The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that drunk driving accidents led to over 10,000 fatalities in 2018. Drunk driving accidents totaled an estimated $44 billion in 2010, and many alcohol-related accidents involve young children. A drunk driving accident can leave you with a number of losses and costs.
You cannot put a dollar figure on the pain, suffering, and loss of life that an accident can lead to, but personal injury laws and accident litigation may help you recover certain accident-related losses. An Oakdale drunk driving accident lawyer can walk you through everything you need to know about filing a claim and taking legal action after suffering a drunk driving accident. To learn more about personal injury and accident litigation, contact a team member at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000.
The Dangers of Alcohol-Impaired Driving
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you can be arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. Although it is illegal to drink and drive in most states in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that over one million motor vehicle operators countrywide were arrested for drunk driving in 2016.
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, slows your responses, can blur your vision, and can encourage reckless driving. It weakens the most important skills needed for safe driving and can slow your ability to recover from headlight glare, potentially leaving you blinded for seconds at a stretch during night driving.
What makes drunk driving especially dangerous is that the person does not have to look or feel intoxicated to suffer the effects of alcohol consumption. Higher BACs can lead to:
- Inability to multitask
- Loss of judgment
- Limited alertness
- Impaired coordination
- Inability to control your vehicle
- Compromised information processing
- Inability to brake
- Inability to maintain lane integrity
From the above, it is clear why drinking and driving is illegal and dangerous, but too many people still get behind the wheel while alcohol-impaired. If a driver was drinking and committed any of the above negligent driving behaviors, a lawyer can use this to build your case.
Types of Accidents and Injuries
A driver can cause an accident even with a BAC of below 0.08%. The effects of alcohol depend on the amount of alcohol ingested, how much time elapses between drinks, and the person’s weight or body size. A driver can face serious penalties and jail time for drinking and driving, especially if they cause an accident leading to bodily injuries, death, or property damage.
Drunk driving can lead to a number of different types of accidents. These may include:
- Frontal collisions
- Rear-end crashes
- Sideswipe accidents
- Intersection/T-bone accidents
- Parking lot crashes
- Truck accidents
- Jackknifing or rollover accidents
- Lane change and blind spot accidents
- Speeding accidents
- Wrong turn accidents
These accidents can all lead to injuries or death to other road users. Examples of accident-related injuries commonly seen in drunk driving accidents include:
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck and back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of a body part
- Loss of a body function
- Muscle and tissue damage
- Internal organ damage
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
In addition to physical injuries, drunk driving accidents can lead to substantial losses in the form of:
- Vehicle or property damage
- Lost income
- Lower earning potential
- Burial, funeral, or cremation expenses for a loved one who passed away in an accident
- Mental anguish
- Emotional suffering
- Anxiety and distress
You should not have to suffer because of the actions of an at-fault or negligent road user. An Oakdale drunk driving accident lawyer will help you quantify your losses and gather evidence to support a claim or a personal injury lawsuit so that you can start getting your life together after your accident. Contact a team member from Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000 to discuss your case.
Drunk Driving Penalties
Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and is illegal in many cases. Anyone who causes an accident that results in personal injuries, property damage, or the death of another road user can be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or even vehicular homicide if criminal negligence was involved in the accident.
According to the DMV, the penalties for different drinking and driving charges can include:
- Misdemeanor or Class E Felony charges
- Fines of between $300 and $10,000
- Jail sentences of up to seven years
- Community service
- License revocations
- Delayed relicensing
- Driving restrictions
- The installation of an interlock device
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney can help you with a drunk driving accident in the following ways.
- Identifying liable parties: Liable parties are usually an impaired driver, a seller of alcoholic drinks, or a commercial entity such as a trucking company.
- Gathering evidence: Police reports, accident video footage, and eyewitness statements can be used to build your case.
- Quantifying losses: An attorney can help you assess the extent of your losses.
- Filing paperwork: There are many legal, insurance, and administrative steps involved in vehicle accident claims that an attorney can help you complete.
Contact Us Today
A drunk driving accident can forever change the course of your life. You may lose a loved one or suffer long-term injuries that may take months or longer to recover from, all at considerable expense to you.
An Oakdale drunk driving accident lawyer may be able to fight for your compensation. Contact a member of our team from Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000 to learn more. We can tell you about drunk driving accident laws, how to identify liable parties, how we can help quantify your losses, and how to navigate the insurance formalities that apply to your case.