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Drunk driving is not just a crime that can lead to financial penalties and even jail time. It is a very dangerous behavior that can result in serious personal injury or wrongful death to innocent victims who are driving with care. Despite what some drunk drivers may tell themselves, it is undisputed that consuming alcohol impairs one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Just about every skill required for safe driving is hampered by the consumption of alcohol. Even after only one or two drinks, all of the following factors can be negatively affected:
The ability to react and respond to emergency situations is impaired in a drunk driver. If an animal or object comes suddenly into your lane, or if a car ahead makes an unexpected action, you may need to make an instant judgment and take immediate action to avoid an accident. Even when a collision is unavoidable, the actions you take may still lessen the seriousness of the accident and avoid catastrophic injury or death. Drunk drivers do not have this ability. Either they do not react in time, do not react at all, or they react inappropriately, such as overcompensating to regain control of the wheel and causing an otherwise unavoidable accident by going off the road, into another lane, or into oncoming traffic. Accidents involving drunk drivers often result in the most serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and wrongful death.
Proving that the driver who struck you was under the influence of alcohol, even driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, is helpful to your case, but it does not automatically guarantee you compensation. You will still be required to prove that the other driver was negligent while at the same time defending yourself against any claims by the lawyers on the other side that you were also negligent and contributed to the accident. If they can convince a jury that you were more than 50% at fault in the accident, then you may not recover a dime.
There are a host of other considerations that come into play, such as the statute of limitations and understanding New York no-fault insurance law and the MVAIC claims procedure, that make the road to recovery confusing and intimidating. There may be other sources of compensation as well, such as accountability under New York’s dram shop laws for those who supplied alcohol to an already intoxicated person. Make sure you have the assistance of an experienced New York drunk driving accident attorney who understands all aspects of the law and procedure and will work hard to make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation you need and deserve. If you have been hit by a drunk driver in New York City, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free consultation.