Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents have become more common. Every year, New Yorkers are injured in DWI accidents that could have been avoided if the driver wasn’t intoxicated. Intoxicated drivers are more prone to drive dangerously and have slower reaction times, making them more likely to cause devastating accidents.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a DWI accident in New York, it’s important you understand your legal rights. Speaking to a skilled personal injury attorney can help you protect your legal rights and understand your options for recovering compensation. Attorney Michael LoGiudice, LLP has extensive experience representing clients who’ve been seriously injured in DWI car accidents.
Pursuing Compensation After Being Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is a crime in New York. When drivers cause accidents due to being intoxicated, they will likely face criminal DWI charges. They may also face charges for reckless driving. If one or more people are killed in the accident, they could face negligent homicide charges. In addition to facing criminal charges, intoxicated drivers may also face a civil lawsuit.
Victims injured in DWI accidents have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the intoxicated driver and any other party whose negligence or recklessness caused their injuries. The civil and criminal processes for holding drunk drivers accountable are different. Victims can pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit regardless of whether the defendant faces criminal charges. However, if the defendant has been convicted of a DWI, the injury victim has a right to use the conviction as evidence of negligence.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured By a Drunk Driver
The steps you take after being in a car accident can help or hurt your claim for compensation. First, you should call the police immediately. Any delay between the accident and the arrival of the police will result in the drunk driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) lowering. The sooner the police officers can test the driver, the higher the driver’s BAC will be and the easier it will be to prove the driver’s intoxication caused the car accident. When the police officer arrives, tell him or her you suspect the other driver was driving while intoxicated.
It’s helpful to watch what the at-fault driver is doing after the accident. If you notice any driving behaviors that indicate drunk driving, write them down and inform the police officer and your attorney of them. For example, suppose the driver tries to throw away alcohol cans or bottles, throws up or smells like alcohol, or was swerving in and out of his or her lane before the accident. All of these behaviors indicate intoxicated driving.
Do I Have a Valid DWI Accident?
Whether you pursue a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim, you and your attorney must prove the intoxicated driver’s liability. Proving liability involves proving the at-fault driver engaged in negligence, reckless, or intentionally dangerous behavior, causing the motor vehicle accident. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a form of negligence, but it doesn’t necessarily prove the intoxicated driver is liable. To have grounds for a DWI lawsuit, the accident victim must be able to demonstrate the impaired driver was directly responsible for the car accident.
For example, if a victim is in an accident with a drunk driver, but the drunk driver didn’t cause the accident, the injured driver may not have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Suppose a driver becomes injured in a multiple-vehicle pile-up. However, a third distracted driver collided with the drunk driver and then the victim. In this case, the distracted driver would be at fault. When you work with Michael LoGiudice, LLP, he will thoroughly investigate your case, determine which party or parties are liable, and develop an effective strategy for pursuing compensation.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim
Drunk driving accidents often involve serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and neck injuries. As a result, most victims incur significant damages from their injuries. Insurance companies frequently offer victims a low settlement offer to avoid litigation. The insurance company may claim the victim is at fault for the accident, not the insured party. They may claim the victim’s injuries were unrelated to the accident to deny coverage.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident that caused your injuries, there may be multiple insurance companies involved. Navigating the insurance claims process can be difficult, especially after being seriously injured. When you work with Michael LoGiudice, LLP, he will handle every aspect of your case, including all communication and negotiation with the insurance company.
What Happens if The Intoxicated Driver Isn’t Sufficiently Insured?
Many drunk drivers do not have enough auto insurance coverage to compensate the victim of the accident fully. New York requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage, but many drivers only carry the minimum insurance coverage. These drivers frequently have little or no assets to satisfy a judgment. If the drunk driver who caused your injuries is uninsured or underinsured, you may still be able to recover sufficient compensation.
Michael LoGiudice, LLP will investigate the causes of your accident. There may be additional at-fault parties from whom you can pursue compensation. For example, if a bar or restaurant over-served alcohol to the driver who caused your accident, you may have a valid claim for compensation from the bar or restaurant. If the intoxicated driver was working for an employer when the accident occurred, you may be able to pursue compensation from the driver’s employer.
Discuss Your case with a skilled DWI Accident Attorney
Navigating the claims process can be difficult after a car accident, especially if you’ve been seriously injured. Michael LoGiudice, LLP knows how to hold intoxicated drivers responsible and recover the most compensation possible for his clients. He has extensive experience negotiating with insurance adjusters and pursuing the full and fair compensation clients need and deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact Michael LoGiudice, LLP to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your legal rights.