Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers in NJ
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Monmouth County, NJ
Tens of thousands of people drive drunk in New Jersey each year, and far too many of these drivers are involved in drunk driving accidents that cause serious injuries or even death to other drivers and pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,816 people were killed in accidents involving drunk drivers in New Jersey in a nine-year period. Moreover, back, neck, and other serious injuries are common in drunk driving accidents, many of which require months or even years of recovery. If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you may still be suffering terrible pain stemming from the accident. In addition to your physical and emotional suffering, drunk driving accidents often lead to significant damage of your vehicle, time and money lost while unable to work, skyrocketing medical bills, and many other devastating losses for victims and families.
Perhaps the worst part? Driving under the influence is entirely preventable. In other words, what you are your loved ones are going through never even had to happen in the first place. While nothing can rectify this difficult reality with which to come to terms, you can pursue justice and just compensation from the driver responsible with a personal injury lawsuit. If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, get a better understanding of your legal options to pursue a financial recovery. Contact an experienced NJ Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer today for a free consultation about your case.
Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers in New Jersey
New Jersey recognizes any driver who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more as legally driving while intoxicated. Even drivers with lower BAC’s may be considered “under the influence” if they have any amount of alcohol in their system and it causes them to drive less safely than a sober person would in the same circumstances. Additionally, a person who drives impaired by a drug – whether an illegal or legal controlled dangerous substance – is acting in violation of New Jersey’s DUI statute.
While prosecutors may pursue their own cases against drunk drivers, you or a loved one who has been injured in a drunk driving accident may also file a lawsuit to recover money damages for your financial losses, as well as pain and suffering. Drivers are required by law to operate their vehicles while taking reasonable care to ensure the safety of others on the road. If the driver who hit you or your car was drunk, their reckless disregard for your safety means they may be held liable for your injuries.
New Jersey also has what are known as DRAM Shop Laws, which hold bar and tavern owners responsible for the injuries caused by a drunk driver if they continued to serve a person while he or she was visibly intoxicated, and that person subsequently injured someone else.
What Damages can I Recover for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?
Damages in drunk driving accident cases are primarily designed to compensate you for your injuries, including calculable financial losses and pain and suffering. By bringing a lawsuit against the drunk driver who injured you in an accident, you can recover damages for days of work that you missed, income that you may lose due to inability to work at your former job, the costs of medical treatment, and any rehabilitative therapies that you may need. You can also recover damages for the emotional and physical toll that your injuries take on your life. You may even be able to recover punitive damages, imposed by the court to punish a drunk driver whose conduct was particularly willful, wanton, or otherwise egregious in causing the accident. These damages are also available if your drunk driving accident claim is filed against a business owner of a bar or tavern.
To best position yourself for the maximum financial recovery, it is critical to have an experienced attorney who can assemble and present a strong case during negotiations or litigation with the other driver’s insurance company, the lawyer representing the drunk driver, or the legal team reprsenting the establishment responsible for over-serving them. A top-quality personal injury attorney will gather copious amounts of evidence, including witness statements, photos of the accident scene, reports made by accident reconstructionists, medical records, and other types of documentation to best support your claim.
Does my Insurance Affect my Claim against an Intoxicated Driver?
Although this may come as a surprise, your ability to bring a lawsuit against a drunk driver (or any other driver who causes injury to you) may be limited by your auto insurance policy. New Jersey’s auto insurance system is governed by “no-fault” rules, meaning that your car insurance company will often pay for damages resulting from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault, through your Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage.
Some of these no-fault car insurance policies are “limited right to sue policies,” which can limit your ability to recover damages from the party responsible for your injuries, and some of these policies are “unlimited right to sue” policies, which means there is no limit on the amount of compensation you can obtain from the other driver or his or her insurance company. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you determine which type of policy you have, and how it might affect your claim against a drunk driver who injured you.
Find an NJ Drunk Driving Injury Attorney who can Help with Your Claim
From our offices in Wall, NJ, our highly skilled NJ injury attorneys represent victims of drunk drivers in Freehold, Howell, Holmdel, Toms River, Monmouth County, Ocean County, and throughout New Jersey. Contact us anytime at 732-825-6120 or send us a message to speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer who can further assist you free of charge.