My Car Accident Was Caused by a Drunk Driver. Can I Sue?
Getting into a motor vehicle accident is one of the most frightening experiences an individual can have. The injuries a driver could sustain can vary greatly and result in missed time off work, medical bills and mental anguish. While the saying that “accidents happen,” does, indeed, apply to certain types of motor vehicle crashes, ones caused by a drunk driver are never a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Drunk driving is a form of careless behavior that can cause catastrophic injuries to everyone involved, including, sadly, the loss of someone’s life. If you or someone you love was injured or taken away too soon as a result of a drunk driving accident, you have rights. And the Law Office of Richard A. Stoloff can help. Learn more about who you can hold responsible for a drunk driving accident below.
Is New Jersey a No-Fault Insurance State?
Yes, New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. This means that the personal injury protection that each driver holds will cover the damages that he or she sustained in the accident. Like any other type of motor vehicle accident, injured victims will need to contact their insurance company to collect compensation. This compensation can help you cover the cost of lost wages, if you’re unable to return to work, hospital bills, diagnostic testing, medication and a variety of other medical expenses. If your loved one died as a result of a drunk driving accident, their personal injury protection may be able to pay death benefits to the surviving spouse. The amount of compensation you can recover will vary wildly on the level of personal injury protection you purchased.
Who is Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident?
At first glance, you may think that the driver alone is the only one you can sue for the accident they caused. That’s not true. In some cases, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against a place of business or a social host.
You may be able to successfully bring a claim against a social host if they served the driver alcohol knowing that they would be driving later on. However, the following factors must be present:
- The guest was either under age or noticeable intoxicated
- The alcohol was given recklessly and caused an unreasonable risk to others
- The guest caused an accident/injury after they left the host’s event
Dram shop liability, on the other hand, is when an injured individual files a lawsuit against an establishment such as a bar or restaurant. The state of New Jersey takes dram shop liability very seriously. If an establishment that serves liquor continues to serve someone who is noticeably intoxicated, it may be liable under Dram Shop law. Like a social host, certain factors must be present when filing a dram shop claim. These include:
- The established continued to serve alcohol to someone who was clearly intoxicated
- The established served someone under age, despite believing they were a minor
Contact an Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a drunk driving accident in Atlantic City, New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard A. Stoloff represent clients injured because of an auto accident in Ventnor City, Atlantic City, Galloway Township, Egg Harbor, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 601-2233 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 605 New Road, Linwood, NJ 08221, as well as an office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.