What Damages Can I Recover For A Drunk Driving Accident Claim?

The damages one can recover in a drunk driving accident claim depend on the facts of your case.

You may be eligible to collect various kinds of damages in a drunk driving accident claim. From medical expenses to pain and suffering, you might qualify to receive compensation for all your losses resulting from a drunk driving collision.

If you or a loved one is in this situation, you need to be aware of the types of damages that you can recover for a drunk driving claim.

Getting Compensation for Your Injuries After a Drunk Driving Crash

Following a drunk driving collision, you may suffer losses that are both economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to losses that are financial or directly tied to a bill or loss of money. Non-economic damages refer to more intangible losses that represent what you have gone through as a result of the crash and your injuries.

Economic Damages

Some of the potentially available damages in drunk driving cases are economic, such as bills for your medical treatment and lost income if you have to be off work due to your injuries. Other examples of economic damages include the costs of medical assistive devices and rehabilitation to recover from your injuries.

Non-Economic Damages

Other damages are non-economic, like pain and suffering. You might be able to recover these damages in a drunk driving claim if you suffer a serious injury. In cases involving extreme negligence or recklessness, you also may be able to collect punitive damages.

Filing for Economic Damages After a Drunk Driving Crash

Under New York law, you can seek compensation for your economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages, through a no-fault insurance claim. However, in many cases, especially if you have suffered severe injuries, no-fault insurance may not be enough to cover the costs of your injuries.

Your no-fault insurance policy will cover basic economic damages up to a certain point, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Other reasonable and necessary expenses, such as mileage to and from doctor appointments

NY Ins.L. §5102(a) defines basic economic loss as any of these expenses up to a maximum of $50,000. Our law firm can help you file a claim with your insurance company for these basic economic losses.

If you have additional economic losses that go beyond these basic expenses, you may have to file a lawsuit against a third party. Only a lawsuit allows you to seek the full amount of your economic losses that have resulted from the drunk driving collision. However, there are conditions that you must meet to be eligible to file a lawsuit against a third party when you are injured in a crash.

Getting Compensation for Non-Economic Losses

You must file a lawsuit against a third party to get compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of quality of life due to your injuries. NY Ins.L. §5104 requires you to have suffered a serious injury to qualify to file a lawsuit against a third party.

A serious injury under NY Ins.L. §5102(3)(d) occurs if you suffer at least one of these certain types of injuries in a drunk driving collision, such as:

  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Permanent loss of usage of a limb, organ, or bodily function
  • Significant limitations on bodily functions
  • Injury or impairment that prevents you from carrying out your regular activities for at least 90 of the 180 days following the crash

If your medical records show that you have suffered a serious injury, you can pursue a third-party suit for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering as well as economic damages beyond the $50,000.00 available through no-fault coverage.

Holding Third Parties Responsible for Your Injuries

When a drunk driver causes a crash that injures you, you have the right to hold the driver responsible for his or her negligent behavior. If you suffered serious injuries, you have the ability to pursue a third-party suit for non-economic damages and economic damages beyond those available through no-fault.

However, in some cases, you also may have a claim against other parties for your crash-related injuries. For example, if more than one driver was involved in the collision, you may have claims against other drivers.

If a bar or liquor store sold alcohol to the drunk driver who was already visibly intoxicated or under 21 years of age, then you may have a claim against that establishment, as well.

Reach Out to Our Lawyers to Learn More About Your Legal Options

When you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a drunk driving collision, you need to know the facts about what damages you can recover. The attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. are here to represent your interests as you seek compensation for your injuries.

Call our law firm today. You will receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Allow us to answer your questions and help you through every stage of the claims process. We are able to assist clients in Spanish as well.

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