Long Island Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

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A perspective shot of a driver holding a bottle of alcohol in hand while driving at day.Do you know? Last year, New York’s DUI collisions resulted in 5,561 injuries and 315 fatalities, with Suffolk County leading in accident rates, as reported by the New York Times. Victims often suffer severe injuries, including multiple fractures, brain trauma, and spinal damage, leading to long-term hospitalization or permanent effects like paralysis.

Many tragically lose their lives due to these injuries, highlighting the critical impact of DUI-related incidents.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver—whether as a driver, a passenger in another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a passenger in the car with the drunk driver—it’s important to have a knowledgeable Long Island drunk driving accident attorney on your side to protect your rights. The extent of your compensation for injuries often relies significantly on your attorney’s expertise in proving your entitlement to recovery.

The legal team at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm is here to help ensure your rights are fully protected. Our expert attorneys, with their extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of personal injury litigation, take a proactive approach.

They anticipate possible defense strategies and skillfully prepare and present your case, ensuring you feel supported throughout the legal process.

We offer all clients a complimentary initial consultation. To arrange a meeting, please email us or call us right away!

When to Consult With Our Long Island Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys?

It’s important to get legal advice before speaking with insurance adjusters if you were in an accident with a drunk driver. Insurance companies frequently want to pay out as little as possible, and their adjusters could press for a speedy, cheap settlement.

Speaking with our knowledgeable Long Island drunk driving accident lawyer can guarantee that someone is fighting for your rights and attempting to get you the compensation you are due. Our legal team won’t charge you anything upfront; we only get paid when we win a settlement or court decision that benefits you.

We aim to protect your rights and advance your best interests while working with you to get the most money feasible. We take care of all insurance company negotiations so you can focus on getting better and staying healthy.

In addition to being experienced at reaching just agreements through negotiation, our team is ready to go to court if necessary to guarantee justice. If talks break down, our competent trial lawyers are prepared to defend you in court and work toward a fair outcome.

Get Compensation with Our Long Island Drunk Driving Accident Law Firm

In Long Island, NY, a “no-fault” insurance state, victims of serious accidents typically file claims under their personal injury protection (PIP) or medical insurance. Yet, they can get compensation under certain conditions through a third-party bodily injury liability (BIL) policy.

This is permissible when the incident results in a “serious injury” or death. In this context, New York defines a “serious injury” as any of the following conditions:

  • Bone fractures
  • Significant scarring or disfigurement
  • Significantly limited use of a bodily system or function
  • Permanent limited use of an organ, limb, or appendage
  • Substantial full disability lasting at least 90 days

Additionally, accidents may warrant a personal injury claim if extreme negligence played a part. This includes circumstances such as multi-car accidents with drunk drivers who did not exercise necessary caution or abide by traffic laws.

Eligibility also extends to single-car accidents where the driver departed from the road, lost control, failed to maintain safe distances, or disregarded traffic signs. Incidents where a drunk driver strikes pedestrians might also merit a liability claim.

If you’re unsure whether your situation qualifies for a third-party personal injury claim, consulting with an expert Long Island personal injury attorney specializing in drunk driving accident cases is important. An experienced lawyer can accurately interpret the laws and previous court decisions relevant to your case to determine the viability of your claim.

Understanding Alcohol’s Effects on Driving Ability

Alcohol significantly impacts brain function, affecting the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. This impairment is due to the influence alcohol has on cognitive functions like thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination.

It’s universally illegal to drink and drive because of these risks.

Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) on Driving

Different levels of alcohol consumption affect driving abilities in various ways, as detailed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • At 0.02% BAC, Drivers might feel relaxed and warm, experiencing altered moods and slightly decreased judgment. At this level, the ability to track moving objects quickly and handle multiple tasks diminishes.
  • At 0.05% BAC, As alcohol intake increases, fine motor skills decline, and behaviors can become exaggerated. The driver’s alertness drops and their inhibitions lessen, making it difficult to respond quickly to changes on the road.
  • At the legal limit of 0.08% BAC, Critical impairments in muscle coordination and the ability to detect danger occur. Drivers will likely face challenges with concentration, slow information processing, impaired perception, and delayed reaction times.
  • At 0.10% BAC, reaction times and coordination noticeably decline. Speech may be slurred, and physical clumsiness becomes apparent. Driving becomes extremely risky as maintaining lane control and adjusting speed becomes difficult.
  • At 0.15% BAC, This level is considered highly dangerous. Drivers may experience nausea, vomiting, and severe coordination and balance issues. Reasoning and judgment are significantly impaired, making it nearly impossible to respond appropriately to road conditions. The risk of becoming incapacitated while driving increases.

Long Island, NY DWI Laws

In Long Island, NY, residents are encouraged to understand the state’s DWI (driving while intoxicated) laws due to the severe penalties associated with violations. These penalties become more severe for repeat offenders.

Drivers under the age of 21 need to be aware of the strict consequences of New York’s zero-tolerance policy regarding underage drinking and driving.

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in New York is .08%, consistent with federal standards. However, for drivers younger than 21, the Zero Tolerance law sets a BAC limit of .02%.

Any reading of .02% or higher can lead to significant legal consequences for an underage driver. Additionally, New York enforces stricter penalties through an aggravated DWI charge for any driver with a BAC of .18% or higher.

