Did you know that at least one-third of traffic fatalities in New York involve alcohol in an average year?
Drunk driving is a serious problem in New York City, not only because of automobile collisions but also because of how many pedestrians are on NYC streets at any given time. Here is what you need to know about drunk driver hits pedestrian accidents so that you can protect your legal rights as a pedestrian and seek the help of a Brooklyn pedestrian attorney if necessary.
How Drunk Driver and Pedestrian Accidents Happen
When a person drives drunk, his or her reaction time slows down, which makes it very difficult to respond to the unpredictable activity of pedestrians on the street. Drunk drivers often hit pedestrians when they are crossing a street, either within a crosswalk or especially outside of it while jaywalking. Drivers under the influence of alcohol may also accidently drive up onto a curb because of their reduced operational abilities and hit pedestrians standing on a street corner or waiting in a line outside a building. Most of these accidents occur at night when people are most likely to drive drunk and not see pedestrians as well as during the daytime hours.
Common Injuries of Pedestrian Accidents Caused by a Drunk Driver
Pedestrian injuries are often very severe when a person on foot comes into direct contact with an automobile. Bone fractures are very common, as well as excessive bleeding, bruising, and traumatic brain injuries. Unfortunately, many pedestrians die from drunk driver accident injuries because the human body is simply no match for a large machine traveling at any speed.
A Pedestrian’s Legal Recourse After an Accident
A pedestrian who has been hit by a drunk driver has the legal right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. Drunk driving is a form of negligence, so the person who was walking can sue for damages. If the car-to-pedestrian collision resulted in the pedestrian’s death, a representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the pedestrian.
Calculating Damages for a Drunk Driver Hits Pedestrian Lawsuit
Because the injuries of a drunk driver hit pedestrian accident can be so extensive, a pedestrian can receive substantial money in a lawsuit settlement. This money will help compensate the pedestrian for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages from work due to the accident.
The calculation of medical costs is pretty straightforward but less tangible damages are more difficult to calculate, which is why having an experienced pedestrian accident attorney is so important. We look at the big picture of your situation and understand how so many aspects of life are affected after an accident. This means factoring in everything from follow-up doctor visits to physical therapy, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, funeral expenses, and loss of quality of life when pursuing your case.
The Role of Automobile Insurance
Another factor to keep in mind with this type of lawsuit is how much insurance coverage the drunk driver had at the time of the accident. In many cases, the settlement money comes from the driver’s insurance company and not actually from the driver directly. If the drunk driver did not have automobile insurance or did not have very much coverage, there may not be enough money available to pay for the pedestrian’s damages. Collecting the remaining funds directly from the driver, especially if the driver has very limited assets, is challenging and often requires the expertise of an auto accident lawyer who knows how to maximize a pedestrian’s recovery in every way possible.
Get Help with Your Pedestrian Accident Case
If you or someone you love has been a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver, the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum can help. It is definitely worth it to find out what your options are for recovering damages after this type of devastating accident, and we are here to walk you through every step of the process to help you get what you deserve.
Call us 24/7 at 718-237-5586 or contact us online to have our Brooklyn legal team take a look at your case.