Drunk Driving is a Menace to Our Roads
It has happened again. According to the Daily News, a drunk driver has caused a multi-car crash, critically injuring several people. Twenty-seven-year-old David Olivier was speeding his Mercedes down Flatbush Avenue on April 13 when he crashed into a BMW that was preparing to make a left-hand turn. Mr. Oliver then plowed his car into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk. After being struck, the BMW crashed into Honda preparing to make a right-hand turn.
The accident left two people—a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old—in critical condition because of head wounds. Several other pedestrians also suffered injuries. After the crash, Olivier got out of his vehicle looking dazed before lying down on the ground. According to police, he refused to take a breathalyzer test but appeared intoxicated. According to ABC7NY, the driver has been charged with DWI.
Drunk Drivers Cause Devastating Injuries
After a collision, injured pedestrians and motorists face months or more of medical treatment to try and recover from their injuries. Our clients come to us with some of the most serious injuries around, including:
- Crush limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Even less serious injuries like cuts, lacerations, and broken bones can swiftly develop complications. For example, a bone might not be set properly, or a laceration could become infected if not cleaned properly. These complications will only add to your recovery time, possibly forcing you to miss work or school.
Understanding New York’s No Fault Laws
Generally, injured motorists must contact their own insurer after a car accident. Because New York is a no-fault state, you don’t need to prove that the other driver was at fault. Instead, you can immediately tap your benefits.
However, New York’s law also limits whether you can bring a lawsuit against the other driver. In particular, you can typically only bring a lawsuit if you have suffered a serious injury, such as:
- Bone fracture
- Significant limitation to a body system, function, organ, or member
- Permanent limitation to a body member or organ
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Full disability for 90 at least days
- Death of a family member
- Economic loss over $50,000
If you satisfy one of the above threshold injuries, you might be able to bring a lawsuit for compensation, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If not, you will need to find other sources of compensation if you exhaust your no-fault insurance benefits.
Using New York’s Dram Shop Law
Like most other states, you might be able to sue an alcohol vendor legally responsible for the accident if they sold alcohol to someone underage or to someone who was clearly intoxicated. The law does not define visible intoxication, but signs might include slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and lack of balance or coordination. If you cannot sue the drunk driver, then suing a vendor might be an alternative.
Speak with a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer
After a collision with a drunken driver, you need an experienced attorney by your side. At The Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates in Brooklyn, our approach has yielded decades of favorable awards for our clients. To start the process, contact us today by calling 718-407-4123.