have the ability to pay those damages. Only then can we feel confident that we know the full extent of our client’s legal options for recovering the damages owed.
Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers cause serious harm. Their reckless actions cause senseless death on Nassau County roads. But even when victims of drunk driving accidents escape accidents with their lives, they often face a life transformed by catastrophic injuries. Not only do these injuries cause extensive physical and emotional pain, but they can also cost millions of dollars to treat over a lifetime.
Common injuries in Hempstead drunk driving accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries that can cause a coma, semi-consciousness, or a lifetime of cognitive, motor, and emotional difficulties;
- Spinal cord injuries that can leave a victim temporarily or permanent paralyzed;
- Crushed or traumatically-amputated limbs, which leave victims permanently disabled and reliant on assistive devices or prosthetics;
- Burns that take months and multiple excruciatingly painful surgeries to heal;
- Broken bones and orthopedic injuries that can cost lasting, chronic pain; and
- Severe internal and soft tissue damage that leaves a victim struggling with lifelong health complications.
Of course, these are just examples of the types of injuries a Hempstead drunk driving accident can cause. Virtually any type of injury imaginable can happen in an accident, and Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s lawyers aim to help recover compensation for all of them.
Damages for Hempstead Drunk Driving Accidents
Once Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s lawyers identify the parties who should pay damages to our client, we take the legal action necessary to recover those damages in full.
The categories of damages we will typically pursue include:
- Economic damages (also known as “special damages”), which compensate our client for current and future out-of-pocket costs associated with the drunk driving accident and resulting injuries, such as medical services and medical equipment, replacement services, therapy, lost wages from missing work or business opportunities in the past and future.
- Non-economic damages (also known as “general damages”), which compensate our client for the negative impacts the drunk driving accident and injuries had on our client’s life, such as the pain and suffering our client endured, interference with our client’s personal relationships, and a decline in our client’s quality of life.
- Punitive damages, in cases where the evidence suggests that the party with legal liability engaged in reckless, wanton, or egregious conduct. These damages are relatively rare in motor vehicle accident cases, but lawyers can often justify them in drunk driving matters.
We cannot guarantee that any particular Hempstead drunk driving matter will result in the recovery of money damages, of course. Every case is different. But we can assure you that every client of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, will receive top-notch legal guidance and client service that puts them in the best possible position to recover the compensation that he or she deserves.
Act Quickly to Protect Your Rights After a Hempstead Drunk Driving Accident
Sustaining injuries in a Hempstead drunk driving accident can turn the accident victim’s life upside down. No one plans for the sort of physical, emotional, and financial pain that a drunk driving accident injury can inflict not just on the victim, but on the victim’s family and friends as well.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we understand that life after a drunk driving accident can feel overwhelming. Few people think of calling a lawyer as something they should do right away. But the fact is, reaching out to the skilled team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, might well be the best decision you can make to protect your legal right to receive compensation.
When a client comes to us after a drunk driving accident turns life inside-out, we swing into action right away. Some of our immediate priorities include:
- Taking over communication with insurance companies so that our clients do not need to contend with that burden while they recover;
- Investigating the accident, including by tracking down police reports and other information to prove the drunk driver’s intoxication;
- Interviewing witnesses if necessary to gain a full understanding of the facts and circumstances of the accident; and
- Helping our client coordinate with any law enforcement investigators who need help investigating the accident.
The sooner we get started, the better the job we can do for our Hempstead drunk driving accident clients, and the higher the chances of our clients achieving a maximum financial settlement or jury verdict. Contacting us soon after an accident also protects our clients against the tactics of insurance companies who hope to minimize their financial exposure to the drunk driving accident.
These companies sometimes try to trick Hempstead drunk driving accident victims into accepting lowball settlement offers in exchange for giving up their rights to take legal action in the future. Do not fall for these tactics. If an insurance company other than your own makes contact after a Hempstead drunk driving car accident, refer them to your lawyer.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Your Attorneys for Hempstead Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Drunk drivers inflict massive damage on individuals, families, and communities. We must hold them, and anyone legally responsible for their behavior, accountable. If a Hempstead drunk driving accident has devastated your life, reach out to the team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, online, or call our Hempstead office at (516) 542-0931 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a member of our team.