Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents frequently occur in many states. In New Jersey, driving under the influence contributed to approximately 20 percent of the fatal accidents in 2015. If you were hurt during a drunk driving accident, then you deserve compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, car accident survivors often face an uphill battle when attempting to collect compensation. If this is the case for you, then you need an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney on your side.
Even though New Jersey is a no-fault state, your attorney will want to establish that the drunk driver was clearly liable for the accident. However, even if the driver is visibly intoxicated, establishing liability is not always easy. There are often multiple parties responsible for the accident and your injuries. In addition, your attorney will need to gather the police report, as well as the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) results in case you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit.
What Legal Actions Can a Drunk Driving Accident Victim Take to Pursue Compensation?
When seeking compensation after a drunk driving accident, your New Jersey car accident attorney will examine every possible angle. Since New Jersey is a no-fault state, a driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage pays for medical expenses that are caused by the crash. However, this is not the only avenue for receiving compensation.
- Personal injury lawsuit. If you purchased a PIP policy with the unlimited right to file a lawsuit, then you may sue the drunk driver and his insurance carrier for damages. If your damages exceed his policy limits, you may be able to sue for underinsured motorist benefits against other insurance that may be available under the circumstances. You may also collect money for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress, if you had a permanent injury or had an unlimited right to sue on your auto insurance. In some situations, you can even sue for punitive damages. These damages attempt to punish the drunk driver for their actions and dissuade others from making the same mistake.
- Dram shop liability. In some cases, you can file a lawsuit against the bar or establishment that served the drunk driver. This is called Dram Shop Liability. Under New Jersey law, establishments that serve liquor to underage drinkers or already visibly intoxicated customers can be held liable. However, proving dram shop liability is a difficult task. As such, you need a New Jersey car accident attorney with experience handling these kinds of cases.
What Is the Role of an Attorney During a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
In order to recover compensation after a drunk driving accident, you will need to file a civil lawsuit. Many people are inclined to think that their case is being handled by law enforcement. However, the police only have one interest: criminally prosecuting the drunk driver. This is not the same as filing a civil claim and if needed a civil lawsuit to provide compensation to the injured person. To do that, you need a New Jersey car accident attorney to review the details of your crash, file a lawsuit and fight aggressively for your rights to maximum compensation.
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured after a drunk driving accident in New Jersey, then it is important to know where you can turn for help. A New Jersey car accident attorney can help you get through this difficult time. He or she can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company to get you the money you need to recover. Contact Rosner Law Offices, P.C. today at (856) 692-6500 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.