If a driver decides to drink and drive in New York, they are putting everyone on the road at risk. Alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment and motor coordination, significantly increasing the possibility of a drunk driving accident.
Even if a driver has a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of just 0.02%, which is much lower than the legal limit (0.08%), they can show signs of impairment that impact their ability to drive safely.
If you are injured after being hit by a drunk driver, you have the legal right to seek compensation. It is essential to seek guidance from The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact our office to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights after a drunk driving accident in New York here.
Drunk Driving in New York By the Numbers
According to statistics, alcohol-related traffic accidents have increased by around 30% in New York over the past few years. In 2022, for example, there were more than 7,000 accidents where alcohol was a contributing factor. Of these accidents, 335 led to fatalities.
The state police stated that drug or alcohol-impaired arrests accounted for 13% of all arrests in 2022.
To help make New York streets safer, some lawmakers are pushing for the BAC limit to be changed from 0.08% to 0.05%, from 0.18% to 0.12% for aggravated DWI. However, it is unknown whether this law will come to fruition.
New York’s Drunk Driving Laws
New York follows a “per se” law, which means you can be charged with DUI if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was impaired. The penalties can be severe, including fines, license suspension, and jail time.
Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking
If the driver is under 21, New York follows a “zero-tolerance” policy. Any BAC level above 0.02% is illegal, and the offender may face immediate license suspension and fines.
Can You File an Injury Claim?
Absolutely. In New York, the drunk driving accident victim has the right to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Additionally, if the driver was criminally convicted of DUI, that conviction can be used as evidence of negligence in your civil injury claim, making it easier to prove your case.
Statute of Limitations
Remember that in New York, you have a limited time to file your injury claim—generally, three years from the accident date. Consulting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible can help you navigate this deadline.
What Can You Recover?
When filing an injury claim, you can seek various types of compensation, including:
- Medical Expenses: This can cover emergency room visits to ongoing medical treatments.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you can seek compensation for your lost income.
- Pain and Suffering: This is a bit more subjective but still a significant part of many injury claims.
No-Fault Insurance vs. Civil Lawsuits
New York is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that your insurance company will cover your basic economic losses up to a certain limit. However, if your injuries are severe, surpassing the “serious injury” threshold defined by the state, you can step outside the no-fault system and file a civil lawsuit for additional compensation.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Navigating the legal landscape can be challenging, particularly when dealing with an accident’s aftermath. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you:
- Evaluate your case and estimate its worth
- Collect evidence to help build a solid case
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Represent you in court, if necessary
Your Rights to Compensation After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
Being involved in a drunk driving accident is distressing, but knowing that you have legal avenues available for redress is crucial. In New York, you have the right to file an injury claim to recover compensation for your losses, and a proficient personal injury lawyer can be your greatest ally in this endeavor.
Remember, each case is unique, so consult with a legal expert to discuss the specific details of your situation. Take the first step towards recovery and justice by seeking professional legal advice.
If you need help, guidance, or legal representation, call our experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve.