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New York City Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Driving under the influence is not only a crime; it’s an irresponsible action that can change lives in an instant. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a drunk driving accident in New York City, you have rights that must be protected. At The Orlow Firm, we are committed to serving NYC residents who have suffered due to others’ negligence on the road. Our team of experienced New York City Car Accident Lawyers will fight for the justice you deserve.
- Drunk driving is a severe offense and can result in devastating injuries.
- The Orlow Firm can assist in establishing liability and maximizing your case’s value.
- Victims are entitled to various forms of compensation, including medical expenses and loss of income.
- Understanding New York State’s relevant laws and statutes of limitations is crucial for your case.
How The Orlow Firm Can Maximize Your Case
When you’re a victim of a drunk driving accident in New York City, you face a myriad of challenges—ranging from physical injuries and emotional trauma to mounting medical bills and loss of income. The Orlow Firm understands the intricacies of New York personal injury law and specializes in handling cases like yours to help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
From the moment you consult with us, we start building a robust case by immediately evaluating the extent of your injuries and estimating potential compensation. We collect essential evidence such as police reports, blood alcohol tests, video footage, and eyewitness accounts that are crucial in establishing the fault and negligence of the intoxicated driver. Our seasoned lawyers adeptly negotiate with insurance companies, who often aim to minimize your compensation. We’re prepared to go to trial if necessary, presenting a compelling case that accurately reflects your ordeal and the damages you’ve suffered.
By leveraging our legal expertise and unwavering commitment, The Orlow Firm aims to maximize your compensation, ensuring you’re adequately covered for medical expenses, emotional distress, loss of income, and more. Choose The Orlow Firm for a personalized, effective legal strategy tailored specifically to your case.
Common Injury Types from Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents can lead to various types of injuries:
- Whiplash: Caused by sudden jerking motions during the accident, can lead to chronic neck and back pain if untreated.
- Broken Bones: Ranging from simple to complex fractures, may require surgery and extended physical therapy.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Affect cognitive functions and may necessitate long-term care and rehabilitation.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Can result in partial or complete paralysis, significantly altering the victim’s quality of life.
- Burns: Often require specialized treatment and can lead to scarring and disfigurement.
- Lacerations and Bruises: May require stitches or surgical intervention and can leave lasting scars.
Understanding the different types of injuries is essential for immediate medical care and for determining the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. At The Orlow Firm, we consult medical professionals to ensure you get both the medical care and the legal compensation you deserve.
Who’s Legally Liable?
Determining liability in drunk driving accidents is a critical aspect of securing compensation for victims in New York City. While it might seem obvious that the intoxicated driver should be held responsible, liability can extend to other parties as well, complicating the legal landscape.
- Intoxicated Driver: The person driving under the influence is usually the primary party liable for the accident. They can face criminal charges as well as civil liability for the injuries caused.
- Bars and Restaurants: New York’s Dram Shop laws hold establishments accountable if they knowingly serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who then go on to cause accidents.
- Vehicle Owners: A third-party who lent the vehicle to an intoxicated driver may also share some responsibility, especially if they knew or should have known that the individual was impaired.
- Faulty Breathalyzers: Rarely, the company responsible for manufacturing or maintaining breathalyzer equipment used by law enforcement could be held liable if their negligence led to a faulty reading, subsequently causing an accident.
By carefully scrutinizing police reports, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence, The Orlow Firm works to identify all parties that could be held legally liable. Establishing this liability is a crucial step in maximizing the compensation you may receive for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Trust The Orlow Firm to navigate this complex process efficiently and effectively on your behalf.
What Can You Be Compensated For?
Understanding the types of compensation you are entitled to is essential when you are a victim of a drunk driving accident in New York City. These compensations, known as “damages,” are meant to make you whole again, at least financially, after enduring such a traumatic event. Here’s a breakdown of what you might be entitled to:
- Medical Expenses: Covers emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitative services.
- Future Medical Costs: Anticipated medical expenses for long-term or permanent injuries requiring ongoing care.
- Loss of Income: Wages lost due to immediate absence from work following the accident.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: For long-term or permanent inability to work, this covers the estimated future earnings you will lose.
- Property Damage: The cost to repair or replace your vehicle and other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Household Expenses: Costs for services you cannot perform due to your injuries, such as housekeeping or childcare.