Another key aspect of New York’s approach to DWI is the “implied consent” law. By holding a driver’s license and operating a vehicle, drivers are deemed to have given their consent to undergo field sobriety and chemical tests if suspected of DWI by law enforcement.

Although drivers may technically refuse a breathalyzer test, such refusal contravenes New York’s implied consent law. It automatically results in a suspension of their driver’s license for six months to one year, along with a potential $500 fine.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in New York

Violating implied consent might seem less severe than a DWI charge, but refusing a test does not shield you from charges; it merely postpones them and complicates interactions with law enforcement. It’s crucial to adhere to police instructions and maintain a cooperative and respectful demeanor.

New York enforces several laws dictating the penalties for driving intoxicated (DWI). These penalties vary based on factors such as the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), previous DWI charges, the substances involved, any injuries caused by the driver’s actions, the types of vehicles involved, and the location of the incident.

Here are the classifications for DWI offenses in New York:

  • A BAC of .08% or higher for drivers of passenger vehicles and .04% for commercial vehicle drivers results in a DWI charge.
  • A BAC of .18% or higher, or driving while intoxicated with a passenger aged 15 or younger, leads to an aggravated DWI charge.
  • Alcohol-DWAI (driving while ability impaired) is a lesser charge for drivers visibly impaired by alcohol to any degree compared to a “reasonable and prudent” driver.
  • Drug-DWAI is applicable when drugs visibly impair a “reasonable and prudent” driver to any extent.
  • Combination-DWAI is charged when impairment is due to both alcohol and drugs.

A DWI in New York incurs substantial administrative penalties. There is typically a six-month license suspension for a first offense with a BAC between .08% and .18%.

If the BAC is over .18% or the driver is under 21, the suspension extends to one year. Refusing a chemical test, as part of New York’s implied consent law, also leads to a one-year suspension for first-time offenders.

Most first-time offenders face license suspensions, mandatory completion of an Impaired Driver Program, and reinstatement costs. In addition, ignition interlock devices, which stop a car from starting until a breathalyzer test is passed, are required for all first-time offenders’ automobiles.

Although it is not needed, first-time DWI offenders in New York face a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Damages Available to a Drunk Driving Accident Victim

Victims of drunk driving accidents often suffer from a range of injuries and disruptions to their daily lives. Beyond the physical trauma, the aftermath of an accident can include the total loss of a vehicle, the hassle of dealing with insurance for a rental car, the potential inability to work, and other personal upheavals.

If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may be eligible to claim various types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Medical Bills: Compensation can cover out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as doctor visits, medications, surgeries, and physical therapy.
  • Future Medical Care: If your injuries require long-term treatment, you can claim costs associated with your ongoing medical care.
  • Lost Wages: Time off work due to accident injuries can be compensated, including the use of vacation or sick days if your injuries prevent a quick return to work.
  • Reduced Earning Capacity: If permanent injuries prevent you from returning to your previous employment, compensation may cover the difference in your earning potential.
  • Pain and Suffering: This covers the emotional and mental distress caused by the accident and subsequent injuries.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the other driver’s reckless behavior was particularly egregious, you might also seek punitive damages.

Retaining all receipts and bills related to your accident is crucial to ensure total compensation. If you’re considering legal action, consider the statute of limitations.

The limit for filing personal injury claims in New York is three years, according to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214. Delaying beyond this period can forfeit your right to compensation.

For legal assistance and to ensure you account for all potential damages, consider consulting a specialized attorney, such as those at our Long Island personal injury law firm.

What to Do if You’re Involved in an Accident With a Drunk Driver?

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it’s crucial to document everything thoroughly. Immediately call the police, especially if you or anyone else is injured.

Your safety comes first, so prioritize getting medical help if needed. If you’re able to do so safely, try to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene.

Here are the types of evidence you should aim to collect:

  • Photographs or videos of any injuries sustained.
  • Photographs or videos of damage to your vehicle and any other property.
  • The other driver’s license and insurance information.
  • Contact details of any witnesses.

In situations where the other driver is showing signs of aggression or erratic behavior due to intoxication, maintain a safe distance. You can obtain their contact information from the police report later, so avoid engaging with them directly.

After addressing immediate health concerns, seek medical evaluation, even if your injuries seem minor. This step is vital for documenting your injuries, which could be essential if you pursue compensation.

Speak with our qualified Long Island personal injury lawyers, who focus on scenarios involving victims of drunk driving. Our experienced attorney can provide helpful counsel on your rights and the best course of action to guarantee that you receive fair compensation for your experience.

Work with Experienced Long Island Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

To establish that a drunk driver is accountable for your injuries, it’s essential to demonstrate negligence. This entails proving that the driver failed to meet a standard of care that a “reasonable person” would uphold, directly causing injuries with compensable damages.

Evidence of driving under the influence often suffices to create a strong claim. However, in some cases, the defendant may argue that their intoxication should not be considered evidence that it was not the actual cause of the accident.

Insurance companies might also try to settle claims with lower compensation than necessary, potentially leaving victims to cover significant additional expenses.

Our Long Island attorney specializing in DUI accident injuries understands the strategies commonly used to protect intoxicated drivers from liability. Our lawyers also know the evidence that insurance companies consider when evaluating claims.

The actual value of your DUI injury claim might not be clear until you consult with our Long Island lawyer, who has experience in similar cases. Call (516) 689-1132 or visit us online to book a complimentary, no-commitment case evaluation with a nearby attorney today.

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