There have been 70 fatalities already on Long Island roads in 2014, and yet another one took place in Greenport last weekend, when a man from Peconic lost his life after a collision involving two cars.
The driver, John Costello, who was behind the wheel of the other car, has as a result been charged with driving while drunk. According to police he may face other charges too.
The fatal crash took place on Route 25 when the truck Costello was driving allegedly crossed over into the traffic lane holding oncoming traffic, police have since reported.
Traffic fatalities like this are not unusual on Long Island roads, especially over weekends when more drivers are in a rush to get home after a night out and are likely to be under the influence of alcohol.
Every year, despite harsh penalties for DUI offences, accidents related to the misuse of alcohol end up in more than 13,000 deaths across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Typically, driving while intoxicated (DWI), or what is often referred to as driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol, is clearly seen as negligent and reckless. A driver who intentionally drinks and drives is putting every other road user at risk of possible injury or even death.
The criminal court system has the potential to punish a drunk driver who caused an accident, but it doesn’t look at the victim. In a traffic accident, whether an injury has taken place or a fatality, in New York or Long Island the victim and his or her family are legally entitled to be compensated for the wrongdoing of someone else.
If the drunk driver in question was drinking at a bar or restaurant, damages may be recovered beyond what can be claimed from the insurance policy of the drunk driver. The Dram Shop Act in New York State allows victims of accidents that were caused by drunk drivers to claim compensation from a party or parties that served alcohol to individuals that were visibly intoxicated.
In the case of the Peconic man, his family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver or any other person who is found to be responsible for his death. This often helps a family come to terms with the needless and untimely death of a member of their family.
If you are a victim of any type of vehicle accident and you were injured or a family member died, you should ensure you gain as much compensation as possible so that you do not suffer any financial hardship. This means hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, like Richard S. Jaffe Esq., who knows that it is necessary to be persuasive when pursuing any type of personal injury claim. You may be entitled to financial compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, property damage and pain and suffering.
You can contact him for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.