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Long Island Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

You must share the road with others, whether driving, biking, or riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, some people don't have the same respect for the rules of the road as you do. Their reckless behaviors can put your life and livelihood in peril.


Life can change in an instant. You may be driving to work, exercising on your bike, or enjoying the open road on your motorcycle. Then, through no fault of your own, a drunk driver disrupts your life. The result: debilitating injuries, damage to your vehicle, and time spent away from work and loved ones as you recover.

If you were injured in a drunk driving accident on Long Island, then you don't have to suffer the burden alone. After all, you were doing everything right. The negligent driver put your life and your family's well-being in jeopardy.

Even worse, the insurance companies are dragging their feet as you recover from injuries. The long hours on the phone (sometimes just waiting to talk to a representative), adjusters trying to minimize your claim, and feeling hopeless because you can't understand the entire insurance company terminology can be frustrating and overwhelming. But the car accident attorneys at The Ward Law Group are here to help.

Every action brings with it a reaction, and there are no exceptions in terms of drunk driving. All drivers who commit such negligence must face the consequences of their actions as adults. There is no way to accept apologies lightly or allow impunity to prevail in our city. For that, a whole legal framework is in place to protect the victims of such events.

Some points to consider within New York's legal framework regarding drunk driving and the legal consequences that these events can bring are the following:

  • BAC Limits and Criminal Charges: New York has a legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit of 0.08%. Exceeding this limit may lead to criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), as per New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) §1192.
  • Implied Consent Law: New York follows the implied consent law, which means that drivers who obtain a license agree to submit to chemical tests if suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing a test can result in a license suspension, as outlined in VTL §1194.
  • Zero Tolerance for Underage DUI: New York has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21 years old with a BAC between 0.02% and 0.07%, leading to penalties under the New York State Zero Tolerance Law (VTL §1192-a).
  • Aggravated DWI Charges: Aggravated DWI charges apply when the BAC is 0.18% or higher, leading to enhanced penalties under VTL §1192(2-a). This includes increased fines, longer license suspension, and potential mandatory alcohol education programs.
  • Ignition Interlock Devices (IID): Convicted drunk drivers in New York may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicles, as mandated by VTL §1198. This device prevents the car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath.
  • Felony Charges for Repeat Offenses: Repeat offenses within 10 years may lead to felony charges, especially with prior DWI convictions. Felony DWI charges carry more severe penalties, including the possibility of incarceration under VTL §1192(2-a).
  • Child Endangerment Charges: Driving under the influence with a child under 16 in the vehicle can lead to charges of child endangerment, as specified under VTL §1192(2)(b). This increases the severity of penalties for the intoxicated driver.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter Charges: If a drunk driving accident results in the death of another person, the driver may face vehicular manslaughter charges, which can lead to significant prison sentences, fines, and a permanent criminal record under New York Penal Law Article 125.
  • Mandatory Driver Responsibility Assessment: Convicted drunk drivers in New York may face a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee, separate from fines and other penalties. This fee is imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is required for three years.
  • Civil Liability for Third-Party Injuries: In addition to criminal charges, drunk drivers in New York can be held civilly liable for injuries or fatalities caused by accidents. Victims may pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, following the principles of negligence under New York law. An insurance company will play a particular role in terms of seeking compensation.

Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents

Vehicle-to-vehicle impacts due to drunk driving can vary depending on the context. Thus, the injuries resulting from these events also vary. Victims may have to deal with very serious injuries, as well as less life-threatening but equally distressing ones. DWI defense lawyers usually are experts in this kind of situation.

The important thing is to be patient during recovery and to be able to integrate various guidelines from different medical perspectives. What should not be lost is the holistic approach to treatment. Various disciplines should be incorporated into the healing process. From physical therapy to ruling out possible surgeries.

