Report: Drugged Driver May Be Held Liable in Fatal Accident

A New York car injury lawyer notes that a driver believed responsible for a fatal accident consented to and then failed a drug test at the scene. Questions about how New York authorities handle drivers who are presumed drunk in comparison with those believed to be on drugs are being asked following the accident involving a drugged driver and a bicyclist in New York City. In addition to criminal charges, people who drive under the influence may be liable to the others they harm, and victims of negligence, as well as the families of those killed, may be eligible to recover compensation with the help of a New York car accident attorney.

For more information, contact the Attorney Group for New York today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated New York car injury lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.

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Fatal Crash Raises Questions About DUI Laws in New York

A fatal accident that claimed the life of a bicyclist, and the subsequent arrest of a driver believed responsible for the death are shining a spotlight on a legal loophole that makes it easier for drugged drivers to evade DUI convictions than drunk drivers. According to The New York Daily News, the Brooklyn, New York, case calling attention to the controversy centers around a 27-year-old man who tested positive for cocaine after he was administered a mouth-swab test at the accident scene.

Additional details reveal that the impaired driver was traveling westbound when he blew through a red light and struck another vehicle, which in turn struck the cyclist. The suspected drugged driver also admitted taking heroin before the accident. Because the driver consented to the drug test at the scene before failing it, he may be held liable for the death of the victim. Had he refused the test, however, authorities may have had little recourse. Unlike situations where a driver may be under the influence of alcohol, authorities in New York cannot currently arrest or suspend the license of a driver believed drugged if the driver refuses a test at the scene and shows no obvious signs of drug impairment.

Criminal Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents is Different Than Civil Liability

Regardless of the outcome of any criminal action against the driver, the determination of the criminal court is different than any civil case that may be brought against the driver. In a criminal matter, a person is accused of a crime and, if convicted, can be sentenced to jail or probation. Sometimes monetary fines and restitution are imposed on the guilty party.

However, the outcome of a criminal matter is often not relevant to a civil matter that could be brought against the person committing the wrongful act. A person who drives drunk commits a crime, but if that person also injures or kills another person while driving drunk, he or she may face civil liability in addition to criminal charges.

In a civil case, a person’s actions are not judged on whether they were illegal, but instead on whether they constituted negligence, reckless or malicious behavior, or other fault. If those actions are found to constitute fault, and if those actions caused injury to another person, then the wrongful actor may be held liable to the injured party for the payment of money to compensate for the injuries and other damages caused.

How a New York Car Injury Lawyer Can Help

Drivers, passengers, pedestrians or bicycle riders who are injured in car accidents may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Scarring and disfigurement

The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.

If the actions causing injury are malicious or so reckless that intent to harm can be inferred, the responsible party can be liable for punitive damages to punish wrongful conduct and deter similar conduct in the future.

The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.

For more information, contact the Attorney Group for New York. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.

After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.

Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.