New York City Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney
Anyone who has been hurt in a drunk driving car accident knows that the consequences can be devastating. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver in New York, a lawyer experienced in drunk driving accidents can help you recover financial compensation known as “damages.”
The drunk driving car accident attorneys at Sullivan & Galleshaw are skilled personal injury lawyers in New York who will deliver reliable and trustworthy representation. We are compassionate and will fight to enforce your legal rights. With offices conveniently located in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, we are devoted to high-quality legal representation in New York for accident victims. Call (718) 843-0300 to schedule a free, private consultation.
Time Limits to Sue a Drunk Driver for Injuries in New York City
The time limit to file a civil claim for negligent drunk driving is three years from the time of the accident. Civil lawsuits will be based on the theory of “negligence,” which generally requires showing that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care. In the case of a drunk driver, the proof of intoxication generally shows a lack of reasonable care.
How Does New York Law Limit Financial Recovery?
New York ordinarily allows recovery for medical bills, expenses, and lost wages through insurance claims. However, there is no automatic right to receive compensation for “pain and suffering” damages. This is only available through a civil lawsuit. There can also be instances in which the actions of the drunk driver were so irresponsible and reckless, that asking for “punitive” damages can be warranted.
Most injured victims of car accidents in New York will recover pursuant to Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law. New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, where parties are limited to recovering only through insurance for minor crashes. This means that when someone is injured in a car accident, an insurance claim can pay for things like the repairs for their car, medical expenses, and lost wages. These losses are generally reviewed through car insurance agents. Our attorneys at Sullivan & Galleshaw know this can be a frustrating and impersonal process that may not fully cover your damages.
In New York, an insurance company will pay up to $50,000 in damages for economic losses. If damages exceed $50,000, then you have the right to file a lawsuit instead. Filing a lawsuit can also open your ability to claim damages for pain and suffering and even “punitive” damages to punish a severely negligent drunk driver. New York juries have no monetary limit for the damage awards in drunk driving cases, particularly at awarding punitive damages.
When Can You File a Lawsuit as a DUI Injury Victim in NYC?
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, your losses for “pain and suffering” may be recovered only if your harm meets the definition of “serious injury,” as defined by New York insurance law. This definition includes the following conditions and injuries:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fractures
- Permanent limitation of use of body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of body function or system
- Substantially full disability for 90 days
Proving Fault in a DUI/DWI Injury Case in New York
Once it’s established that the injury is serious, proof of “fault” is ordinarily required in a personal injury lawsuit. In drunk driver cases, fault isn’t always sufficiently established with the criminal DUI records of the drunken driver; specific acts or omissions of the driver and other responsible parties must be proven in court.
A driver operating under the influence is not always the only party at fault in a DUI accident. The seasoned DUI injury attorneys at Sullivan & Galleshaw are committed to providing an aggressive approach not only in negotiating with the insurance company but also in pursuing a civil lawsuit that includes all potentially liable parties. The following are examples of situations where another party might also share liability:
- New York’s Dram Shop Act extends civil liability to bar and restaurant owners who serve alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated” or “actually or apparently” intoxicated person.
- New York’s social host liability law imposes liability on any person who provides or assists a person under age 21 with alcohol.
- New York employers have been held liable when an employee on duty has caused injuries while driving under the influence.
In drunk driving cases, lawyers can also pursue a type of civil lawsuit on the basis of “negligence per se” to recover damages. The evidence of the driver violating criminal DUI laws is sufficient to establish what is known as “negligence per se” to help prove their fault. This process is considered a shortcut because the evidence of drunkenness obtained by police officers, such as field sobriety test results, blood test results, and witness statements, can help you prove your civil case.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney in NYC
The personal injury practice at Sullivan & Galleshaw offers a no-nonsense approach. Call us at (718) 843-0300 to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation. Our experienced car accident attorneys will advocate on your behalf for compensation for the injuries you face after a DUI/DWI accident. Call our law offices today to schedule your free consultation.