What Should I Do If I Was Hit By An Intoxicated Driver in NYC?
Millions of people are hurt every year in an automotive accident involving an intoxicated driver. When someone is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, everyone who is harmed in an accident is a victim, including other occupants in the same vehicle.
Victims who have suffered injuries at the hands of an intoxicated driver must reach out to a personal injury lawyer. Compensation may be due for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The following guide was created to help navigate individuals through the justice process for their physical and emotional injuries after an accident involving an intoxicated driver. We will examine the definition of intoxication, the steps that need to be taken after an accident, and notorious cases of intoxicated driving.
How Is Intoxicated Driving Defined?
People often think of alcohol when they think about intoxication. This is because can be easily smelled and detected on a driver’s breath, clothing, and through their general demeanor. Any drug or substance that alters an individual’s ability to drive is considered grounds for a DUI (driving under the influence). This can include prescription medications, marijuana (THC), Methamphetamine, and/or other substances. Oftentimes, those who drive under the influence are guilty of using more than one substance.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol causes drivers to act recklessly, performing potentially dangerous actions. These drivers are especially dangerous because their actions are unpredictable.
- Driving in Wrong Lane/Direction
- Running Red Lights/Stop Signs
- Cut Off Other Drivers
- Illegal Turns
Drugs and alcohol distort an individual’s perception, judgment, decision-making abilities, and reaction. Drivers must be held accountable for gross negligence when they get behind the wheel intoxicated.
Notorious Cases of Intoxicated Driving
- In 1988, a drunk driver drove the wrong direction on the interstate and collided with a bus of children from a Kentucky church group. The crash resulted in a catastrophic fire that killed 27 people, 24 of which were children, and nearly all suffered serious burns. The driver was charged with 27 counts of vehicular manslaughter, and 16 counts of assault.
- In 2013, a man that was high on PCP and Methamphetamine charged his car into an East Village Deli at 80 miles per hour. Three people were injured, and one was killed. The court found this man guilty of murder in the second degree.
- In 2017, an 18-year-old was the driver in an accident that resulted in the death of her 14-year-old sister. She was convicted of manslaughter.
These are all harrowing cases of gross negligence that should not occur. Many individuals who drive under the influence have done so numerous times and should be held accountable for their actions.
What To Do if You Suspect Intoxication
There are several things that you must do after an accident if you suspect that a driver may be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Be sure to vocalize your concern to the police that arrive on the scene. This will ensure that it is documented and should be investigated. They should take statements from eyewitnesses who may have observed the suspected driver’s reckless behavior. Police should also include their observations about the suspected driver’s behavior.
The other driver may try to argue that they were not under the influence during the accident. Even if drugs are found in their system, they can claim that the amounts indicate drug use days before the crash. If they are under the influence of prescription medications your case may be even harder to prove. This is why a report with your comments, eyewitnesses, and police observation is of critical importance in the event that you have to go to court.
What Is Your Car Accident Case Worth?
You deserve compensation for your injuries if you have been a victim of an intoxicated driver. The legal professionals at Goidel and Siegel understand that the damages that result from these accidents are more than financial issues. Their team is experienced in handling all severities of cases involving all forms of intoxicated driving.
Owed compensation could include:
- Hospital Bills/Medical Expenses
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The only way to know if you have a case is to reach out to a personal injury attorney who is experienced in similar cases.
Do not let the other party’s attorney try to frighten you from pressing charges by shifting liability. This is a scare tactic that is wrong. Even if you were breaking a traffic law, including speeding, this does not mean that the intoxicated driver should not be held responsible.
Is It Too Late to File a Case?
The shock that occurs after a car accident can leave many individuals with traumas they did not initially notice. When this adrenaline wears off many clients realize that they forgot to document their concerns and/or injuries.
The length of time that you have to file a personal injury case varies by state. In New York, the general rule for most personal injury cases is three years, but it is best to reach out as soon as possible. The sooner that you file a case, it is more the more likely that the evidence available will be enough to secure your case.
Contact Goidel & Siegel, LLP
It is imperative that you hire an experienced, qualified personnel injury lawyer to handle your case. These cases cannot always be solved outside of the court. If the other party does not offer fair compensation for your injuries, you must have a lawyer who is willing to fight for you in the courtroom.
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, the personal injury lawyers at Goidel & Siegel, LLP, may be able to help you obtain financial compensation. They also specialize in other types of personal injury cases, including assaults, pedestrian accidents, school accidents, and more. Reach out at (212) 840-3737 to schedule a free consultation today.