New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Drunk Driving and Personal Injury
One of the biggest problems in the United States is drunk driving. Nearly 30 people die every year in an automobile accident that involved a driver drinking alcohol. That means that there is approximately one death every 48 minutes. According to the CDC, there were 9,967 deaths caused by driving crashes that involve alcohol in 2014, accounting for 31% (nearly one-third) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
Law enforcement officials arrested over 1.1 million drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That accounts for 1% of the 121 million self-reported alcohol-impaired driving episodes among the nation’s adults each year.
Restitution and DUIs
Two types of fines can be imposed on individuals convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These fines are as follows:
- Criminal fines are used to deter the defendant from committing other crimes similar in nature and can vary depending on state law, the circumstances that led to the event, and the appointed judge. It is during criminal proceedings that criminal fines are generally issued.
- It is also noteworthy to know that restitution is frequently sought during a civil proceeding. For most DUI cases, any economic damage that stemmed from the incident is restitution.
Victims of DUIs can file a lawsuit for any economic damages incurred from the incident. These damages can include medical bills, property damage, car replacement and repairs, loss of income, attorney fees and rental fees. While restitution related to pain and suffering is not considered by the court, restitution can involve any tangible economic losses.
Who finalizes how much restitution must be paid?
In cases involving DUIs, the amount of restitution to be paid by the defendant is decided by a judge and not a jury. This decision is often made based on all the evidence presented by the defendant, but when making this decision, the judge can consider everything from victim testimony to financial documents.
Will restitution be covered by the defendant’s insurance?
While it can be helpful to have insurance, there is also a possibility that the judge will order the defendant to pay more than what the insurance will cover. Even after the victim’s claim is settled by your insurance company, the judge can still issue fines for the defendant.
Even if the plaintiff has insurance and has been given compensation for medical costs or car repairs, the responsibility for covering their cost may still fall upon you, depending on the judge’s ruling.
The Best Law Firm in the Big Apple
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you should immediately contact the personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280. You can discuss the merits of your case during the first consultation which is free and find out what your chances are in the eyes of the law, what your case is worth, if anything, how long the case will take, what you need to do to win this case, and so on.
RMFW Law has won millions of dollars for past clients, you too can be on this supreme list. You have to make the call though, the number is right above. RMFW Law knows how to win cases and we have been doing it for years.