Seeking Justice for Victims of Drunk Drivers
Drunk driving is a senseless and reckless choice. When an impaired driver gets behind the wheel, they puts the lives of other adults and children in serious jeopardy. There is no excuse for drunk driving, and those who get behind the wheel after drinking should be held accountable for the harm they cause.
More than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, representing nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. More than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2010, and drunk driving costs the U.S. more than $50 billion every year. In New Jersey alone, 164 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in 2012.
And unfortunately, drunk driving continues to be a nationwide problem. Approximately 4 million adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once in 2010, adding up to estimated 112 million alcohol-impaired driving occurrences. Of these impaired drivers, only 1 percent are arrested for driving under the influence.
Drunk driving accidents are preventable tragedies; no family deserves to suffer a serious injury or the loss of a loved one at the hands of an impaired driver. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are prepared to thoroughly investigate your case and aggressively pursue justice. Drunk driving lawsuits require a great deal of familiarity with medical evidence and experience presenting that evidence in court. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have decades’ worth of experience fighting for clients and a proven record of success both in and out of the courtroom.
What Does New Jersey Law Say About Drunk Driving?
Any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater is guilty of driving under the influence. However, under New Jersey law, even drivers with a BAC under 0.08 percent can be guilty of drunk driving; if you consume any amount of alcohol and your driving is negatively impacted, you could be convicted for driving under the influence. Drunk driving penalties increase if the driver has a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher, and a driver with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle (even on the first offense).
Drivers under 21 are subject to New Jersey’s zero tolerance law. Minors found with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can be convicted of drunk driving.
What Injuries Can Drunk Driving Lead To?
Impaired drivers caused approximately 345,000 injuries in 2012. Consuming alcohol causes blurred vision and slowed reaction times, causing drunk drivers to lose focus, miss road signs, or fail to see other drivers on the road.
Drunk driving accidents can lead to serious and even fatal injuries, such as:
- Brain and head injuries are a common result of car accidents because the trauma and impact of a collision can cause the brain to move within the skull. Brain and head injuries include skull fractures, blood clots between the skull and the brain, lacerations in the frontal and temporal lobes, nerve damage, and concussions.
- Neck injuries can have severe and lasting effects. Victims of drunk driving accidents can suffer mild injuries like whiplash and neck strain, or more serious injuries like cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve) or a herniated disk.
- Spinal cord injuries are the result of displaced disc material, bone fragments, or ligaments that tear into or bruise spinal cord tissue. Damage to nerve cells interrupts communication between the brain and the rest of the body, which can result in paralysis or other serious conditions.
- Back injuries are caused by the impact and trauma of an accident and can include sprains, strains, fractures, disc injuries, lumbar radiculopathy, thoracic spine injuries, and lumbar injuries.
- Facial injuries can arise from contact with the airbag, car seat, steering wheel, dashboard, or window. These injuries can include bruises, lacerations, dental injuries, and Temporomandibular disorders of the jaw.
- Internal injuries can include damage to the kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, heart, or aorta.
- Psychological injuries can have serious and long-lasting effects on a victim’s well-being. Psychological injuries include emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, or depression
What if the Driver Was Drinking at a Bar or Restaurant?
If the drunk driver who caused your accident was drinking at a bar or restaurant, the owners of that establishment could be liable for serving the driver. Under what are commonly called “dram shop laws,” businesses that serve alcohol are not allowed to serve patrons who are visibly intoxicated. If a bartender or waiter over-served the driver who caused your accident, the establishment could be held liable for your injuries.
What Can You Win in a Drunk Driving Lawsuit?
Monetary awards in drunk driving lawsuits are typically compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the injured for the monetary and emotional costs of the accident. These costs can include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning potential in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
There are no limits on compensatory damages in New Jersey; in other words, you are able to recover any and all costs incurred by the accident (as long as you can prove them to the court).
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer
Drunk driving accidents are a preventable tragedy that can cause immense pain and suffering for the victims and their families. If you have been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident or even lost a member of your family due to drunk driver negligence, the law offices of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will aggressively pursue your case. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to hold drunk drivers responsible for the serious injuries or fatalities they have caused.
Call (201) 585-9111 or fill out an online inquiry to schedule a consultation today. Your initial consultation is always free and confidential, and no attorney fees are due until we win your case. Trust Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi to fight for justice on your behalf and hold the guilty party accountable.