Car accidents that involve drunk drivers can cause catastrophic and life-altering injuries. In some cases, DWI accidents cause fatalities. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in New York and carries stiff criminal penalties, such as jail time and fees. In addition to criminal penalties, drunk drivers can also face civil penalties. A victim of a DWI accident may have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused their injuries.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a DWI accident in New York, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit and obtain damages for your injuries. Attorney Michael J. Redenburg has decades of experience successfully representing clients and DWI car accident cases. He understands the physical and financial hardships faced by drunk driving car accident victims. He's committed to using his experience and resources to help his clients get their lives back on track by pursuing maximum compensation in court. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation.
Types of DWI Accidents and Injuries in New York City
Most drunk driving accidents involve an intoxicated driver who falls asleep at the wheel and swerves into another vehicle. Sadly, these types of drunk driving accidents are often fatal for both the drunk driver and the innocent drivers of the other vehicle involved. Many DWI car accidents involve two or more vehicles, but some are single-car accidents in which the driver hits a tree or another stationary object. DWI car accidents can also occur in the following types of situations:
- Failure to control speed properly, which can lead to swerving into oncoming traffic
- Rear-ending another vehicle due to poor depth perception
- Sideswiping another vehicle due to inability to follow a direct path
- Inability to see and understand traffic signals and signs
- Traveling on the wrong side of the road
- Driving the wrong direction on a one-way street
- Turning into oncoming traffic
- Driving excessively slowly or too fast
- Failure to see a pedestrian and running into him or her
Injuries Caused by a DWI Accident
Despite efforts by state and local governments to prevent drunk driving, drunk driving is still a common cause of car accidents in the United States. Car accidents caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are often serious because drunk drivers tend to drive recklessly. Drunk drivers frequently swerve into other traffic lanes, miss traffic signals, and fail to obey the speed limit. As a result, rollover accidents, T-bone collisions, and head-on accidents are common in drunk driving accidents and can lead to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries that result in partial or complete paralysis
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Severe burn injuries
- Back injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Catastrophic injuries require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, resulting in significant medical bills for victims. Seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit can help you and your family pay your mounting medical bills and ensure you receive the medical care you deserve going forward. Additionally, if you need to take time off work to recover from your injuries, receiving a settlement can help you provide for your family while you recover.
Insurance Companies and Drunk Driving Accidents
New York is a no-fault insurance state, meaning insurance companies must pay for injury claims regardless of who was at fault for the car accident. New York drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Unfortunately, the medical costs associated with recovering from a serious personal injury often exceed the policy limits. Many victims of drunk driving accidents need to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving a DWI Accident
If you've been injured in a drunk driving accident, the moments after the accident are important for your case. Your lawyer will need to establish that the driver was intoxicated when the accident occurred. It can be challenging to know what to do after a car accident, especially when you're in shock. However, it's important to communicate with the police officers at the scene and tell them about any signs of intoxication or drug use you've noticed related to the other driver.
For example, if you smell alcohol on the other driver's breath when he or she is talking to you, tell the police officers at the scene. The officers could administer a field sobriety test if they have a reasonable suspicion that the other driver has been drinking and driving. If you notice that the other driver tries to throw away or conceal bottles of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, or beer cans, point it out to the responding police officer.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Even if you cannot prove that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred, you can still hold him or her accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. Under New York law, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant's negligent or reckless behavior caused the car accident that resulted in your injuries. If you can prove that the at-fault driver acted negligently, you will still be able to obtain compensation. For example, even if you can't prove that the driver was drunk, you can still recover compensation if you can prove that the driver sped through a red light and collided with your vehicle. Speeding through a red light is negligent.
Contact a New York City DWI Accident Lawyer Today
We believe that drunk drivers should be held accountable for the injuries they cost. After becoming injured in a DWI accident in New York, you should be able to focus your attention on recovering mentally and physically. Attorney Michael J. Redenburg will do all of the groundwork on your case and represent you throughout the entire process. He will conduct a thorough investigation into your car accident case, demonstrating the at-fault driver's negligence. Whether you're seeking compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, he can help. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation.