It only takes a split second for a Marlton drunk driving accident to change the rest of your life. One moment, everything seems normal; and then, out of nowhere, a drunk driver runs a stoplight or crosses over the center median, crashing into your car. Now you find yourself in the hospital, missing work, missing time spent with loved ones, and accruing tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses – all because someone else got behind the wheel after having too much to drink.
Every Marlton drunk driving accident is preventable. However, these collisions are an unfortunate reality for the thousands of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists harmed by them each year. Through a personal injury case, accident victims can hold a drunk driver financially responsible for the damages they caused.
Accident victims can face many hurdles when bringing a DUI accident claim. Rather than brave this process alone, you should reach out to a Marlton drunk driving accident attorney for immediate assistance. We can help you obtain the necessary medical care, prepare a claim against an insurance company, negotiate a settlement offer, and, if necessary, litigate your case in front of a judge or jury.
Our Marlton personal injury lawyers will take care of every aspect of your case so you can focus on your physical recovery, spending time with your family, and getting back to work.
If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a Marlton car accident, you deserve an attorney who will hold the at-fault party responsible and aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. At the Marlton DUI accident law firm of Console & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing client-centered representation to accident victims in situations like yours. We promise each of our clients that we will always put your needs first.
If you’ve been in an accident, you likely have questions. We have answers and can get to work on your case immediately. To schedule a free, no-risk consultation, call (866) 778-5500, or you can contact us through our online form.
Drunk driving accidents happen out of nowhere, and no one expects to be struck by a drunk driver. Understandably, very few motorists have put much thought into what to do if they are involved in a Marlton DUI crash. However, this is a critically important time. If they can, accident victims should take certain steps to ensure their safety and preserve their rights to file a subsequent personal injury lawsuit.
At Console & Associates, we’ve been representing DUI accident victims since 1994. Our dedicated team of Marlton personal injury lawyers understands the challenges that drunk driving accidents present to our clients.
Before you even consider hiring a lawyer, you will likely have many other questions. To help, we’ve come up with a list of important things you should do if you are ever involved in a DUI accident:
State law requires drivers involved in a serious accident to remain at the scene and aid other injured motorists. In Marlton drunk driving cases, it is not uncommon for the other driver to speed off for fear of the consequences of a DUI conviction. Do not follow them.
It is more important to call the police, speak with any witnesses who saw what happened, and obtain prompt medical treatment. While hit-and-run accidents are incredibly frustrating, little is gained by pursuing a fleeing driver – not to mention the fact that doing so is incredibly dangerous.
As soon as possible after a Marlton DUI accident, call the police to report the accident. In most cases, calling 911 is appropriate. When police officers arrive, they will talk with you and the other driver. They may perform field sobriety tests on the other driver, which may lead to their arrest. Responding police officers will also create an official police report, which can help prove what happened.
Of course, in some drunk driving accidents, accident victims are in no condition to do anything but wait for emergency responders. If possible, though, it’s a good idea to begin a mini-investigation of your own while waiting for first responders. Consider taking photos and notes, as well as obtaining witnesses’ contact information.
While the responding police officers will also investigate the accident, the extent of the investigation is left up to the individual officers. Take the matter into your own hands and make sure that the basics are covered:
Any car accident can result in life-changing injuries. Marlton DUI accidents are no exception. However, not all injuries are immediately noticeable.
For example, the symptoms that accompany injuries to the neck, brain, and spine can take hours or even days to show up. Thus, even if you initially feel okay and do not think you suffered any serious injuries, it is critical to get checked out by a doctor. Medical professionals can perform tests to determine the extent of damage even before any symptoms show up and take steps to prevent the damage from getting worse.
Obtaining crucial medical care earlier can increase your overall likelihood of a full physical recovery. If emergency responders offer to call you an ambulance, take them up on their offer.
If you have recently been the victim of a Marlton drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, the road to physical and financial recovery can be a long one, especially for those who have never handled a car accident claim.
Dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, and so much is at stake. While you focus on your recovery, let an experienced attorney handle your case.
As a DUI accident victim, your legal rights are important. However, if you fail to act quickly, you could give those rights up. The sooner you speak with a Marlton DUI accident lawyer, the sooner your attorney can start working on your case and protecting your rights.
Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents in Marlton and across New Jersey. According to 2018 data from the National Highway Traffic Administration, 22 percent of traffic fatalities involved a driver who was classified as “alcohol-impaired.” This means that their blood-alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit of 0.08. Also, drivers in 28 percent of fatal crashes had some alcohol in their system.
A driver is legally considered intoxicated when their blood-alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit. In most states, including New Jersey, the legal limit for a driver’s BAC is 0.08. Drunk driving accidents are both very common and extremely dangerous. In fact, in 2016, more than 10,497 people died due to drunk driving in the United States. That same year, there were 137 fatal New Jersey drunk driving accidents, according to Patch.
In 2016, alcohol intoxication was involved in more than 25 percent of all fatal car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, this figure does not consider the many accidents involving drivers who had alcohol in their system but not at the quantities that rendered them legally intoxicated.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) obtains information about every DUI accident, including when they occur. According to the most recent data from the NHTSA, most DUI accidents occur between midnight and 3 a.m.
During these three hours, there were 2,105 people killed in DUI accidents across the country. This represents 57 percent of all auto-accident fatalities occurring during that time. Put another way, between half and two-thirds of all deadly car accidents occurring between midnight and 3 a.m. involve an impaired driver.
The good news is, across the country, the total number of fatal car accidents is decreasing. For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the total number of traffic fatalities decreased from 37,806 in 2016 to 37,133 in 2017. This 1.8 percent decline resulted in 673 fewer deaths.
Not surprisingly, the total number of drunk driving accidents in the United States also decreased. However, fatal DUI accidents decreased by only 1.1 percent, not the 1.8 percent that would have kept pace with the overall fatality rate decrease. Thus, although there were 122 fewer deaths in 2017 than there were in 2016, the decline in deadly DUI accidents was less pronounced than the overall drop in traffic fatalities.
Unfortunately, the trend in New Jersey is taking a different trajectory. Below is data from the most recent years:
This represents a significant decrease in the rate of DUI accidents, but not in the total number of accidents.
Thus, while the number of DUI accidents has decreased over recent years, the rate of intoxicated driving increased. Regardless of the fluctuating rates of DUI accidents, one thing remains true: drunk drivers pose a serious threat to drivers in Evesham Township.
Why people get behind the wheel after having too much to drink is a question that has plagued police and lawmakers for decades.
Here are some of the factors that likely contribute to the frequency of Marlton drunk driving accidents.
A significant portion of South Jersey DUI accidents occurs on the highway. Marlton is located near several large interstates, including:
However, most Marlton DUI accidents often occur on smaller state highways, county roads, U.S. routes, and major parkways and turnpikes, such as the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway.
After a Marlton drunk driving accident, obtaining prompt medical care is a top priority. At Console & Associates, our compassionate team of personal injury lawyers represents clients across South Jersey, including those being treated at the following hospitals:
Drunk driving is against the law. Unlike many other states, New Jersey considers driving while intoxicated (DWI) a traffic violation, not a criminal offense.
Under New Jersey’s drunk driving laws, anyone driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 is considered legally intoxicated. These drivers can be arrested and charged with the crime of driving while intoxicated.
However, even small amounts of alcohol in a driver’s system has been shown to affect their reaction time, judgment, and perception. Thus, even drivers with a BAC of less than 0.08 can still be cited if their alcohol consumption negatively impacted their ability to drive safely.
For drivers under the age of 21, there is a “zero tolerance” rule, meaning that they are not allowed to have a BAC of 0.01 or more. Drivers with a commercial driver’s license, such as bus drivers and truck drivers, are subject to a lower maximum BAC. These drivers are only permitted to have a BAC of 0.04.
