Drunk driving is against the law in New York and every other U.S. state. Despite these laws, the NY Department of Motor Vehicles reports that one-third of the traffic fatalities in New York each year involve drunk drivers and pedestrians. Clearly, it’s a crisis that’s yet to be solved.
If you are fortunate enough to survive a collision with an intoxicated driver, you might be facing severe injuries, costly medical bills, lost wages, a damaged vehicle, and other damages. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s poor decisions. But what are your options for getting justice? The New York drunk driving accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. on Long Island have the answers. Call us today for a free consultation and case strategy session.
How Often is Someone Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident in NY?
According to a New York City Police Department report, there can be more than 2,500 motor-vehicle crashes in which someone is killed or injured citywide in any given month.
In a recent month, 160 crashes involved at least one driver who was intoxicated. Assuming those figures stay relatively consistent across the year, that’s more than 1,600 alcohol-involved crashes per year.
5 Steps to Take After an Accident with a Drunk Driver
Here’s what you need to do if you’re hurt in a drunk driving accident in New York:
Call 911 and get medical attention right away
Calling 911 will summon the police to the scene so they can perform an investigation into what caused the crash. If you’re hurt at the scene, never refuse medical attention. The accident report will likely help strengthen your case. Timely medical treatment and a police report can link the car accident to your injuries, which will be important evidence in the future.
Preserve whatever evidence you can
If you’re able, take photos of any vehicles damaged in the crash, as well as any injuries you and anyone else in your car may have sustained. You’ll also want pictures of the crash site and physical evidence, such as open containers of alcohol in the driver’s car.
Get contact information
Getting the name and insurance information from the intoxicated driver may be difficult, but try. Lastly, be sure to get contact information from any witnesses. Eyewitnesses can provide important testimony in a drunk driving claim.
Don’t say anything to insurance company representatives
New York is a no-fault state for car accidents, which means that you will seek compensation from your auto insurance company before pursuing a claim against the drunk driver. However, there are short deadlines to notify your insurer of the collision. The best idea is to talk to a drunk driving accident lawyer before alerting the insurer. But if you can’t, just tell the insurance representative that you were in an accident and give them the date, time, and location. Tell them you will be speaking to an attorney before saying anything more.
Hire a New York drunk driving accident attorney
You may have the option to file a drunk driving lawsuit in addition to your no-fault benefits, but only if you meet certain requirements under New York law. A highly experienced accident attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C. can evaluate your case to identify all of your legal options, as well as whether family members can file a wrongful death claim if the accident was fatal.
Resources for Victims of Drunk Driving in NY
If you’ve been involved in a collision with a drunk driver, help is available to you and your family through many different resources. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has a 24-hour victim assistance line. Grief support groups are available if you’ve lost a family member in a drunk driving accident. You can also turn to the federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), which can help you draft a victim impact statement for use by law enforcement authorities after an accident. The OVC also has a directory of available services for crime victims in New York, which you can view here.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a collision with a drunk driver in New York, the trial lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. on Long Island are ready to assist you. Put our experience to work for you. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.