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It only takes one bad decision – to get behind the wheel while drunk – to forever change another’s life. Despite strict criminal laws and countless campaigns against drunk driving, drivers still selfishly operate their vehicles after having too much to drink. And when they do, they put everyone at risk.
Every single Newark drunk driving accident is preventable. Drivers always have the option of hailing a cab, calling a friend, or taking an Uber or Lyft. Yet each year, there are more than 10,000 fatal DUI accidents across the country. According to the CDC, 1,816 people were killed in New Jersey drunk driving accidents between 2003 and 2012. That averages out to more than 180 preventable deaths per year.
Anyone injured in a Newark drunk driving accident is entitled to pursue a claim against the drunk driver. This might seem like it would be easy, given that everyone knows drunk driving is negligent. In reality, you still need to prove your case in court, which can be challenging once insurance companies get involved.
Rather than going about the recovery process alone, consider working with a dedicated Newark DUI accident attorney, who can prepare, file, negotiate, and litigate your claim so you can focus on what’s important: getting your life back to normal.
If you’ve been injured in a Newark drunk driving accident, you may have questions.
Victims of a drunk driving accident may be entitled to various damages to help them financially recover.
Those injured in a Newark DUI accident can pursue a claim against the drunk driver and possibly other parties, as well.
If you have been injured in an Essex County DUI accident, you need an attorney who will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. The Newark DUI accident lawyers at Console & Associates provide every accident victim with a unique form of client-centered representation and will always put your needs first. We have dedicated our careers to pursue justice on behalf of accident victims by holding drunk drivers accountable and helping our clients recover the compensation they need to get their life back on track. Give us a call; we can start to help with your case immediately.
To schedule a free, no-risk consultation, call (862) 229-1137 today.
Getting hit by a drunk driver is a traumatic experience, to put it mildly. In a split second, your world changes. One moment, everything is fine, and the next: chaos. A driver runs a red light, crosses over the center median, or slams into the back of a stopped car. All of these senseless accidents are common types of drunk driving collisions.
To be sure, the moments after a DUI collision can only be described as a blur. You’ve been injured. You are confused. And you are, understandably, upset. Even if the drunk driver is still on the scene, they won’t be able to offer you much help.
At Console & Associates, we understand how difficult this time is for you and your family. Our team of Newark DUI accident lawyers has been helping accident victims since 1994 and have developed a list of things to keep in mind after a drunk driving accident
Impaired driving is a major problem in Newark and across the Garden State. In fact, 22 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2018 involved an “alcohol impaired” motorist – meaning they had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08 – according to the National Highway Traffic Administration. However, in 28 percent of fatal crashes, the driver had some alcohol in their system.
A driver is legally “drunk” if they have a BAC of 0.08 or greater. However, drivers who cannot safely operate their car due to any alcohol in their system are also driving in violation of the state’s DUI laws.
Despite the strict laws in place designed to punish drunk driving, DUI accidents are startlingly common. These accidents also very often result in severe injury or even death. In fact, 10,874 people in the United States died due to drunk driving accidents in 2017, according to the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety. In New Jersey specifically, 174 people were killed by drunk drivers that year, according to the New Jersey State Police.
Across the United States, alcohol impairment played a role in more than 25 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities, according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Notably, this figure does not include the significant number of accidents in which the driver had consumed some alcohol but not enough to be considered legally drunk. In New Jersey, alcohol played a role in about 35 percent of fatal car accidents.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration closely tracks the number of DUI accidents across the country and when they occur. According to recent data, most DUI accidents occur between midnight and 3 a.m.
In fact, during these three hours, 2,105 people were killed in DUI accidents across the country, representing 57 percent of all traffic-related fatalities occurring during that time frame. This means that almost two-thirds of all fatal car accidents occurring between midnight and 3 a.m. involve a drunk driver.
The second deadliest time for drunk driving accidents is between 9 p.m. and midnight.
The good news is that, nationally, the number of fatal car accidents is decreasing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2016 to 2017, the total number of fatal traffic accidents decreased from 37,806 to 37,133, representing a 1.8 percent decline that resulted in 673 fewer deaths.
Over this same period, the number of DUI accidents also decreased. However, fatal DUI accidents decreased by only 1.1 percent. This equates to 122 fewer deaths in 2017 than there were in 2016.
Now the bad news: according to the most recent New Jersey data, drunk driving accidents in the Garden State do not seem to be decreasing at the same rate. In fact, the most recent data shows an uptick in fatal DUI accidents. New Jersey State Police divide alcohol-involved crashes into two types: those in which the driver was legally intoxicated with a blood-alcohol percentage of .08 or more, and those accidents in which the driver had some alcohol in their system, but their BAC was less than .08.
