Syracuse & Central New York Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

Point-of-view perspective of a drunk person who is driving on the highway

Accidents caused by drunk drivers in Syracuse can have devastating consequences for victims. Drunk driving accidents frequently occur at high speeds or involve head-on collisions. The drunk driver may walk away unharmed, but his or her victim could be left with significant, life-altering injuries or killed.

The attorneys at CDH Law PLLC believe drunk drivers should be held accountable for the physical injuries and other harm they cost victims and their loved ones. If a drunk driver in Syracuse has injured you or your loved one, we are here to help. You may be entitled to compensation by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Our attorneys seek the maximum compensation possible for our clients. Contact CDH Law PLLC today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can advocate for you and your rights.

Pursuing Compensation As a Drunk Driving Accident Victim

Has a drunk driver injured you as a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or passenger in the drunk driver’s vehicle? Through a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. In some cases, more than one party may be at fault for your damages. At CDH Law PLLC, we have the resources to thoroughly investigate your case and determine whether any other parties may be liable.

The Difference Between a Drunk Driving Charge and a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime in New York. The New York criminal code defines driving under the influence (DWI) as operating a motor vehicle on a public highway with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater. Law enforcement officers will usually use blood, breath, or urine tests immediately after the arrest to determine the driver’s BAC. If you were involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, the officer who arrived at the scene may have conducted a BAC test. Driving while intoxicated by any amount of alcohol is illegal when the driver is under the age of 21.

Understanding New York’s DWI laws can be helpful if you are a victim of a drunk driver. A prosecutor may bring criminal DWI charges against the driver who caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. These charges can impact your civil case against a drunk driver who harmed you or your loved one. For example, you may be able to hold the driver negligent per se if he or she is convicted of a drunk driving charge. 

Doing so allows you to prove the driver’s negligence as a matter of law. Once you’ve established negligence per se, you’ll only need to prove the value of the damages you’ve suffered. However, even if the driver who caused your injuries isn’t charged or convicted of drunk driving, you still have the right to pursue a separate civil lawsuit for financial damages. 

Holding the Drunk Driver’s Employer Liable

You may hold the drunk driver’s employer liable through the legal theory of negligent hiring. Employers have a legal duty to use reasonable care when they hire employees. When an employee causes an accident due to drunk driving while acting within the scope and course of their employment, the victim may be able to hold the employer liable. For example, if a driver was making a delivery for their employer while intoxicated, the victim may be able to hold the employer liable.

Holding a Restaurant or Bar Liable for Your Injuries

Under New York’s dram shop law, victims of drunk drivers have the right to sue businesses that provide alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer or a minor who then causes an accident that results in the victim’s injuries. Suppose the intoxicated driver who caused your accident had been drinking at a bar before the accident, and a server continued to serve them alcohol when he was intoxicated. In that case, you may be able to sue that bar for damages. Additionally, victims have a right to sue a social host who provided alcohol to a non-related minor.

Damages Available in a Drunk Driving Accident Case

Drunk driving accidents cause some of the most devastating injuries of any traffic accident. Drunk drivers are more likely to engage in reckless, aggressive driving or excessive speeding. They may cause more severe collisions resulting in permanent injuries. Plaintiffs have a right to pursue economic and noneconomic damages. 

Economic damages provide compensation for easily quantifiable damages, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, diminished future income, and property damage. Plaintiffs can also pursue noneconomic damages for their scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress, physical impairment, and pain and suffering.

The Benefits of Working with an Experienced Attorney

The attorneys at CDH Law PLLC are committed to pursuing maximum damages for you. We will work with financial and medical experts to determine your current and future economic damages. In many cases, we can negotiate a favorable settlement for our clients without going to court. However, our experienced litigators are prepared to represent you at trial if a trial is necessary. At CDH Law PLLC, we only charge attorneys’ fees and costs after successfully obtaining compensation for our clients.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

If a drunk driver has caused you to suffer devastating injuries, you have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver for damages. You can seek full and fair financial recovery for all your injuries and financial harm. You only have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation for your injuries, so it’s crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Syracuse personal injury attorneys at CDH Law PLLC today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.