New York Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Those who drink and drive aren’t only breaking the law, but they’re also putting other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians at risk for injury or fatality if they cause a drunk driving accident. Severe injuries can devastate victims and their families, adding layers of emotional stress and financial burden on top of the physical pain of injury and healing. Unfortunately, New York has a high fatality rate for drunk driving accidents.
In fact, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles estimates 20 percent of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol. Drunk driving is so rampant in New York, especially during certain times of the year, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has partnered with rideshare and taxi companies to offer deep discounts for those who choose to hitch a ride instead of getting behind the wheel.
If you were in an accident with a drunk driver, New York law permits you to sue the driver for compensation related to damages from any injuries you suffer. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we understand the gravity of dealing with a severe drunk driving accident and the challenges your injury poses to you and your family. We want to help you hold the driver accountable who caused you harm. Contact one of our New York drunk driving accident lawyers to discuss the details of your accident and injuries during a free case evaluation.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Results in Traffic Accident Cases
The skilled legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has more than four decades of experience negotiating, settling, and litigating for accident injury victims, including those who have sustained injuries in drunk driving accidents. The firm’s commitment to professional excellence and passion for client advocacy has led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in damages for their injured clients.
Some recent examples of case results in traffic accident cases include:
- $5,000,000 for a client who sustained injuries in a multi-vehicle collision
- $1,272,000 for a client involved in a Bronx auto accident
- $740,000 for a client after a crash on the Brooklyn Bridge
- $525,000 when a client suffered injuries after a Brooklyn driver ran a red light and caused an accident
- $400,000 for a client who was injured when another motorist ran a red light
- $247,000 for a client who suffered injuries when another driver was going too fast for conditions and caused a crash
- $100,000 for a client who suffered injuries in a head-on collision
These examples cannot guarantee results for your unique case, but serve to provide an example of what might be possible. Each case has factors that can detract from or add to the value of a claim. The seasoned drunk driving lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can investigate the details of your drunk driving accident to uncover all relevant facts that can help support your case. We are committed to pursuing the best possible outcome for your case.
Injuries From New York Drunk Driving Accidents
Fortunately, many who experience a drunk driving accident don’t suffer severe injuries. The accident might have been a minor crash that didn’t occur at high speeds. When accident injury victims suffer minor injuries, they can likely recover medical expenses and lost wages from New York’s mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In other cases, victims might suffer severe, debilitating, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries. Severe injuries from a New York drunk driving accident require the expertise of a qualified personal injury attorney.
Accident injuries we commonly encounter at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, include:
- Fractures. Broken bones aren’t always serious injuries. Yet, when a drunk driving accident occurs at high speeds, drivers and occupants risk multiple fractures and broken bones that might require one or more corrective surgeries and cause lifelong struggles.
- Head injuries.A person’s head moves upon impact, but the extent of the movement determines injuries. If someone hits their head on the windshield or seat in front of them, they risk a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even force alone can cause a person’s brain to shift inside their skull. Those who suffer a severe TBI face permanent brain damage that can cause lifelong struggles with memory, cognitive skills, body function, and motor functions. TBI victims also might have trouble controlling or dealing with emotions, or suffer personality changes and difficulty with their senses.
- Neck injuries. The same impact that leads to a TBI can also lead to neck injuries. Whiplash, which is soft tissue damage in the neck, remains the most common car accident injury, but victims in a drunk driving accident might also suffer from fractured neck vertebrae or herniated discs in their neck. Minor whiplash heals within a few months on its own, but more serious cases can result in chronic pain and residual headaches or migraines, as well as neck and shoulder pain.
- Back injuries. The human body moves into many unnatural positions during the impact of a drunk driving accident. Exact movements depend on the type of accident, the presence of safety devices, and the speed at which impact happened. This body movement might result in excruciatingly painful back injuries such as fractured, bulged, and slipped vertebrae and discs. Back injury victims typically suffer chronic pain and might need one or more corrective surgeries. Yet, even with surgery, many back injury victims suffer lifelong pain and discomfort related to their injury.
- Spinal cord injuries. Serious back injuries can go beyond simple spinal column issues and result in a spinal cord injury. Mild spinal cord injuries might cause temporary paralysis in some or all of the body, but once the injury heals, victims will regain function. Severe accidents might lead to catastrophic spinal cord injuries, causing permanent full or partial paralysis. The location of paralysis and extent of functional loss depends on the exact location of the injury along the spine. A general rule of thumb is that the closer the injury occurs to the brain, the more the loss of function a spinal cord injury victim suffers. Injuries to the spinal cord near the neck typically result in full-body paralysis, known as tetraplegia. Spinal cord injuries are among the most costly of all accident injuries because victims face years of medical treatment, physical therapy, nursing care, and assistive devices like wheelchairs.
