Drunk driving remains a problem in the Bronx and throughout New York City despite bountiful alternatives to driving such as public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that someone died in a drunk driving accident every 48 minutes in the U.S. in 2017. This same year, New York had nearly a thousand reported traffic fatalities with 30 percent involving alcohol impairment.
Clearly, the odds of being a victim of a drunk driving accident in the Bronx are higher than they should be, but there are steps you can take to protect your rights if one occurs.
Call for emergency help
In New York, there are many types of drunk driving accidents a driver may be arrested for, such as:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more (.08 BAC)
- Driving while ability impaired by a drug (DWAI-drug)
- Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI)
- Aggravated driving while intoxicated (Agg-DWI)
- Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs
If you or someone you are with is hit by a drunk driver, it is important to call the police immediately. An intoxicated driver should be arrested and penalized for their crime. The police can also collect evidence and witness testimony that you may be able to use to seek compensation for injuries and property damage in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. If anyone is injured, dial 911 for immediate help from both police and an ambulance.
Make a record of the accident
It is important to seek immediate hospital attention if you are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver. However, if it is safe and you are able, you should make a record of what happened. Having a record of the accident is especially helpful if you or another driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian was seriously injured or killed. The following steps can help preserve the scene:
- Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles and their positions, skid marks and other roadway evidence, and any physical injuries
- Write down what happened as soon as you can to preserve your memory, including drawing diagrams
- Interview potential witnesses
- Give accurate facts to police and medical professionals
Contact a doctor immediately
Fear and adrenaline often mask the immediate physical effects of a car accident. You may feel whiplash and not realize it is serious, chronic pain from spinal injury. Victims with brain injuries in particular may not show symptoms until weeks after an auto accident. Because of this, it is important to be thoroughly evaluated by an experienced doctor as soon as possible.
How Compensation is Awarded in a Drunk Driving Accident
Getting behind the wheel of a car when intoxicated is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Drunk drivers are more likely to speed or drive dangerously slow, run red lights and stops signs, swerve, or even lose control of their car completely. Drivers who are convicted of driving while intoxicated can be fined, have their license suspended, or even do jail time.
Although it’s no secret that alcohol severely limits people’s abilities to drive safely and make good decisions, every year thousands of people are killed in the United States in drunk driving accidents. In fact, drunk driving accounted for 28% of all traffic related deaths in the U.S. in 2016.
Seeking Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident
Victims of accidents caused by drunk drivers in New York have the right to seek compensation from the negligent party. Compensation can be awarded for the following reasons:
- Vehicular damage
- Medical bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescription costs
- Lost wages from missed work
- Pain and suffering
Wrongful death claims
When someone has been killed by a drunk driver, New York law enables the decedent’s personal representative to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Monetary compensation can be awarded for the untimely death of a loved one.
Alcohol limits for driving
Drivers who have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher are considered to be intoxicated under New York law. The limit is lower for persons under 21 years of age. However, any amount of alcohol can lead to poor decision making and reflexes on the road.
If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, it’s important to contact a drunk driving accident attorney to help you navigate the legal system and increase your chances of a successful settlement. An experienced car accident lawyer Bronx will make sure you don’t make any mistakes that could jeopardize your settlement.
Seek the help of an experienced Bronx car accident lawyer
If you were involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may feel scared, but you are not alone. At The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn, our dedicated car accident lawyer Bronx can guide you through your options and help you obtain your rightful financial compensation for serious personal injury or wrongful death.
Call us at 718-409-5500 or contact us online today for a free initial consultation. Se habla español.