Drunk Driver Accidents

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime in every state. Convicted motorists may face a variety of consequences, including jail time, fines, and license suspension. Standard DUI penalties are often more severe for offenses involving accidents or injuries—regardless of whether the injured party was a passenger in the drunk driver’s car, a passenger in another car, or a pedestrian. 

But in addition to the criminal penalties, a drunk driver might face civil consequences—such as being sued in court—when someone gets injured in a DUI related accident. Anyone injured by a drunk driver—including a passenger in the drunk driver’s vehicle—can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

Most personal injury claims against drunk drivers are based on "negligence." To win a negligence lawsuit, an injured passenger would generally need to prove four elements by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not):

1) that the drunk driver owed a “duty of care” to the passenger;
2) that the driver breached the duty;
3) that the passenger was injured or harmed in some way; and
4) that the drunk driver’s breach was a cause of the injury or harm.

Given the active bar, club and party scenes in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Newark, Jersey City and other areas in and around Northern New Jersey and New York City. drunk driving accidents happen with shocking frequency. It is therefore important to hire an injury lawyer who is familiar with the laws in these areas to make sure your case is properly handled.