Queens Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Drunk Driving Accidents in New York City
Despite the well-known dangers of drunk driving, thousands of people choose to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, leading to hundreds of accidents and traffic-related fatalities in New York City every year.
At the Harris Firm, LLC, we believe that victims of drunk drivers deserve justice. Our Queens drunk driving accident attorneys represent injured individuals, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed, in all types of alcohol-involved motor vehicle accidents. We understand the devastating impact these collisions have on victims and their loved ones, and we strive to hold drunk drivers responsible.
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a drunk driver, reach out to our firm today to learn how we can help. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries and losses, including your medical expenses, pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and lost earnings. Our team is here to guide you through the process of filing a claim and seeking the fair financial recovery you are owed.
Can You Sue a Drunk Driver After an Accident?
Most drunk driving accidents in New York City fall under the state’s no-fault system. This means that it is not always necessary—nor possible—to sue a drunk driver after an accident. In fact, the first course of action typically involves filing a claim with your own auto insurance provider. To file a personal injury protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) claim, you do not need to prove that the other driver was at fault. However, this type of insurance only does not cover all of your accident-related losses. Specifically, it only covers up to a percentage of your economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, and it does not cover any non-economic losses, like pain and suffering.
In order to recover for non-economic damages, as well as to make up the difference in compensation for economic losses, you may be able to go outside the no-fault system and file a car accident claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company. You may even be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit directly against the drunk driver. To do this, you will need to prove that your damages exceed $50,000 and/or your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury threshold.”
To meet the state’s “serious injury threshold,” your injury must be a bone fracture or result in:
- Significant disfigurement
- Significant impairment of a bodily function or system
- Permanent impairment of the use of a body member or organ
- Substantial and full disability for a period of at least 90 days
Because most drunk driving accidents are catastrophic, many victims meet this threshold. Additionally, eligible surviving family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver after a fatal accident, as death is considered a qualifying injury.
Note that to have grounds for a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit against the drunk driver, you will need to prove that their negligence or wrongful conduct (e.g., driving under the influence of alcohol) was the cause of your injuries. You will also need to prove your injuries and demonstrate your damages to recover compensation.
How Are Drunk Driving Accident Claims Different from DUI Cases?
In New York, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, sometimes referred to as “driving while intoxicated,” or DWI, is a crime. A person found guilty of driving drunk can be charged with DUI and may face several harsh criminal and administrative penalties. These penalties include steep fines, possible jail or prison time, driver’s license suspension or revocation, and mandatory ignition interlock device installation. While the purpose of these penalties is to both punish offenders and deter others from driving while intoxicated, they do little to help victims of drunk drivers.
A drunk driving accident claim, on the other hand, allows victims to recover financial compensation for both economic and non-economic losses caused by the drunk driver’s conduct.
A successful drunk driving accident claim or lawsuit can allow you to recover the following types of damages:
- Emergency medical care
- Medical treatments, including surgery and rehabilitation
- Future medical expenses and ongoing care costs
- Medications and medical equipment/devices
- In-home assistance and care costs
- Lost income, wages, and employment benefits
- Lost future earnings and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Disfigurement and inconvenience
- Counseling and/or therapy services
When an individual dies in a drunk driving accident or due to injuries sustained in such a collision, their surviving family members may be able to recover compensation for related damages in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
The outcome of a criminal DUI case has no bearing on the outcome of a civil lawsuit. This is true whether the drunk driver pleads guilty, is convicted, or has their charges dropped. However, a DUI conviction may be used as powerful evidence in a civil drunk driving accident lawsuit, as it serves as proof of the drunk driver’s negligence.
Why Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you are likely dealing with severe injuries and extensive time off work. The overall extent of your damages may be significant, meaning the insurance company may be more likely to dispute or deny your claim. By putting an experienced attorney on your side, you put yourself in the best possible position to recover the full, fair compensation you are owed.
At the Harris Firm, LLC, our Queens drunk driving accident attorneys are well-versed in complex motor vehicle accident claims, including cases involving intoxicated motorists. We have helped victims of all types of drunk driving collisions, including cases involving multiple vehicles, uninsured motorists, commercial truck drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. We are known for our aggressive approach to negotiation and litigation, and our attorneys have earned a hard-won reputation for securing every last cent our clients are owed.
As your legal team, we will handle every last detail so that you can focus on healing. We understand the importance of working quickly to secure a favorable settlement on your behalf, but we are also prepared to go to trial if that is what it takes to maximize your recovery. We invite you to reach out to us today to learn more during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
No Fees Unless We Win Your Case
Our firm offers all legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any upfront fees or pay any out-of-pocket expenses when you work with our team. Instead, our attorneys’ fees are contingent on them winning your case. In other words, if we do not recover compensation on your behalf, you do not pay us a dime.
We have two convenient office locations in Queens and the Bronx. We can also travel to your home or meet you in the hospital if your injuries prevent you from coming to us. Our multilingual staff can assist you in the language are most comfortable with, including English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Bangali/Vangia.
Mr.Harris handled my case perfectly- Saidou K.
I changed my attorney to Mr.Harris and it was the best decision I've made- Genesis A.
Mr. Harris was very professional, and I’m very grateful what he has done for my case.- Lola L.
Very grateful! Definitely will recommend Mr. Harris to anyone who needs.- Sharanjeet S.
Mr. Harris is the very best in the business has been doing this for over 25 years- Israel Y.