Brooklyn Passenger Killed by Drunk Driver

drunk driver

Accidents caused by drunk drivers

According to the New York Daily News, a passenger in a car was killed early in the morning on August 17th when a drunk driver slammed into the car she was riding in near Crown Heights. As the Altima the passenger was riding in attempted to make a left turn, the driver of a Chevrolet Camaro slammed into the Altima, tearing off its back portion and sending it careening into parked cars. Although the victim was transferred to Kings County Hospital, she was pronounced dead upon arrival. Both drivers were arrested and charged with drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.

The sad story discussed above unfortunately is all too common on New York City roads, especially late at night. When individuals choose to operate vehicles while intoxicated, they are taking an extreme risk of injuring themselves, their passengers, or the occupants of other vehicles. Such behavior is not only criminal in nature, it is morally reprehensible and can subject the guilty to substantial civil liability should the families of the victims choose to file a lawsuit. If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, do not hesitate to contact an auto accident lawyer in Brooklyn at the Law Offices of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum for a free evaluation of your case.

Drunk Drivers Can be Liable to Injured Parties and their Families

When drunk drivers cause injuries to other drivers or their passengers in New York, they can be liable to several different people for their negligence. New York motorists are held to a duty of reasonable care when they operate a vehicle. When motorists drive vehicles while impaired, they breach this duty. When breaches of the duty are the legal and actual cause of damages, drivers are liable for their negligence under New York law.

In addition to driver liability, the victim and the victim’s family may have a case against the tavern where the motorist was drinking prior to getting into his or her vehicle. Under New York’s “dram shop” law, a server of alcohol can be liable if: a) the driver who caused the crash was intoxicated; 2) the merchant made an unlawful sale of alcohol (or served an intoxicated patron); and 3) the merchant’s unlawful action contributed to the driver’s inability to drive.

Importantly, New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that anything the other driver did to contribute to the accident offsets the available recovery for his or her injuries. Therefore, in the case above, the fact that the drivers of both vehicles were intoxicated at the time of the crash would reduce the amount of recovery available from the driver of the Camaro (although the victim’s family will also be able to sue the driver of the Altima to create a full recovery).

Give Us a Call for Help

No matter the situation, drunk driving accidents can result in a lifetime of pain and loss to the victim and his or her family. If you have suffered injuries in a suspected drunk driving accident, it is important that you contact an auto accident lawyer in Brooklyn right away. The accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum provide skilled, effective representation to clients who have been victims of a drunk driving injury. Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum today at 718-237-5586.

UPDATE 9/24/15:

Late last year, for the first time in Brooklyn, two independent drivers were indicted for the death of a single victim due to  drunk driving. Richard Roman-Santos and Gerrard Herbert were both responsible for the death of Michelle Mignott who was lying asleep in the backseat of Herbert’s car when he collided with Roman-Santos’ car  in Crown Heights. The 26-count indictment changes both men with second-degree manslaughter and other charges. Both defendants were ordered to forfeit their passports; had their licensees suspended and ordered not to drive while out on bail with restrictions to maintain in New York City.

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