Drunk Driving Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on average over 30,000 people are killed each year in the United States in alcohol-related car accidents. People who are impaired by alcohol tend to exhibit reckless behavior. For example, drunk drivers are more likely to speed or drive too slowly. They are also more likely to drive through stop sides and red lights, make unsafe lane changes, and fail to yield the right of way. All of these negligent behaviors raise the risk of a collision. Because drivers who are drunk often drive recklessly, when they are involved in collisions such collisions are more likely to be head-on or side collisions at high speeds. The result is often catastrophic. A victim of such an injury is likely to suffer a serious injury such as a traumatic brain injury, amputation, broken or crushed bones, or a spinal cord injury. These types of injuries involve long recovery times with expensive treatments and rehabilitation. However, under New York law victims of car accidents are allowed to seek compensation from the person whose negligence resulted in the car accident. If you are in need of a New York Injury Lawyer because you or a family member was injured in a car accident it is important to contact an experienced Bronx Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyer who will help ensure that the person responsible for your losses is held accountable in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.Effect of Alcohol on Ability to Safely Operate a Motor Vehicle
Under New York law drivers are considered to be driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they have a BAC of 0.08% or higher. The limit is 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21 and 0.04% for drivers of commercial vehicles. However, even when a driver is not considered legally drunk, the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely may be impaired. A driver who is convicted of DWI may be sentenced to jail, fines, and driver’s license revocation.
A driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle is compromised after drinking even a small amount of alcohol. The more alcohol consumed, the more dangerous the driver is to other drivers on the road. For example, after consuming a relatively low amount of alcohol (BAC .02%), people experience a loss of some judgment, are more relaxed and feel warmer. As a result there is a decline in visual functions and a decline in the ability to perform 2 tasks as at one time.
After consuming a moderate amount of alcohol (BAC .05%), people have a loss in small muscle control, have impaired judgment, experience lowered alertness, experience an oddly good feeling, and are less inhibited. As a result there is reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficultly in steering and reduced response to driving emergency situations.
After reaching a BAC of .08%, people have poor muscle coordination, poor reaction time, impaired judgment and impaired self-control. As a result there is poor concentration, short-term memory loss, and impaired perception.
Should someone continue to drink so that his or her BAC climbs her than .08%, his or her ability to safely operate a vehicle continues to decline.Pursuing a Claim
Those injured in car accidents suffer a variety of serious injuries that require extensive treatment. This means substantial medical bills and missed work. However, New York law gives injured victims the right to seek compensation from the negligent party. The types of compensation that you may be able to recover if you file a claim against the negligent person include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills including bills from the hospital, your doctors, prescriptions and bills associated with medical equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle damage
If a family member was killed in the accident, the law allows the decedent’s personal representative to seek damages through a wrongful death claim
Furthermore, under New York’s Dram Shop rules, you may also be able to bring a claim against the bar, restaurant, or other third party that provided the alcohol to the drunk driver.
Beware that New York law has a specific time limit for filing a claim in a personal injury case. If you do not file your claim within the time period, you will be forever barred from collecting damages even if your case has merit.Bronx Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident that you believe was caused because the driver was impaired by alcohol, it is important that you are represented by someone with experience. Car accident cases can be complicated, relying on an understanding of personal injury law as well as procedural rules. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates has extensive experience representing clients injured in car accidents, construction accidents, truck accidents, as well as other types of accidents. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your car accident.