In 2016, there were 151 fatal New Jersey DUI accidents, resulting in 169 deaths. Drivers had consumed some alcohol in 28.6 percent of these accidents and were legally intoxicated in 12.1 percent of the accidents.
In 2017, there were 158 fatal DUI accidents in New Jersey, causing 174 deaths. Drivers had consumed some alcohol in 24.8 percent of the accidents, and were legally intoxicated in 10.4 percent of the accidents. While this shows a decrease in the rate of DUI accidents, the number of total DUI accidents did not measurably decrease.
In 2018, there were 143 fatal New Jersey DUI accidents, resulting in 163 deaths. Drivers had consumed some alcohol in 29 percent of the accidents, and were legally intoxicated in 11.7 percent of the accidents. Thus, while the number of DUI accidents decreased, the rate of intoxicated driving went up.
Looking at this information, it is clear that drunk driving remains a serious problem in New Jersey.
DUI accident victims and their families aren’t the only ones who want to know the answer to this question. Law enforcement officers and lawmakers, too, would like to understand what motivates people to drink and drive so they can put an end to the dangerous behavior. It would seem that part of the reason for the high rate of Newark DUI accidents is the city’s proximity to New York and the fact several large highways run through Newark.
Many DUI accidents occur on these highways. Newark is located near several large interstates, including accidents often occur on the interstate highways that stretch through NJ, including:
Although drunk driving crashes on highways are a problem, DUI accidents most often occur on state highways, county roads, U.S. routes, and major parkways and turnpikes, such as:
These smaller, but busy, roads are especially dangerous, as drunk drivers have ample opportunity to crash into other cars, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Obtaining prompt medical care is the most important thing to do after a Newark DUI accident. At Console & Associates, our dedicated team of injury advocates represents clients across North Jersey, including those being treated at the following hospitals:
Regardless of where you are being treated, one of the dedicated Newark DUI accident attorneys at Console & Associates can come to you to discuss your options and how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation.
In New Jersey, drunk driving is illegal. However, unlike many other states, New Jersey considers driving while intoxicated (DWI) as a traffic violation, not a criminal offense.
Any driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 is legally considered drunk under NJ state law. Drivers can still be considered intoxicated even if they have a BAC of less than 0.08 if their alcohol consumption negatively impacted their ability to drive safely.
New Jersey has stricter laws regarding what constitutes alcohol intoxication for certain motorists. A “zero tolerance” rule is in effect for drivers under 21, who can face legal consequences if they have any alcohol (a BAC of 0.01 or more) in their system. Drivers with commercial driver’s licenses, such as bus and truck drivers, cannot have a BAC of more than 0.04.
Most drunk drivers do not have the means to fairly compensate an accident victim for their injuries. Thus, car insurance is the primary means by which accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries.
For insurance purposes, New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that you will ordinarily file a claim with your own insurance company for medical benefits. However, in cases involving serious injuries, you can pursue a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This is often the case in DUI accidents.
Unfortunately, it can be tricky when determining which insurance policy you should file a claim under. Often, when multiple insurance companies are involved, each will point the finger at the other. As the insurance companies hash out the details, all you can do is wait.
An experienced Newark drunk driving accident lawyer can help expedite this process by holding the insurance companies’ feet to the fire.
After a New Jersey DUI accident, the drunk driver may face both criminal and civil liability. Importantly, your ability to seek financial compensation is independent of any criminal case against the drunk driver.
Thus, even if a drunk driver is not charged, enters into a diversionary program, or is found not guilty, you can still file a personal injury case. Different levels of proof are required to win civil vs. criminal cases. Prosecutors pursuing a criminal case against a drunk driver must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high legal standard. Winning a Newark personal injury case only requires you to prove negligence based on a preponderance of the evidence, which is a much easier standard to meet.
If you can prove that the drunk driver was legally responsible for your injuries, you can recover various damages. In New Jersey, personal injury damages consist of economic and non-economic damages. These include:
Newark DUI accidents often cause life-changing injuries. At Console & Associates, we are here to help ensure that you recover the compensation you deserve based on the serious injuries you suffered.
A Newark drunk driver just hit you, and now you are wondering whether there is anything you can do to hold them accountable. There is.
To successfully bring a case against a drunk driver, you must prove the following:
Several of these elements are easily met. For example, all drivers owe a duty to others on the road. The act of driving drunk is illegal and obviously negligent. Thus, if someone hits you while driving drunk, they breached a duty of care they owed to you.
