After a drunk driving accident in New York, it is essential to know whether or not your injuries will be covered by insurance. The most significant factor in determining if insurance will pay out for your damages is if you were the one who was driving under the influence or not.
At the Morelli Law Firm, we have helped countless injury victims to recover the compensation they need to get back on their feet after a drunk driving accident. If you have been injured in an accident involving a DUI, we can get started building your compensation case.
Insurance Coverage Varies Depending on Who Was Drinking
Whether or not injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident will be covered by insurance depends on several factors. However, the most critical consideration is whether you were the driver who had been drinking.
If You Were the Driver Operating Your Vehicle Under the Influence
If you were driving under the influence, your insurance company is unlikely to pay out for your damages. New York law allows insurance companies to exclude personal injury coverage in cases where the insured driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
While your insurance will not cover your standard medical bills or any further damages such as lost wages, they are still required to pay for any necessary emergency health services. That means that any medical treatment necessary to keep you from dying will be covered by your insurance. However, that is as far as your coverage is likely to go.
If You Were Injured by a Drunk Driver
If you were injured by a drunk driver, the driver’s insurance company is still liable for the damages that you suffered if you were seriously injured. Because liability is often clear in these cases, you can expect the drunk driver’s insurance provider to aggressively attempt to settle your case quickly.
Insurance companies hate to pay out claims. If possible, they will find grounds to deny any claim that comes their way. However, there are many situations in which an insurance company can not avoid paying out a claim. In these situations, they will do everything they can to undervalue the claim and payout as little as possible.
When a drunk driver causes a car crash, the insurance company knows they likely won’t be able to avoid paying the victims. Because of this, they are likely to approach you before you even have a chance to make a claim and offer you a lowball settlement deal. Their hope is that you will not yet have talked to a lawyer and that you will think they are extending you a lifeline.
New York Is a No-Fault State
New York is a no-fault state. That means that no matter who is to blame for an accident, you must first go through your own insurer to collect compensation. However, if you are seriously injured, and your damages exceed your coverage limits, fault still comes into play. You can then bring a claim against the liable party’s insurer or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Determining Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident
Determining liability in a car accident can be difficult. However, it is often far more straightforward when one of the involved drivers was drunk. While other parties may still share a portion of the fault for an accident involving a drunk driver, they will likely always assume the bulk of the responsibility for the crash.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, a DUI accident lawyer can help you determine liability and build your case for compensation. Drinking alcohol is one of the most dangerous actions a person can take before getting behind the wheel. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents every year.
Accidents involving alcohol have a high rate of resulting in serious injuries and death. A drunk driving accident lawyer can help you get the money you need to recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.
Recovering Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident
You will likely be eligible to recover a wide range of damages if you were hurt in a drunk driving accident. Some of the compensatory damages that you may be able to recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost income
- Decreased earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent disability
- Lowered quality of life
In addition, you will likely be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are assessed in a small percentage of accident cases but at a much higher rate when the at-fault driver was under the influence.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable driver for their actions. They are only awarded in cases where the driver was criminally negligent or acted with the intent to cause harm.
Find a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in New York
At the Morelli Law Firm, we have helped countless drunk driving accident victims recover compensation from the at-fault driver. We will look to get the money you need through the drunk driver’s insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit.
If you need legal representation, our New York drunk driving accident attorneys are here to help. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We’ll review your case and answer all your questions.