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Albany Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are very physically, emotionally, and financially devastating for the victims and the families involved. However, drunk driving accidents are often even more devastating because they’re largely preventable. Victims of drunk driving accidents can lose thousands of dollars due to medical expenses and lost income. Some of them may even lose their lives, all because someone was being irresponsible on the roads. If you are in this impossible situation, you need an Albany drunk driving accident lawyer from Bailey, Johnson & Peck on your side.
Our personal injury attorneys have what it takes to obtain fair compensation for victims who choose to file civil DWI cases. We have a thorough understanding of personal injury law and the legal process, so we can fight for justice on your behalf. For more information, call our law firm at 518-456-0082 today. We offer a free consultation to all new clients.
What is Considered Drunk Driving in New York?
Like most other U.S. states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than .08% in New York state is considered driving while intoxicated. Driving with a BAC of .04% is considered driving while intoxicated for commercial drivers. Lastly, driving with a BAC higher than .18% in New York is considered aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Drunk Driving Penalties in New York
Penalties for drunk driving in New York state heavily depend on the type of DWI violation you commit and how many times you commit the violation. Generally, a drunk driver can expect fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, or all of the above.
- First DWI Offense: Offenders may have to face a $500 to $1,000 fine and spend 1 year behind bars. Additionally, offenders may have their driver’s license revoked for at least 6 months.
- Second DWI Offense Within 10 Years: Offenders may have to face a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and spend 4 years behind bars. Additionally, offenders may have their license revoked for at least 1 year.
- Third DWI Offense Within 10 Years: Offenders may have to face a $2,000 to $10,000 fine and 7 years behind bars. Additionally, offenders may have their driver’s license permanently suspended.
How Many Americans Die From Drunk Driving Accidents Every Year?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 11,600 Americans died from drunk driving accidents in 2020. This means that 32 Americans die every day – and 1 American dies every 45 minutes – due to drunk driving crashes.
In 2020, more than 1,000 traffic fatalities happened in New York. At least 830 of these fatalities involved a drunk driver with a BAC of at least .01%.
All drunk driving accident injuries and deaths are tragic and preventable. Albany personal injury lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck are passionate about ensuring that drunk driving injury victims receive the settlement or court award that they deserve. Additionally, we believe that each personal injury claim and wrongful death claim filed against a drunk driver can gradually lower these national statistics.
Common Drunk Driving Accident Injuries
Listed below are common injuries that victims of drunk driving crashes can suffer.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussions
- Skull and facial fractures
- Eye damage and loss of vision
- Spinal cord damage and spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries like disc herniations and radiculopathy
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Nerve damage
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Soft tissue injuries such as muscle sprains and strains
- Loss of fetus
- Broken bones
- Joint dislocations
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- One or more amputations
- Degloving injuries
- Permanent scarring, disability, and disfigurement
- Major bruising, road rash, and lacerations
- Wrongful death
All of these catastrophic injuries require extensive medical treatment and time off from work to heal. The combination of medical bills and lost income can be financially devastating, on top of the emotional devastation that comes with major car accidents. If you have suffered a serious injury due to a drunk driver and you’re now thousands of dollars in debt, you have grounds to contact an Albany personal injury lawyer at our law firm. We can help you begin your personal injury case and recover compensation for your damages.
Drunk Driving Civil Cases vs. Criminal Cases in New York
Drunk drivers can face civil consequences on top of their DWI criminal penalties. In other words, drunk drivers can be sued by the crash victim in civil court so that they can obtain compensation for their damages.
The Albany legal team at Bailey, Johnson & Peck handles civil DWI cases, not criminal DWI cases. We have successfully litigated hundreds of personal injury claims related to car accidents, so we are the perfect team to stand by your side in civil court, if your situation calls for that. Before moving forward with a DWI personal injury lawsuit, be sure to speak with an Albany personal injury attorney first.
Can You Sue the Bar That Overserved a Drunk Driver?
Yes, you can sue the bar that overserved the drunk driver that hit you according to New York Dram Shop laws. It is illegal for New York bars to serve people under the age of 21 and it’s illegal for New York bars to serve someone who is clearly “visibly intoxicated.”
A Dram Shop violation falls under strict liability tort laws. In order to successfully sue a bar after a drunk driving crash, you must prove the following elements:
- A bar either served an underage person or they overserved someone who was visibly drunk.
- The bar contributed to the driver’s drunkenness by selling them alcohol.
- The intoxicated driver severely injured you in a car accident.
The most difficult element to prove here is the “visible intoxication.” Everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different and everyone acts differently when they’re drunk. Some people can speak, act, and generally function well when they’re drunk, so bar owners may not realize their level of intoxication. An Albany drunk driving accident lawyer has what it takes to prove all these elements in a case like this, especially the “visible intoxication” element.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if My Loved One Died in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Yes, if a drunk driving accident took the life of one of your family members, you can certainly file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Wrongful death claims have the same goal as personal injury claims: to restore the victim’s life back to its pre-accident state. The main difference is that the loved ones left behind are considered the “victims” in wrongful death cases. Also, no amount of money can bring the deceased person back to life after a car accident. However, wrongful death claims allow family members to obtain compensation in order to relieve the emotional and financial burden of their loss. In many cases, the extraordinary amount of medical expenses fall on them. Additionally, if the accident victim was the breadwinner of the family, the loved ones are going to suffer even more from lost wages.
Albany personal injury lawyers at Bailey, Johnson & Peck empathize with people in this situation, and we want to help in any way we can.
Proving Negligence in a Drunk Driving Accident
The strongest personal injury cases are created when the injured person can prove fault through the four elements of negligence.
- Duty of Care: Every single person on the roads owes each other a specific level of care. This means that all drivers need to be focused, sober, attentive, and careful in order to protect other people.
- Breached Duty of Care: The at-fault party breached this duty of care by driving drunk.
- Causation: The liable party directly caused the victim’s injuries by breaching the duty of care.
- Damages: The injured victim deserves compensation for the damages they suffered in the drunk driving crash.
In order to effectively prove negligence, you need to have the strongest possible legal representation on your side. An Albany drunk driving accident lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck can gather sufficient evidence to prove that the drunk driver acted negligently. That way, you can receive maximum compensation to get your life back on track.
Damages for a Drunk Driving Accident
An Albany personal injury lawyer at our law firm can help injured car accident victims recover compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future physical therapy bills
- Caregiving expenses if the victim becomes disabled from the accident and needs round-the-clock care
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if the victim’s disability prevents them from accomplishing their previous job duties
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental health counseling expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses if the drunk driving crash results in wrongful death
Call an Albany Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & Peck TodayIf you or someone you love suffered injuries or death due to a drunk driving crash, you have grounds to pursue legal action in civil court. An experienced personal injury attorney at our law firm can analyze the facts of your case, inform you of your legal options, negotiate with your (or the drunk driver’s) insurance company, and help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering. An Albany drunk driving accident lawyer is ready to start an attorney client relationship with you today. Call 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team today.
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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.
We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.