Every state creates its own laws when it comes to how car insurance operates. In terms of car insurance, New Jersey is a “no-fault” state. Thus, in most cases, an accident victim must file a claim for medical benefits with their own insurance company. This would be the case even if the other driver was entirely at fault.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, if a Marlton DUI accident results in serious injury or death, the accident victim or their family can file a claim directly with the drunk driver’s insurance policy for compensation of their economic and non-economic damages.
Given the state’s no-fault rules, it can be complicated to determine how to initiate a claim and which insurance company to look to for compensation. For example, once multiple insurance companies get involved, each will often point the finger at the other.
Claimants who have not been through the process before can easily get overwhelmed when dealing with insurance companies. An experienced Marlton DUI accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and what you must prove to hold the drunk driver accountable.
After a serious Marlton DUI accident, police officers will come to the scene and may arrest the other driver for driving while intoxicated. This can result in a criminal case against the drunk driver.
In a criminal DWI case, the prosecutor brings charges against the drunk driver for violating the law. However, criminal cases do little to help accident victims recover financial compensation for their injuries, as these cases are focused primarily on punishing the driver for breaking the law.
New Jersey state law also permits an accident victim to file a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver (and their insurance company). Importantly, an accident victim’s ability to pursue financial compensation does not hinge on the result of a criminal case against the driver. Thus, an accident victim can still file a civil case against the drunk driver even if that driver:
This is because civil and criminal cases require different levels of proof (or burdens, as they are known under the law). In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high legal standard. However, a Marlton personal injury case can be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a much easier standard to meet.
Thus, the fact the prosecutor could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone was drunk driving does not mean that a civil case will be unsuccessful.
Accident victims who are successful in bringing a case against a drunk driver can recover monetary compensation for the injuries they sustained in the accident. This includes the money they had to spend out of their own pocket, future costs associated with the accident, and compensation for the accident’s impact on their life.
In a Marlton drunk driving case, damages are classified as either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those readily identifiable costs related to the following:
Non-economic damages are a little harder to assign a value to, and doing so requires a certain level of subjectivity. For example, the following are types of non-economic damages:
Accident victims must prove both economic and non-economic damages. While establishing economic damages is often relatively straightforward, proving non-economic damages is much more complex. This is where working with an experienced Marlton drunk driving accident lawyer can help.
With an experienced lawyer’s assistance, accident victims can be sure that the judge or jury fully understands the full impact that the accident had on their lives.
To succeed in a Marlton drunk driving lawsuit, you must establish the elements of a negligence claim. There are four basic elements to any negligence claim, including:
In a drunk driving case, a few of these elements are typically easily met. For example, all motorists owe a legal duty to others on the road. Driving drunk is a violation of this duty.
Because the first two elements in a Marlton DUI case do not often cause accident victims much of an issue, the success of a drunk driving case frequently boils down to the third and fourth elements. However, establishing that another driver’s negligence caused your injuries is not always straightforward. Proving this element of your claim can be especially complex if other factors were at play, such as if another driver involved in the accident was also negligent or if you were partially at fault for the crash.
When it comes to meeting the damages element of a Marlton DUI accident case, there is often little question that an accident victim suffered damages. The question is more often focused on the extent of their injuries.
Every case is different. To better understand the recovery process and get an idea of how much your case might be worth, contact the dedicated Marlton DUI accident lawyers at Console & Associates to schedule a free consultation.
For several reasons, drunk driving accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents. These accidents often occur at high speeds, involve direct collisions, and take motorists by complete surprise. Victims have no time to brace themselves or do anything to reduce the extent of the impact. As a result, they are more likely to sustain severe injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries in a Marlton drunk driving accident include:
While drunk driving accidents often cause serious, long-term injuries, the extent of your injuries may not be immediately apparent after the accident. Thus, to ensure the best recovery, it is crucial to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
If a drunk driver has hit you, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Importantly, there may be more than one party responsible for your injuries. When thinking about who to name as a defendant in a Marlton drunk driving case, the impaired driver is an obvious choice. However, it is important to look for other potentially liable parties because, frequently, drunk drivers do not have the assets (or the insurance coverage) necessary to fully compensate you for your injuries.
