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Driving While Intoxicated Accidents

Injured by a Driver Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs?

Experienced Driving While Intoxicated Accident Law Firm Serving Injured Claimants in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver in the Massachusetts, New Jersey or New York areas, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Driving while intoxicated is a serious danger and a much discussed issue by legislatures, safety administrations and agencies across the United States.

While driving under the influence crashes have been occurring since motor vehicles were invented, it has never been more important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases. For example, did you know that under the Bankruptcy Code, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy “does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt . . . for death or personal injury caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle . . . if such operation was unlawful because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance”? 

A car accident caused by a someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only a case of severe driver recklessness but also a cause of potentially life-threatening injuries. If you would like to discuss your legal matter, please contact Neil R. Marion Injury Law at 862-377-9079.

FREQUENCY AND SEVERITY OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (dui) ACCIDENTS

Research shows that around thirty individuals lose their lives daily due to drivers who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol in the United States. Moreover, approximately one out of every three traffic-related fatalities in the United States involves a driver under the influence. In Massachusetts, roughly 140 arrests were made for every 100,000 residents for driving under the influence in 2018.

Despite concerted endeavors to stop intoxicated driving, it continues to remain a common (and deadly) hazard. Over a span of ten years, the CDC reported that 1,370 individuals lost their lives due to drunk drivers in Massachusetts alone.

Distinguishing Criminal and Civil DUI Trials

When individuals operate vehicles under the influence, they pose a grave risk to the safety of pedestrians and fellow drivers. Should you be involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you might have the opportunity to seek compensation for the pain and hardships you’ve endured. Typically, a person facing charges of drunk driving will navigate two distinct legal proceedings: criminal and civil. In a criminal trial, no financial restitution is granted; however, upon conviction, the offender might face penalties like imprisonment, community service, or fines. Particularly if the intoxicated driver’s actions led to a fatality, the consequences could be more severe.

As the victim, you maintain the right to initiate a civil lawsuit against the liable party, regardless of their criminal trial outcome. The judge will determine the amount of monetary compensation, largely contingent on the circumstances surrounding the accident. In most jurisdictions, there’s a limited timeframe for filing such suits, and enlisting the services of an experienced legal professional significantly bolsters your likelihood of success. Throughout a civil trial, you can pursue compensation for your anguish, medical expenses, lost earnings, and any other entitled benefits.

ADDITIONAL PARTIES THAT MAY BE RESPONSIBLE

If you find yourself in an accident involving a drunk driver, it’s possible that the person or entity that served the driver alcohol could bear responsibility for your losses. Establishments such as bars, clubs, and liquor stores that serve alcoholic beverages are often held partially accountable for failing to exercise prudence by declining service to patrons. To hold a dram shop accountable for the damages and losses you’ve incurred, Neil R. Marion Injury Law, PLLC would work to:

  1. Demonstrate their duty of care: Dram shops may have an obligation to exercise care toward their customers, including refraining from serving individuals who are intoxicated. Upholding the safety of their patrons and others might fall under their responsibility.

  2. Establish a breach of duty of care: Often referred to as negligence, a breach of duty of care can carry legal consequences for the dram shop. We’ll need to gather evidence indicating that the establishment or its employees acted negligently, like selling alcohol to a customer who was clearly unfit to drive thus elevating the risk of injury to those on the road.

  3. Provide evidence of causation: Demonstrating a direct link between negligence and injuries or other losses is crucial in holding dram shops accountable for their actions. This might entail collecting evidence such as police reports, photos, videos, and other pertinent information.

  4. Substantiate the impact of your losses: Injuries often bring medical expenses, but they could also result in wage loss, property damage, legal fees, and more. Falling victim to a drunk driving accident involving a driver who left a bar or dram shop can result in substantial financial burdens.

If you wish to pursue a case against a Boston dram shop for your losses, it’s advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible. Much of the evidence needed to prove liability, such as the tapes from the security cameras from the dram shop, will likely be deleted the more time that passes. Proving liability can be intricate, but we here at Neil R. Marion Injury Law, PLLC, can help alleviate the stress associated with the one or more legal proceedings that can arise. Your attorney can aid in gathering and evaluating evidence, participating in or leading investigations, and presenting your account of events in a compelling and equitable manner.

WHO BEARS RESPONSIBILITY FOR DRUNK DRIVING RELATED LOSSES?

Various parties could be responsible for the injuries or damages you’ve suffered, and identifying the liable party (or parties) is often essential for obtaining fair compensation for your losses. While a drunk driver is usually responsible, a dram shop such as a bar or club might be responsible as well. Before taking legal action, it’s advisable to consider the following entities:

  • The drunk driver
  • The owner of drunk driver’s vehicle
  • Dram shop staff and owners
  • Dram shop premise’s owners
  • Other patrons
  • Inebriated passengers
  • Manufacturers of parts, equipment, or vehicles
  • City or state government
  • Any other individuals present

Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties might be answerable for your losses. Given the complexities involved, it’s recommended to collaborate with an attorney experienced in these matters. Your attorney can serve as your advocate, manage paperwork, maintain your schedule, and more. Contact us below to learn how we can help.

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