Driving while drunk is a common occurrence. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one third of all traffic-related deaths can be connected to driving while intoxicated. Additionally, in 2015, approximately 1.1 million drivers in the United States were arrested for drunk driving. In New York state alone, about 5,600 people were injured in drunk driving car accidents in 2016.
If you are involved in a car accident, it is always a good idea to call the police. If you suspect the other driver is intoxicated, calling the police quickly is very important.
What Information Should I Obtain?
If you are hit by a drunk driver, you will need to collect certain information:
- Evidence that would show the blood alcohol content of the driver at the time of the accident.
- Pictures of the damage immediately after the accident. Obtain the names and contact information of any potential witnesses. It is important to do this after every car accident, but it is especially important after an accident that involves an intoxicated driver. Witnesses could attest to the driver’s behavior.
- Age of the drunk driver, if possible.
- If the driver was served too much alcohol at a bar or restaurant. Some states permit accident victims and families to sue the establishment for neglecting to stop serving alcohol to the drunk driver.
- Try to see if the state is bringing criminal charges against the driver. If you decide to pursue a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver, any criminal charges could impact how the driver pleads or testifies in a civil matter.
What do I do After the Accident?
Shortly after the accident, it is important to obtain the police report and copies of your own medical reports if you received medical care.
Other issues to consider are whether there were any hazardous road conditions that contributed to the accident, and whether there were any manufacturer defects that contributed to any injuries sustained in the accident.
How Can I Cover Costs Related to the Accident?
New York state is a “no fault” state, which means that each driver’s insurance will cover his or her own costs associated with the accident up to a certain level of coverage. Currently that level is around $50,000.
If medical bills exceed that amount, then the victim can seek damages that go above that limit in a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. In a personal injury lawsuit, a victim can also seek damages for pain and suffering.
When Should I Obtain Legal Representation?
If you think that your costs will exceed your insurance company’s coverage limits, it is important to talk to a personal injury attorney quickly.
In New York state, victims have three years from the date of the accident to bring a personal injury claim to court. Although that may seem like a long time, it is important to act quickly so that evidence does not go stale and witnesses still have the accident fresh in their minds.
Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano Can Provide Assistance in Cases Involving Drunk Drivers
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident where one of the drivers was intoxicated, Our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano can provide legal help. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 718-332-7766. Located in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Hillsborough, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Kings County and Richmond County, including Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan.