Steps to Take After Sustaining Injuries in a Drunk Driving Accident
The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can leave victims with damaged property, serious or life-threatening injuries, and could even result in fatalities. After the dust has settled, you will start the process of recovering, both physically and financially, from the actions of a drunk driver. Here is what you should know about the challenged involved in filing a claim where a drunk driver is involved.
Drunk Driving v. DUI’s
New Jersey’s legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or over, but the analysis of what makes a “drunk driver” does not end there. Alcohol may impair a driver though it may not be enough to pass the legal limit for a DUI conviction. If a driver causes an accident, and there is evidence that alcohol was involved, this evidence could be used to prove that the driver’s impaired state contributed to the accident. The civil and criminal justice systems are separate and the standard of proof in a criminal case is higher than it is in a civil court. So, even if the driver was not arrested or charged with a DUI/DWI, that does not mean that the victim or their family is precluded from collecting from them.
Gathering All The Evidence
Just like with all car accident cases, you will need to gather proper evidence to prove that the driver was liable for the accident. Follow all the usual procedures you would after a regular fender bender. This includes:
- Call the police and alert them of the accident
- Seek medical attention
- Take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle
- Collect necessary information from the driver and other witnesses, if available
When the police arrive, they will assess each driver’s state and determine if a blood alcohol test is necessary. If done correctly and promptly, the results of this test is important evidence in helping establish fault in the crash. Remember, even if the driver’s BAC is under .08, they can still be held liable, if their impairment was the cause of the accident!
The two categories of damages a victim is entitled to are economic and non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills, future necessary medical treatment, past and future lost wages, certain out-of-pocket expenses, and others. Non-economic damages are intangible damages that may be from pain and suffering or loss of consortium (benefits of a family relationship). Documentation is needed to show that the victim suffered these losses as a result of the accident. In many cases, it is the at-fault driver’s insurance company that financially compensates the victim.
Seek Legal Help!
Dealing with insurance companies after a motor vehicle accident can be a taxing and emotionally draining experience for the victims and their families. In these cases, it is often a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you. An experienced personal injury attorney will be your advocate throughout the process, helping to gather all the proper evidence and put pressure on the insurance companies to get you fair and just compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Contact A Scotch Plains Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Crash Injures in New Jersey Today
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a drunk driving accident in NJ? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC represent clients injured due to car crashes all throughout New Jersey. Call 877-423-4878 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office at 1827 E 2nd St, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 as well as Westfield, Morristown, East Brunswick, Clifton, Cherry Hill, and Newark, New Jersey.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.