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3 Things to Know About DWI Accidents in New York

When it comes to the legal world, we have seen a marked increase in the number of civil cases being filed each and every year, especially over the past handful of years. More specifically, more men and women than ever before are filing personal injury claims than ever before and while this might not sound like a good thing when you first hear it, the fact is that one way to think about it is that more and more people are able to get justice for being victims of another person’s negligence. Across NYC according to the team at Levine & Wiss, the top injury lawyer 11552 has to offer, one of the best examples of such cases has got to be DWI accidents. If you ask any DWI accident attorney, they will tell you that cases have gotten much worse over the past few years, and much of it has to do with the sheer number of drivers on the road, as well as changes to the way drunk driving is policed, and the patterns by which police officers tend to circulate clubs and night life areas. Leaving less of NYC’s nightlife in the heart of Manhattan and more high traffic areas, but rather in the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. And sadly, according to a wrongful death lawyer at Levine & Wiss, many of such cases have led to fatalities as younger drivers are speeding more, and while under the influence, it often leads to more and more reckless behavior. Sadly, we see younger and younger drivers being injured or ending up in fatal car accidents. In this article, we will be exploring how such cases are different in NYC and what individuals need to know about drunk driving cases and claims.

· Suing Drunk Drivers for Damages

When it comes to filing a personal injury claim against a negligent, drunk driver in New York, there are a number of differences that you must be aware of. According to the team at Levine & Wiss, the top injury lawyer 11552 has to offer, one of the most important things to understand about New York State, is that it is a no-fault state. If you suffer personal injury in an auto accident, you can file a claim with your own insurer for economic losses caused by the crash such as medical expenses and lost wages. To recover, you do not need to show that anyone else was at fault. However, if you consult a DWI accident attorney, they will tell you that if your economic losses exceed $50,000, you may pursue a legal claim against the driver who caused the crash. You would seek to recover from the driver’s liability insurance coverage. And in the most severe cases when a person ends up perishing as a result, their family should consult a wrongful death attorney who understands DWI cases as well. You can also pursue a claim against the other driver for non-economic losses – pain and suffering – if you sustained what is considered to be a “serious injury” such as a fracture, disfigurement or loss of the use of an organ or limb, or if you lost a loved one. In this type of case, you would need to establish fault.

· The Connection Between Criminal & Civil Cases

When you are filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand that this is a civil case, and not criminal charges being filed by the court against the negligent party. When a drunk driving crash occurs, two types of cases may result: a criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit. These are two distinct cases. However, they naturally overlap in many ways. A DWI accident attorney will tell you that recovering damages in a civil lawsuit through the drunk driver’s liability insurance requires proof of fault. Establishing fault often involves evidence collected during the driver’s criminal prosecution, including:

o Field sobriety test evidence

o Breath and blood test results

o Witness statements about the driver’s condition (such as the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath or the fact that the driver was stumbling or driving erratically).

· Liability Extends to Others as Well

During a DWI accident claim, it isn’t just the impaired driver who can be held liable. A major focus of any car accident investigation is determining all parties who should be held liable for the injuries and damages a victim has suffered. In a drunk driving accident case, for instance, there may be many other parties besides the driver who can be held responsible. According to the team at Levine & Wiss, the top wrongful death lawyer, under New York’s Dram Shop Act, you could pursue action against a bar, restaurant or store who sold alcohol to the driver who hit you if, at the time of the sale, the driver was “visibly intoxicated” or “actually or apparently” under the age of 21. Also, if you help an underage person procure alcohol, you can also be held liable for their DWI accident as well.

For more information on DWI cases, and more, be sure to contact Levine & Wiss today.