Our professionals have witnessed various types of injuries in victims of drunk driving accidents and criminal cases or DWI offenses. Among the most common, we have been able to record the following over the years:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Drunk driving accidents often result in head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, causing long-term cognitive impairments. For example, a victim may suffer a TBI if their head strikes the windshield during a collision.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: High-impact collisions in drunk driving accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries, causing paralysis or loss of motor function. An example is a victim sustaining a spinal cord injury due to the force of a rear-end collision while the at-fault driver was intoxicated.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures: The force of a crash can lead to fractures and broken bones. For instance, a victim may experience multiple fractures in their legs if the drunk driver collides with their vehicle at a high speed.
  • Internal Organ Damage: Drunk driving accidents can cause internal injuries, leading to organ damage. An example is a victim sustaining liver or kidney injuries due to the impact of the collision.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries are common in drunk driving accidents, often resulting from sudden deceleration. For instance, a victim may experience neck and back injuries due to the abrupt stop caused by a drunk driver.
  • Facial Injuries: Facial injuries, including fractures and lacerations, can occur if airbags deploy or if the victim's face makes contact with the steering wheel. A victim may suffer facial injuries in a drunk driving accident with a head-on collision.
  • Burn Injuries: In some cases, drunk driving accidents can lead to fires or explosions, causing severe burn injuries. For example, a victim may sustain burns if their vehicle catches fire following a collision with a drunk driver.
  • Psychological Trauma: Beyond physical injuries, victims of drunk driving accidents often experience psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Witnessing or being involved in a severe accident can have lasting emotional effects on victims.
  • Amputations: Severe accidents may result in traumatic amputations, especially in cases of entrapment or when limbs are critically injured. A victim could lose a limb in a drunk driving accident with significant external force.
  • Crush Injuries: Victims may suffer crush injuries if their vehicle is severely damaged in a drunk driving accident. For instance, a victim trapped in a mangled vehicle may experience crush injuries to extremities or internal organs.
  • Road Rash: Motorcycle riders involved in drunk driving accidents may suffer road rash, where skin is scraped off due to contact with the road surface. This type of injury can lead to infection and scarring.
  • Eye Injuries: Debris, shattered glass, or airbag deployment can cause eye injuries in drunk driving accidents. For example, a victim may sustain corneal injuries or vision impairment due to the impact of the collision.

FAQs About Drunk Driving Accident Cases

Our drunk driving accident attorneys continually receive questions regarding these cases involving driving while ability-impaired. We have taken the time to answer the most common questions so that you are more informed and know how to proceed with your case.

You can evaluate them, and if you have any additional questions, please contact our team immediately so we can assist you as best we can. Some FAQs are the following:

  • What legal actions can I take if I've been involved in a drunk driving accident? You can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver to seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • How can I prove the driver was drunk at the time of the accident? Evidence may include police officer reports, witness statements, the driver's BAC test results, field sobriety test, and any video footage of the incident. A skilled attorney can help gather and present this evidence.
  • What if the drunk driver was uninsured or underinsured? You may still have legal options depending on the circumstances, including filing a claim with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or seeking compensation through other avenues.
  • Can I sue the establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver? In some cases, yes. New York's dram shop laws hold commercial establishments liable for overserving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who later cause accidents. This depends on the specific details of the case.
  • Is there a legal limit time for filing a lawsuit after a drunk driving accident? Yes, there is a statute of limitations. In New York, it's typically three years from the accident date. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in losing the right to pursue legal action.
  • What if the drunk driver faces criminal charges? Criminal charges against the drunk driver do not preclude you from pursuing a civil case. However, a criminal conviction can be used as evidence to support your claim in a civil lawsuit. Jail time could be a consequence of criminal charges.

Contact a Long Island Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

You've been in an accident that wasn't your fault. It completely interrupted your life, and you deserve compensation. Unfortunately, the insurance companies want you to settle for less. This is how they can turn a profit. If you try to settle a claim alone, you may make critical mistakes that cost you thousands of dollars. You need money to pay the bills, put food on the table, and secure your family's future.

The Ward Law Group won't let insurance companies take advantage of you. We help English—and Spanish-speaking individuals get the compensation they need during the difficult times after a drunk driving accident. The Ward Law Group has an intimate understanding of insurance companies and how they can try to shortchange deserving victims.

So, how do you get started? Simply calling 855-DOLOR-55 connects you with a dedicated team that will explain the insurance claim process—in English or Spanish—and start fighting on your behalf