Drunk Driving Lawyer; Protecting Your Rights

Drunk driving poses a significant threat, often resulting in tragic consequences for victims and their families. Lives are lost, and injuries sustained can require long-term care. If you or someone you care about falls victim to a drunk driver in New York, this blog provides all the necessary information to understand your rights and take appropriate steps to seek compensation for your losses.

  • New York laws against drunk driving
  • What to do after a DUI accident
  • How to find the right drunk driving attorney

Victim of a drunk driving accident?

California Laws Against Drunk Driving

Nationwide, alcohol-impaired driving contributes to over 10,000 fatalities annually, with New York closely mirroring this concerning trend. DUI remains the leading cause of fatal and severe injuries, surpassing other traffic violations. In New York, laws against drunk driving are stringent and strictly enforced to ensure public safety on the roads. Here are key aspects of New York’s laws:

  1. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): It is unlawful to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the limit is 0.04%.
  2. Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI): This charge applies to drivers with a BAC of 0.18% or higher.
  3. Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI): Even with a BAC below 0.08%, drivers may be charged with DWAI if their ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol.
  4. Zero Tolerance Law: Drivers under the age of 21 can face penalties for any BAC above 0.02%.
  5. Implied Consent: By operating a vehicle in New York, drivers implicitly consent to chemical testing of blood, breath, or urine if suspected of DWI.
  6. Penalties: DWI convictions can result in fines, license suspension or revocation, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time, depending on factors such as prior offenses and aggravating circumstances.
  7. Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs): In certain cases, individuals convicted of DWI may be required to install an IID in their vehicle, which prevents it from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.
  8. Felony DWI: Repeat DWI offenders or those involved in accidents resulting in serious injury or death may face felony charges with more severe penalties.
  9. Enhanced Enforcement: New York law enforcement conducts sobriety checkpoints and patrols to deter and apprehend intoxicated drivers.

These laws are in place to protect all road users and reduce the incidence of drunk driving accidents, injuries, and fatalities in New York.

drunk driving lawyer

What to Do After an Accident

In the aftermath of a drunk driving collision, taking the following steps can help protect your rights and pursue justice:

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Prompt medical care not only addresses injuries but also establishes a record vital for any ensuing legal actions.
  • Gather Evidence: Collecting evidence, including police reports, witness testimonies, and photographs, strengthens your case.
  • Consult with a Drunk Driving Lawyer: Engage a seasoned personal injury attorney specializing in DUI cases to guide you through the legal process and safeguard your interests.
  • File an Insurance Claim: With the help of your expert attorney, initiate a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, providing comprehensive documentation while refraining from recorded statements or premature settlements.
  • File a Lawsuit: Within New York’s three-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, your drunk driving lawyer can help you file a civil lawsuit against the liable party if necessary.
  • Engage in Discovery: Cooperate in the exchange of information and evidence during the discovery phase to bolster your credibility.
  • Attend Court Hearings: If your case proceeds to trial, ensure your presence and cooperation throughout court proceedings.

Legal Process

The legal process may inevitably take time. However, by following the steps outlined above and working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve as a drunk driving victim. 

The necessity of hiring a skilled personal injury attorney when filing a claim or a car accident lawsuit as a victim of a drunk driver can never be underscored enough. An excellent personal injury attorney will guide you through the legal process, communicate with the opposing insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary. 

When searching for an attorney, inquire about their previous experience handling similar cases, success rate, and fee structure. Here are some steps to take to find the right drunk driving lawyer for your case: 

  • Research: Begin by researching reputable attorneys who specialize in drunk driving cases in your area.
  • Check Credentials: Verify the attorney’s credentials, including their education, licensing, and any relevant certifications or affiliations.
  • Experience: Look for an attorney with extensive experience specifically handling DUI cases and a successful track record of securing favorable outcomes for clients.
  • Client Reviews: Read client testimonials and reviews online to gauge the attorney’s reputation and client satisfaction.
  • Consultations: Schedule consultations with multiple attorneys to discuss your case, assess their expertise, and determine if you feel comfortable working with them.
  • Communication: Evaluate the attorney’s communication style and responsiveness to ensure they will keep you informed and involved throughout the legal process.
  • Fee Structure: Inquire about the attorney’s fee structure upfront, including any retainer fees, hourly rates, or contingency fees, and ensure it aligns with your budget and preferences.
  • Legal Strategy: Discuss the attorney’s approach to your case and assess whether it aligns with your goals and expectations.
  • Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts and choose an attorney whom you feel confident will effectively represent your interests and advocate on your behalf.

Conclusion

While the legal journey may be arduous, aligning with a skilled attorney empowers you to protect your rights and pursue rightful compensation. By following these steps and enlisting expert legal support, you can navigate the aftermath of a drunk driving incident with confidence and determination. 

Contact a drunk driving lawyer today for expert legal representation.

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