Driving while under the influence is not only against the law, it is a dangerous act that puts the motorist and all other road users at risk of suffering needless harm. While legislation and law enforcement have made steps toward cracking down on drunk driving, unfortunately, these accidents still occur.
When you or a loved one are hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident in Buffalo, the compassionate legal team at Richmond Vona, LLC is here to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Reach out to our team to speak with a dedicated car accident attorney in a free consultation regarding your accident.
How Are Drunk Driving Cases Handled?
A car accident injury case in Buffalo that is caused by a drunk driver is different from other types of car accident injury cases because there is both a criminal and civil action. What this means is if a driver is drunk and causes an accident, that driver will be subject to not only a potential civil lawsuit on behalf of the injured person, but a criminal investigation and criminal charges on behalf of the county where this wreck took place. Both cases will run simultaneously, and although there are different standards and paths in which these cases are prosecuted, they do go hand in hand.
In addition, in a drunk driving accident, other parties could be responsible besides the drunk driver. For instance, New York State has the Dram Shop Act, which states that if a bar or restaurant owner makes a commercial sale of alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a person who is actually or apparently under the age of 21, that restaurant or bar may be held liable for the damages caused by the actions of a drunk driver.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving lawyer serving Buffalo, call (716) 300-5885
Are a DUI Case and an Injury Case Separate?
After a drunk driving car accident in Buffalo, the injury and DWI cases get handled separately. The injury case is dealt with through the civil process, and if a lawsuit is filed, it is filed in the Supreme Court and is handled by a personal injury attorney who works to get the injured party the highest settlement possible either through a pre-suit settlement or ultimately by a trial verdict.
The DWI or DUI case is handled by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and is prosecuted under criminal standards. Ultimately, the burden of proof is higher in the criminal case than in the civil case. However, it is essential to remember that testimony and other evidence elicited in either case can often be used in the other case, or in both cases, so it is important that legal representation is hired by the person who was injured in a drunk driving accident so that the attorney can work hand in hand with the district attorney’s office.
What if the Injured Person Is Also the Drunk Driver?
In a situation where the injured person was also the drunk driver, they will typically be found to be 100% liable or responsible for the accident and thus for their injuries. Therefore, if an injured person was the drunk driver, a personal injury attorney will not be able to assist that party since they will likely be found 100% liable, and there is no path to civil recovery.
Buffalo Drunk Driving Lawyer Near Me (716) 300-5885
What Damages Are Available After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Compensation sought by the plaintiff in a drunk driving accident in Buffalo or anywhere else in New York can include economic and non-economic damages, as seen in other types of accidents. Economic damages include all forms of past and future financial loss related to the event, including out-of-pocket expenses, medical care, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are subjective and account for things such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental and emotional anguish. Additionally, drunk driving accidents are particularly ripe for punitive damage awards, especially if the drunk driver who caused the accident has a history of drunk driving, or other prior conduct that makes their behavior particularly egregious or malicious under the circumstances.
Reach Out for Help After a Buffalo Drunk Driving Accident
Suffering harm due to someone else’s negligent or careless actions is never okay. When you are involved in a drunk driving car accident in Buffalo and sustain injuries and other losses, our team can help you pursue what you need to set things right. Reach out to Richmond Vona, LLC today for a free consultation from a trusted advocate.