If no one ever got behind the wheel while impaired, the number of fatal traffic accidents that occurred across the country would decline sharply. Roughly 28 people throughout the United States die in drunk driving-related crashes every single day.
Impaired motorists are also responsible for a significant number of catastrophic injuries each year. Such injuries have the potential to leave both victims and their families physically, emotionally, and financially devastated. Thankfully, they’re usually entitled to compensation to make up for their losses.
If you were seriously hurt in a drunk driving accident, you’re probably considering filing a claim in pursuit of a payout. Chances are you’ve never done so before, though, and you’re wondering how to get started.
While every personal injury claim is unique, they all follow the same basic proceedings. Read on for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject, so you have some idea what to expect:
1. How Can You Prove the Driver Who Struck You Was Drunk?
Much of the same evidence used to bring criminal charges against the driver can be used to prove they were intoxicated when the crash happened. When building your drunk driving accident claim, the results of any chemical tests conducted in the aftermath will probably end up being the strongest evidence of liability. You can obtain these results from the official police report or from the officers who drafted it.
Other evidence that may help you prove fault includes surveillance recordings from establishments that served the driver prior to the crash, eyewitness testimony, dash camera footage, and statements from accident reconstruction experts.
2. What Kinds of Damages Can I Seek?
Virtually all the losses you end up incurring as a result of the wreck—both monetary and non-monetary—are recoverable. Examples includes:
· Health care expenses;
· Property repairs;
· Lost income, benefits, and future earning capacity;
· Objectively verifiable damages, like the cost of domestic help;
· Mental anguish;
· Physical impairment and disfigurement;
· Loss of enjoyment in life; and
· Pain and suffering.
3. How Long Do I Have to Sue a Drunk Driver?
For personal injury actions founded on negligence, which include most drunk driving accident claims, plaintiffs have three years from the date on which they were hurt to file a formal lawsuit. If the injuries proved fatal, however, the deceased’s surviving loved ones have just two years to proceed with a wrongful death action.
While it might seem like you have plenty of time, there are a number of exceptions to these statutes. In other words, you could end up having to meet a much shorter filing deadline. To ensure you don’t miss your window of opportunity, it’s advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after the wreck.
Speak with a New York Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
At Leitner Varughese, we’re proud to help accident victims pursue the funds needed to make their lives whole again. Backed by more than 35 years of combined experience in legal practice, our compassionate team knows what it takes to secure sizable settlements and verdicts from even the most reluctant insurers.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer in New York, fill out our Contact Form or call 855-585-2969. We counsel clients in New York City, Long Island, and throughout the rest of the state.