When it comes to identifying other potentially liable parties, the two most common parties are:
If a drunk driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer might be liable for your injuries. Under the doctrine of vicarious liability, employers can be legally responsible for their employees’ negligent actions.
Under New Jersey’s “Dram Shop” law, DUI accident victims can hold bars or restaurants liable if they over-serve the drunk driver. To bring a dram shop case against a bar or restaurant, you must prove the establishment negligently served alcoholic beverages to a “visibly intoxicated person” and that the accident was a “foreseeable consequence” of the establishment’s decision to serve the customer.
New Jersey law allows anyone who was injured in a Marlton drunk driving accident to bring a case against the drunk driver and any other potentially liable parties. For example, you can file a case if you were:
Additionally, the family members of a victim of a fatal DUI accident can pursue a Marlton wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties.
If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a Marlton drunk driving accident, knowledge is power. Knowing what to expect can drastically reduce the stress and anxiety that often comes along with the process.
At Console & Associates, we are here to help. Our compassionate team of accident lawyers will help you through every step of the process, making the process as straightforward and easy as possible.
From the moment you let Console & Associates work on your case, we will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. While each case – and each client – is unique, we’ve developed a tried-and-true approach to successfully handling DUI accident cases. Below are a few of the things we do to advance your case towards a successful resolution:
If you’ve recently been in a Marlton DUI accident, money may be tight. Between missing work and paying your medical bills, you may not have much money left over. At Console & Associates, we understand this reality, which is why we handle Marlton drunk driving cases on a contingency basis.
This means that we will cover all of the upfront costs associated with bringing your case, and we only get paid if we can help you recover compensation for your injuries. When you choose Console & Associates, you won’t have to pay for anything upfront. This arrangement ensures that our interests are aligned with yours, because we don’t get paid unless you do.
At Console & Associates, we understand that you have many choices when it comes to selecting a Marlton DUI accident lawyer. Unlike many of our competitors, we only handle personal injury claims, and have done so for decades. Over the years, we have served over 6,000 clients, recovering more than $100 million on their behalf.
With over 25 years of experience handling all types of New Jersey DUI accident claims, we have a comprehensive understanding of the many legal issues these cases present. To learn more about how the lawyers at Console & Associates can help you, and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at (866) 778-5500 or reach us through our online form.
Yes. Under the New Jersey dram shop law, social hosts can also be held liable for serving alcohol to their guests.
This means that if you are injured in a Marlton drunk driving accident by someone who was drinking at a friend’s house, you may be able to bring a claim against the drunk driver and their friend.
Unlike bringing a dram shop case against a bar or restaurant, you will not need to show that the drunk driver was “visibly intoxicated.” Instead, you must prove that the social host served alcohol to the drunk driver “under circumstances manifesting reckless disregard of the consequences.”
Sadly, many drunk driving accidents end tragically. When someone dies in an accident, their family members can file a Marlton wrongful death claim against any of the parties responsible for their loved one’s death.
Wrongful death claims are similar to traditional personal injury claims. The biggest difference is that, instead of being brought by the accident victim, they are brought by a deceased accident victim’s family member.
Under state law, accident victims can file a drunk driving case up to two years after the date of the accident. This two-year statute of limitations is crucial, because cases filed outside this window will be dismissed, leaving you with no means to recover compensation for your injuries.
However, since there are exceptions to this rule that can shorten your deadline to take action considerably, it’s always a good idea to get an attorney involved sooner rather than later.
If you have recently been injured or lost a loved one in a Marlton DUI accident, reach out to the attorneys at Console & Associates. We are here to help you through the process. Give us a call at (866) 778-5500 or reach us through our online form.
Our Marlton, NJ Law office is located at:
Console and Associates, P.C.
1 Holtec Drive, #100
Marlton, NJ 08053