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New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer > New York City Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer

New York City Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer

According to the New York State Police, drunk drivers cause more than 17,000 deaths annually. This means that on average, a person dies in a drunk driving accident roughly every 30 minutes. And to put things in additional perspective, about 30 percent of all fatal car crashes in New York State are considered alcohol related.

Even when victims survive, they often face a long and painful road to regaining what they lost in the accident. It is therefore important to hold a drunk driver legally–and financially–accountable for the harm they cause. A qualified New York City drunk driver accident lawyer can assist you in this area. Michael Gunzburg, P.C., is a New York personal injury firm that serves clients throughout the city. If a drunk driver’s careless, negligent, and criminal actions have caused suffering to you and your family, we are here to help.

What Makes Drunk Driving Different Than Other New York City Car Accidents?

As a no-fault state, car accident victims normally seek compensation for their medical bills and other out-of-pocket losses through their own insurance company. But most New York auto insurance policies only cover up to $50,000 in economic losses. And no-fault insurance does not cover most non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.

Drunk driving accidents, however, often result in far more serious injuries than your typical fender bender. Under New York law, when a drunk driver accident victim sustains a “serious” injury–such as the permanent limitation to the use of a body part or internal organ–they can step outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver and their insurance company.

Additionally, there may be third parties who can also be held civilly liable. New York’s Dram Shop Act allows drunk driver accident victims to sue a bar, restaurant, or retailer who furnishes alcohol to an underage driver or a person who is “visibly intoxicated.” Similar laws cover individuals who choose to furnish alcohol to minors in a social setting.

And unlike many New York City car accident lawsuits, a drunk driver may also be on the hook for punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, which are meant to cover the drunk driver accident victim’s personal losses, punitive damages are a form of civil punishment that “send a message” that certain behavior will not be tolerated in a civil society. Punitive damages require proof of especially egregious conduct, which generally includes operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Contact Our New York City Drunk Driver Accident Lawyers Today

A final thing to keep in mind is that civil and criminal liability for drunk driving are separate matters. In other words, you can always pursue a personal injury claim against a drunk driver even if they are never charged or convicted of a crime in connection with your accident. This is because the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is much lower than with a criminal prosecution.

So if you, or someone in your family, has been devastated by a drunk driver’s actions, do not hesitate to stand up for your rights under the law. To speak with our New York City drunk driver accident victim lawyer, call Michael Gunzburg, P.C., at 212-725-8500 today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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