- Pain and Suffering: For physical pain, emotional suffering, and lowered quality of life due to your injuries.
- Emotional Distress: Covers the psychological impact, including anxiety, depression, or stress disorders that can arise from the accident.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the negative impact the accident has had on your relationship with your spouse or family members.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Damages for not being able to enjoy hobbies, activities, or other aspects of life that you previously took pleasure in.
- Disfigurement or Physical Impairment: If the accident has resulted in permanent scars, disfigurement, or other forms of physical impairment.
By understanding the full spectrum of damages you can claim, you better position yourself to receive maximum compensation. At The Orlow Firm, our objective is to ensure you are fully compensated in both economic and non-economic aspects, aiding your road to recovery and financial stability.
Relevant New York State Laws
Being knowledgeable about New York State laws is crucial when you’re a victim of a drunk driving accident. This knowledge can have a significant impact on your case and the compensation you may receive.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Laws: New York State has stringent DWI laws. According to Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192, driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. Penalties for violators can include fines, imprisonment, and driver’s license suspension, which can strengthen your civil case against the driver.
- Dram Shop Laws: Under New York’s General Obligations Law, Section 11-101, bars and restaurants can be held liable for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause an accident. This can be crucial in your case for establishing additional avenues of liability.
- No-Fault Insurance: New York is a no-fault insurance state, meaning your own insurance company will pay some or all of your medical bills and lost earnings, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, you can step outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit if your injuries meet the “serious injury” threshold as defined under Insurance Law Section 5102(d).
- Statute of Limitations: New York has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which starts from the date of the accident. Missing this deadline can prevent you from filing a lawsuit. There are also some exceptions to this, please see the below statute of limitations section.
Understanding these laws and how they interact is vital for your case. At The Orlow Firm, we have extensive experience navigating this intricate legal landscape to maximize your compensation.
Statute of Limitations
Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial for any victim of a drunk driving accident in New York City. In New York State, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally three years from the date of the accident. This means you have a three-year window to initiate legal proceedings against the responsible parties. Failure to file within this timeframe usually results in losing your right to seek legal recourse, no matter how strong your case may be.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin until the individual turns 18 years old. Similarly, if the injured party is mentally incapacitated, the clock starts ticking once they regain capacity. Additionally, if the at-fault party leaves the state of New York, the period during which they are absent might not count towards the three-year limit.
Time is of the essence when it comes to maximizing your compensation. Gathering evidence, medical records, and eyewitness accounts becomes increasingly difficult as time passes. The Orlow Firm understands the urgency of acting swiftly and efficiently to build a robust case within the confines of the statute of limitations. Trust us to guide you through this time-sensitive process, ensuring that your rights are protected and your chances for a successful case are maximized.
- In 2019, there were 10,142 deaths from drunk driving accidents in the United States (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
- In New York State, approximately 4% of drivers report driving after drinking too much (Source: CDC).
While no one can control the actions of others, taking preventative measures can mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of a drunk driving accident in New York City. Here are some ways to safeguard yourself and your loved ones:
- Designated Drivers: Always assign a designated driver when going out for activities that involve alcohol. Make sure the designated driver commits to abstaining from alcohol for the entire event.
- Rideshare Services: Utilize rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft as an alternative to driving when you plan on consuming alcohol.
- Public Transportation: New York City has an extensive public transportation network. Opt for subways or buses to avoid the risks associated with driving under the influence.
- Be Observant: Pay extra attention to other drivers on the road, especially during late-night hours or holidays when drunk driving incidents are more common. Erratic behavior, such as swerving or excessive speeding, can be indicators of an impaired driver.
- Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect someone is driving under the influence, keep a safe distance and report them to the police. Your action could prevent a catastrophic event.
- Awareness Programs: Participate in or support awareness programs like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that aim to educate people about the dangers of driving under the influence.
Taking proactive steps can make a significant difference in your safety and that of others on the road. At The Orlow Firm, while we are committed to helping victims of drunk driving accidents seek justice, we are equally devoted to promoting prevention methods to reduce the incidence of these tragic events.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I do immediately after a drunk driving accident?
- How long will my case take?
- What if the drunk driver fled the scene?
- Can I file a lawsuit against the bar that served the drunk driver?
- Why should I choose The Orlow Firm?