police on the scene of car accident at night

What Are My Rights After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?

Many people understand the risks and dangers of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. However, drunk driving continues to be a major problem in the state of New York and other parts of the country. If you are ever in this situation, learn what your rights are pursuing compensation against the responsible driver.

Filing a Lawsuit

New York is one of the handful of states that follows a “no-fault” insurance rule, meaning that you will file a claim with your own insurance company for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. This is the case no matter who is at fault for the accident, including whether it was the drunk driver’s own negligence that caused your accident.

However, drunk driving accidents oftentimes lead to devastating injuries and damages which your own insurance may not completely cover. If your total economic damages exceed $50,000, you may bring a civil lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. The claim would be filed with the driver’s liability insurance coverage.

Additionally, you may also sue the driver if the injuries you sustained in the drunk driving accident leads to a “serious injury,” such as:

  • Fracture

  • Disfigurement

  • Scarring

  • Lifelong disability

  • Permanent loss of a bodily function or organ

  • Loss of a fetus

Proving Fault

When a drunk driving crash occurs, the responsible party may face two types of legal action: criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits, with the latter being the one that impacts you. These are two distinct cases, however, evidence and other aspects can overlap.

For instance, in order to establish fault in your civil lawsuit and successfully obtain compensation, your car accident attorney may utilize evidence that was collected and used by the prosecution, such as:

  • Field sobriety test evidence

  • Breath and blood test results

  • Initial police reports

  • Witness statements

Even if the driver’s criminal charge is dropped, keep in mind that you are still eligible to pursue damages in a civil lawsuit.

Our Dedicated Legal Team Is Here For You

If you are injured in a drunk driving accident, you need seasoned legal representation immediately. You shouldn’t have to front the medical bills and suffer lost wages because of an accident that you didn’t even cause.

The personal injury attorneys at The Odierno Law Firm are here to stand in your corner during these difficult times. We will gather all the evidence needed to prove how the other driver’s reckless actions resulted in your damages. Additionally, if you suffered a “serious injury,” our firm can help you pursue damages for pain and suffering.

Let us take care of the legal work so you can focus on healing the right way. Contact The Odierno Law Firm at (631) 250-4212 to schedule a free consultation with our Long Island drunk driving lawyers.