Drunk Driving Accidents

Rockland County Attorneys Assisting Car Crash Victims

Accidents caused by drunk drivers tend to be especially devastating. Unlike a motorist who carelessly glances down at their phone for an instant but looks up in time to mitigate the effects of a distracted driving accident, an intoxicated motorist may not even be capable of swerving to avoid a full-impact, head-on collision. Rockland County drunk driving accident lawyer Valerie J. Crown understands the challenges that you are going through. She is ready to seek the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled, while providing you with the compassionate, personalized attention that you deserve. Valerie is available 24/7 at her cell phone and will respond promptly to any issues or concerns that arise.

Whether it is known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), or operating under the influence (OUI), driving a car, truck, or motorcycle while under the effect of alcohol, illegal drugs, or even certain prescription medications can lead to both criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit. The State of New York is responsible for prosecuting the crime of drunk driving; typically, a person who is involved in an accident with an intoxicated motorist has no part in the criminal case against the defendant. Other than possibly a small amount of “restitution,” however, the accident victim does not recover damages through the criminal court system for items like property damage, medical expenses, lost earnings, or pain and suffering. This is where a drunk driving accident attorney can help Rockland County residents bring a claim to assert their rights.

Proving the Liability of a Drunk Driver in New York

According to data maintained by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there are upwards of 10,000 alcohol-related crashes annually. In the majority of these accidents, at least one person suffers injuries such as fractures, contusions, lacerations, herniations, or amputations. Drunk driving accidents also result in hundreds of fatalities in New York each year. In order for a person who has been hurt by a drunk driver or who has lost a loved one in a fatal accident caused by an intoxicated motorist to recover fair compensation, the claimant must file a civil lawsuit alleging negligence or recklessness against the driver. In such a case, it may be possible for a Rockland County drunk driving accident attorney to introduce some of the evidence offered by the State in the criminal case. This may include field sobriety evidence, breathalyzer and blood test results, and witness statements regarding conduct such as erratic driving, slurred speech, or staggering in order to prove that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

Since New York is a “no-fault” state, a person seeking to recover money damages in a civil lawsuit must first file a claim with their own insurance company for economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Generally, the injured person must suffer economic losses greater than a threshold amount set by the state in order to pursue a traditional, fault-based lawsuit against the negligent driver. A negligence case arising from a car accident or truck crash usually requires the plaintiff to prove the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages by a preponderance of the evidence. (However, drunk driving cases can differ somewhat in that there may be a possibility of asserting negligence per se, due to the violation of a state statute by the defendant.) The plaintiff’s own fault, if any, may be used in calculating the compensation that they are due under the principles of pure comparative fault.

Bring a Claim with the Assistance of a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Rockland County

Claims seeking to recover monetary compensation for losses suffered in a crash caused by a drunk driver must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations, so it is important to contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one has been hurt in a drunk driving accident. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own facts in order to determine the various claims that may lie against possible defendants. Valerie J. Crown can assist people in the Greater New York region in asserting their legal rights. Call us at 845-708-5900, call Valerie’s cell phone at 845-598-8253, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at your convenience. We represent people throughout Rockland, Westchester, Ulster, Orange, and Dutchess Counties.