- Amputation. Amputations don’t happen frequently, but they can and do occur as a result of severe drunk driving accidents. High impact collisions put drivers and occupants at risk for having one or more limbs getting crushed or pinned during impact. When limbs get crushed, they don’t receive blood from the rest of the body. Doctors always do their best to save limbs and restore blood flow, but when they cannot, they must amputate to save a person’s life. Those who suffer amputation must not only deal with the physical pain of loss, recovery, and stump pain, but many must also cope with the emotional trauma of losing a limb and learning new ways to navigate their daily routine. Some amputees even suffer pains where their lost limb used to be, known as phantom limb pain.
New York Dram Shop Law
The presence of alcohol in a traffic accident sometimes makes it easier to determine liability in a drunk driving accident. It’s difficult to argue a driver isn’t negligent when he or she is impaired past the legal limit. Yet, New York, like many other states, has dram shop laws that might make a third party partially or wholly liable for an accident. New York’s dram shop laws apply to restaurants, bars, and other establishments, including social hosts who serve alcohol. If another party serves alcohol to a minor under age 21 and he or she causes an accident, the party can be held liable for the accident under New York Law.
In other situations where a business or social host served someone alcohol, New York law states that any person who suffers injury as a result of an intoxicated person has the right to sue “any person, who shall, by unlawful selling to or unlawfully assisting in procuring liquor for such intoxicated person.” Ultimately, the law reveals that those who have contributed to someone’s intoxication might be liable for damages from an accident, including exemplary, or punitive, damages.
Seeking Damages After a New York Drunk Driving Accident
If you choose to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver, or third party who contributed to a driver’s intoxication, you might recover compensatory and exemplary damages under New York law. Exemplary damages are meant to punish the defendant when extreme negligence caused an accident and injury. Yet, exemplary damages aren’t a sure thing; courts reserve them for extreme cases. In most scenarios, you can expect that the compensation you might receive will be for economic and non-economic losses related to the drunk driving accident and your injuries.
Some of the most frequently awarded compensatory damages received in a settlement or verdict in favor of the plaintiff include compensation for:
- Medical treatment including ambulance ride, emergency response teams, emergency department visit, hospitalization, surgery, radiology, follow-up care, and medication
- Future medical treatment when a drunk driver causes a severe injury requiring extensive recovery, or a catastrophic injury resulting in a permanent disability or condition requiring indefinite medical treatment and long-term health care
- Rehabilitation including visits with one or more specialists to help drunk driving accident victims recover lost functions or learn new ways to perform daily tasks
- Assistive devices including wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, prosthetic limbs, and special technology to help victims communicate
- Lost wages as a consequence of missing work due to accident, injury, treatment, and recovery
- Lost earning capacity when a drunk driving accident results in a catastrophic injury preventing an injured victim from returning to their job or seeking gainful employment in the future
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Scarring and disfigurement
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driving accident, you might also be able to recover some of the above damages. New York law permits eligible family members to take legal action against a drunk driver, depending on their relationship with the deceased. Other losses surviving family members might receive include funeral expenses, burial or cremation costs, and non-economic losses specific to the death of a loved one such as loss of companionship, or loss of parental guidance and support.
Contact a Skilled New York Drunk Driving Lawyer Today
The award-winning legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, understand the challenges you might face in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. We are here to assist you through this difficult time and handle the details of your claim. After investigating the circumstances of the accident, we can gather relevant reports and records, talk to potential witnesses, and build the strongest case possible against the driver who caused your injuries. This gives you the time and energy to remain focused on your recovery.
Our New York drunk driving attorneys are skilled negotiators who want to come to a fair settlement agreement, so you get the compensation you deserve. Settlement isn’t always an option, so we are ready to fight for you in the courtroom if need be. If you choose us to represent you in your drunk driving accident case, we handle personal injury cases on contingency, deducting attorney fees only from any compensation we secure for you from a settlement or verdict in your favor.
If you or one you love suffered serious injuries or died as a result of a drunk driver, you shouldn’t have the shoulder the financial burden that comes with these losses.