On average, 312 New York pedestrians died annually between 2012 and 2014 because they were struck by a motor vehicle, according to state government statistics. That amounts to 1.6 deaths per every 100,000 New Yorkers.
In 2004 the involved drivers had consumed alcohol in 18% of fatal pedestrian collisions, according to a national study. In 2004, there were 4,641 pedestrian deaths and more than 70,000 injuries in the United States.
Pedestrians injured by an intoxicated driver in New York may be entitled to “compensatory damages” for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages. The purpose of compensatory damages is to restore the injured person to the place they would have been had the collision not occurred. Compensatory damages put a monetary value on pain and suffering, and that can sometimes be difficult to do. Assigning a dollar figure for human experience is challenging, to say the least. But courts have developed certain guidelines to determine what is reasonable compensation under certain circumstances.
A pedestrian hit by an intoxicated driver may be able to make an additional claim for “punitive damages,” too, depending on the circumstances. Whereas the purpose of compensatory damages is to compensate an injured party, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the injuring party. Punitive damages are awarded to the injured party if the defendant is found to have been acting with utter disregard for the safety of others at the time of the accident.
Punitive damages may be awarded in some cases involving drunk drivers, especially where other aggravating circumstances—such as an extremely high level of intoxication or prior offenses—are present.
Being involved in a DUI accident in New York can be a scary experience, especially for a pedestrian. William Mattar, P.C. has years of experience helping injured pedestrians receive maximum compensation. Contact us today to discuss your personal-injury claim if you have been struck and injured by an impaired driver in New York.