Drunk driving can affect many people, and can, unfortunately, lead to accidents that can injure or even kill safe drivers. Have you or a loved one been involved in a drunk driving accident? You may now be left wondering:
Our DUI accident lawyers represent victims and their families across the state of New Jersey. We offer free consultations where you can speak directly with an attorney about the specifics relating to your drunk driving accident case.
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents across the United States. In New Jersey, in 2018, over 11% of accidents had a driver who was intoxicated. Alcohol or drugs can impair vision, coordination, and even reaction time. A drunk driver can cause accidents that kill other drivers, or pedestrians, but these accidents can severely injure others.
Drunk driving car accidents can cause serious injuries, pain and suffering, and large medical bills. Fortunately, there are ways to receive compensation as the victim after being hit by a drunk driver. Typically, car insurance will cover compensation for accidents, and in the state of New Jersey, insurance policies must include Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Unfortunately, insurance policies have a limit, and not all drivers have car insurance. The added PIP only covers economic damage such as medical bills or lost wages. To receive compensation that covers pain, suffering, disability, loss of quality of life, emotional distress and other non-economic damages, the injured person would need to sue the drunk driver in a personal injury lawsuit.
After first being hit by a drunk driver, you should immediately call law enforcement, officers are able to investigate the accident and file reports that will be needed in potential personal injury lawsuits. Make sure to seek immediate medical attention and speak with an attorney who is experienced in drunk driving accident cases. As the injured person you may be able to seek compensation.
It is against the law to drive if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. Even if the driver's BAC is below the legal limit, they can still be convicted of a DWI.
Drunk driving in New Jersey is not just a driver visibly intoxicated by alcohol. Drivers under the influence of narcotics, hallucinogens, and even some prescription and over-the-counter medications can all result in a driver being under the influence. In New Jersey, DUI and DWI are used interchangeably. Drunk drivers may face criminal charges in addition to a civil claim. Our experienced law firm only represents the victim in a drunk driving accident and seeks to hold the responsible party liable.
A drunk driver can cause a hit-and-run accident, among other types of car accidents. Some common indicators of intoxicated drivers, or someone driving under the influence include:
In addition to the erratic driving of an impaired driver, they may have high blood pressure or elevated heart rate. They may also be confused, anxious, or even violent. Alcohol and drugs impair a person's ability to drive safely.
Even if you haven't been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you should alert the police about the suspected drunk driver to help protect someone from sustaining serious injuries if the driver causes an accident.
All personal injury lawsuit compensation is different. A car accident involving two cars will be different than a case involving more. As with most cases, a drunk driving lawsuit in New Jersey will depend on a number of factors. This can include the severity of your injuries, the extent of lost wages or other losses, and your current medical bills. If your injuries impact the quality of your life going forward, this may also be calculated into the amount you are seeking in the lawsuit. A person who drove drunk may be taken to both criminal and civil court.
In a criminal or traffic court, the drunk driver will be charged with a DWI. Occasionally this will pay restitution to the victim, but to recover non-economic damages not covered by car insurance or your insurance, you would need to file a civil lawsuit.
As the person injured by a drunk driver, or the family member of a victim of a fatal accident, you can hold the other driver liable for the negligent act. Third parties may also be held liable through Dram Shop and Social Host laws.
A dram shop is a bar or commercial establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold. The New Jersey Dram Shop Law means you are allowed to pursue damages from a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or other vendor serving alcohol. In New Jersey, this also holds a non-commercial individual liable for alcohol consumption, referred to as a Social Host. The dram shop statute is important if the driver who hit you was visibly intoxicated and uninsured.
In New Jersey, the dram shop statute states that the possibility of injury was a foreseeable consequence based on the patron's behavior and the number of drinks served. The alcohol consumed must also be proven to be the cause of the intoxication and crash. The Social Host liability is very similar, even if the drunk driver pours their own drinks. The host may be held liable if the driver was visibly intoxicated. By speaking with an experienced law firm, you can understand how Dram Shop and Social Host laws may relate to your accident.
Our lawyers understand the importance of an attorney-client relationship, which is why we offer free consultations 24/7 to victims of drunk driving accidents. The drunk driver who caused the car accident may face criminal charges, but this does not always mean monetary compensation for the victim or the family of the victim in a fatal accident. An experienced law firm will work to secure compensation for the injured party through the insurance company.
A person driving drunk in New Jersey may have their license suspended, face jail time, and may have an ignition interlock device installed in their car.
An experienced legal team can help guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim and how to recover compensation after your accident. Our local attorneys represent victims of New Jersey drunk driving accidents. Contact our experienced law firm today for a free consultation to learn more about New Jersey drunk driving accidents and your legal rights after being injured by a drunk driver or driver under the influence. Call today to learn more about financial compensation after being hit by a drunk driver.
Learn more about the drunk driving problem in America in the book Alcohol in America: Taking Action to Prevent Abuse by Steve Olson.