Legal Remedies for Victims of Drunk Driving and Bodily Harm
Drunk driving continues to claim countless innocent lives and cause serious bodily injuries on our roads. Victims of drunk driving accidents face a long and challenging road to recovery. If you or a loved one has been affected by a drunk driver, it’s crucial to understand the laws in New Jersey and your rights after suffering a personal injury. This article aims to shed light on the key aspects of drunk driving, bodily injury, and the legal avenues available to victims seeking justice.
I. Understanding Drunk Driving Laws in New Jersey:
In New Jersey, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense and is considered a criminal act. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.08%. For commercial drivers, the limit is reduced to 0.04%, while for drivers under the age of 21, any trace of alcohol in their system is strictly prohibited. If a driver exceeds these limits and causes a car accident resulting in bodily injury or death, they may be charged with vehicular assault or homicide.
New Jersey operates under a no-tolerance policy for drunk driving, and offenders are subjected to harsh penalties, including fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even imprisonment. For repeat offenders or cases involving excessive BAC levels, the consequences become even more severe.
II. Bodily Injury Caused by Drunk Driving:
Bodily injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents can range from mild to catastrophic. Victims may suffer from broken bones, whiplash, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and more. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and prolonged rehabilitation and may even result in permanent disabilities, significantly impacting the victim’s quality of life.
In some cases, the emotional trauma and psychological toll on victims can be just as devastating as the physical injuries. Dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression is not uncommon for those involved in serious drunk driving accidents.
III. Benefits of Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
New Jersey follows a no-fault insurance system, requiring all drivers to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. PIP is designed to provide financial assistance for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Having PIP coverage can be beneficial, especially in the immediate aftermath of an accident, as it allows victims to access necessary medical care without delays caused by determining liability. However, PIP coverage may not fully cover the long-term costs associated with catastrophic injuries, making it essential to explore additional legal options.
IV. Suing a Drunk Driver for Personal Injuries:
While PIP covers initial medical expenses, victims of drunk driving accidents may have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the intoxicated driver responsible for the injuries. By filing a personal injury claim, victims can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses beyond PIP coverage
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To increase the likelihood of a successful claim, it is essential to gather evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and any available surveillance footage. Enlisting the services of an experienced personal injury attorney can significantly strengthen the case and ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve.
V. Filing a Wrongful Death Claim:
Tragically, some drunk driving accidents result in fatalities. In such cases, the surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver. A wrongful death claim seeks to compensate the surviving family for the loss of their loved one and hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions.
Compensation in wrongful death claims may cover funeral expenses, medical bills before the victim’s death, lost future income, and emotional pain and suffering endured by the surviving family members. While no amount of compensation can replace a lost loved one, a successful wrongful death claim can provide financial stability during a difficult time and ensure that justice is served.
Drunk driving accidents can have life-altering consequences for victims and their families. Understanding the drunk driving laws in New Jersey, the benefits of Personal Injury Protection, and the legal avenues available for seeking justice are crucial for victims in such situations.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a drunk driving accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice from a reputable law firm experienced in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Taking timely action can help you navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation you need to recover physically, emotionally, and financially. Remember, holding negligent drunk drivers accountable not only helps individual victims but also contributes to creating safer roads for everyone.
Contact The Law Offices of Richard A. Stoloff Today for a Free Consultation About Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
When faced with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, you deserve an advocate who will fight tirelessly to secure the justice and compensation you need. At The Law Offices of Richard A. Stoloff, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll such incidents take on victims and their families.
With decades of experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases in New Jersey, Attorney Richard A. Stoloff has built a reputation for delivering compassionate, personalized, and effective legal representation. Our team is committed to guiding you through the complexities of the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected, and holding negligent drunk drivers accountable.
We know that no two cases are the same, which is why we give each client the individual attention they deserve. Our firm’s dedication to detail, thorough investigation, and strategic approach have resulted in numerous successful settlements and verdicts for our clients.
Let us be your voice in seeking justice. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming your life. Together, we can make a difference and pave the way for safer roads in our community.