Newark DUI accident cases often come down to the final two elements: the cause of your injuries and what your damages are. That said, proving damages in a drunk driving case is often not a question of whether or not you suffered damages, but instead what the extent of your damages was.
To better understand the financial recovery process, contact the dedicated Newark DUI accident lawyers at Console & Associates to schedule a free consultation.
Drunk driving accidents cannot be anticipated. These crashes often involve high speeds and direct impact, such as in a head-on collision. This can a deadly combination.
Some of the most common types of injuries in a Newark drunk driving accident include:
Notably, not all injuries are immediately apparent after an accident. Thus, it is crucial that you get checked out by a doctor to rule out any hidden injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a Newark DUI accident case, you can file a personal injury claim against any party who contributed to your injuries. The drunk driver is the most obvious defendant, but they may not be the only one to blame. Since drunk drivers often won’t have the financial ability to fully compensate you for your injuries, identifying other potentially liable parties is a critical step when preparing your case.
For example, under the doctrine of vicarious liability, employers can be legally responsible for their employees’ negligent actions. This includes drunk driving. So, if a drunk driver was working at the time of the accident, you may be able to pursue a claim against their employer.
New Jersey also has a “Dram Shop” law, which allows DUI accident victims to hold a bar or restaurant liable if they overserve the drunk driver. Specifically, the New Jersey dram shop law explains, “a person who sustains personal injury or property damage as a result of the negligent service of alcoholic beverages by a licensed alcoholic beverage server may recover damages from a licensed alcoholic beverage server.”
Of course, bars and restaurants will almost certainly claim that they were not liable. However, an experienced Essex County DUI accident lawyer can help negotiate with these establishments, explaining how their actions contributed to your injuries.
Anyone injured in a drunk driving accident is entitled to bring a personal injury case against the driver. This includes:
In the tragic event of a fatal Newark DUI accident, the surviving family members of the deceased accident victim can pursue a Newark wrongful death claim against the drunk driver.
If you have been injured in a Newark drunk driving accident, you will likely have many questions. Insurance companies are no help, because they are only interested in settling your claim for as little as possible. At Console & Associates, we are here for you.
Our dedicated team of Newark DUI accident lawyers can help with every step of the process, easing our burdens in every way we can.
When you bring Console & Associates onto your team, we will take care of all aspects of your case, including:
We’ve been handling Newark DUI accident claims on behalf of New Jersey residents for more than 25 years, so we know the process well. We can help take the burdens off of you and your family, allowing you to focus on putting your life back together after an accident.
Understandably, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to hiring a Newark DUI lawyer. At Console & Associates, we simplify the process by handling all drunk driving cases on a contingency basis.
This means we cover all litigation costs upfront; you are responsible for none of these costs unless we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Better yet, you will not pay anything for our services unless we successfully resolve your case.
What does that mean? It means we don’t get paid unless you do.
We recognize there are many Newark personal injury law firms in the area, many of which consist of qualified attorneys. However, unlike so many of our competitors, we take a personal approach to every case.
At Console & Associates, we take the time to get to know our clients, their family, their work, and how the accident impacted their life. We will not begin to develop a case strategy until we fully understand your overall situation.
With more than 25 years of experience successfully handling only personal injury claims, Console & Associates is uniquely positioned to help you recover full compensation for what you’ve been through.
If you have recently been injured in a Newark DUI accident, or had a loved one tragically killed by a drunk driver, give Console & Associates a call. We are here for you at every step of the way. If you have questions, we have the answers. And if we don’t know the answer, we will waste no time in finding it.
We’ve been assisting accident victims and their families with their claims against drunk drivers since 1994 and have helped more than 6,000 clients recover over $100 million.
Yes, under New Jersey’s dram shop law, you can also sue social hosts. That means that, if a drunk driver consumed alcohol at a friend’s house before the accident, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the drunk driver and the friend at whose home they consumed the alcohol.
To hold a social host liable in a Newark DUI case, you must be able to prove they provided alcohol to the drunk driver “under circumstances manifesting reckless disregard of the consequences.”
Sadly, many Newark DUI accidents are fatal. In this situation, a deceased accident victim’s surviving family members can bring a wrongful death claim.
New Jersey wrongful death claims are similar to traditional personal injury claims, but the plaintiff is the accident victim’s family, instead of the accident victim themselves.
Family members who are successful in bringing a Newark wrongful death claim may obtain compensation for the following:
New Jersey law imposes a two-year statute of limitations on drunk driving cases. Of course, this only means that the case needs to be filed within the two years; your claim does not need to be resolved within two years.
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.
Our Newark, NJ Law office is located at:
Console and Associates, P.C.
494 Broad Street, #208B
Newark, NJ 07102