The screech of tires and the crunch of two cars colliding are the sounds that stick with you after a car accident, but there is one more sound that enrages injured accident victims — the slurred speech of the other driver.
Many of the Bergen County residents the Levin & Malkin team represents suspect the driver that caused the accident they were injured in was driving under the influence. Our firm’s experienced team of attorneys aggressively go after suspected drunk drivers who have injured our clients.
What Is Driving Under The Influence?
In New Jersey, a person is guilty of drunk driving if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. BAC is a commonly accepted measure of the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. It can be measured with a breath test, or by drawing blood.
It is also important to note that although the legal blood alcohol limit that indicates intoxication is .08, under New Jersey law, any driver whose driving is negatively impacted by alcohol consumption can be convicted of drunk driving, no matter their BAC.
Holding Drunk Drivers Responsible
Assuming you called the police to report your accident, which is something you should always do, it is possible that the other driver will be charged with drunk driving. If they are guilty, the state may fine them, take away their license, and even imprison them. But all that does little to help you.
Even if the other driver is convicted of drunk driving, you will need to file a separate claim against your insurance policy and/or civil lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries. The insurance claim/civil lawsuit and criminal cases are completely unrelated. However, the outcome of the criminal case may be important evidence in your insurance claim/civil case, and you may be called as a witness in the criminal case.
Because New Jersey is a “no fault” state, the first place accident victims turn for compensation is their own insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. We understand how frustrating it is to feel like you are the one paying for a drunk driver’s action, which is why we also mentioned the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit.
In some situations, it may be appropriate to file a separate civil lawsuit against the drunk driver or the entity that served alcohol to the drunk driver. Under New Jersey law, accident victims are allowed to seek compensation beyond their PIP limits if certain conditions are met. It is also possible to seek compensation from the bar, restaurant, nightclub, or other business that over-served the drunk driver; or the social host who failed to stop the drunk driver from getting behind the wheel.
Millions Won For Our Clients
If you or a loved one was seriously injured by a drunk driver, and you want to know what steps you can take to hold that driver accountable, let’s talk. The Levin & Malkin team will review your case free of charge and let you know what options are available to you. Please contact our office to schedule a meeting.
Posted in: Drunk Driving Accidents