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If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an intoxicated driver, then New Jersey law may give you a right of action against the defendant-driver for significant damages. Litigating a DUI accident claim may seem straightforward, but to do so effectively requires deft and thoughtful advocacy.
At Folkman Law, our attorneys have helped numerous DUI accident plaintiffs obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact a Cherry Hill DUI accident lawyer today to learn more about how we can help you successfully navigate the litigation process.
What Qualifies as a DUI?
In New Jersey, a defendant may be found liable if they were impaired at the time of the accident due to their intoxication. Intoxication is presumed at a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater, though it is possible for a defendant to be found intoxicated even if their blood alcohol level is less than 0.08. What matters, fundamentally, is whether the defendant-driver is impaired. Some drivers may be significantly impaired with even a small amount of alcohol.
Intoxication is not limited to alcohol consumption, either. In New Jersey, a defendant may be found liable for intoxicated driving if they were under the influence of various recreational or prescription drugs.
Advantages of a DUI Defendant in the Litigation Context
PERCEPTION OF DEFENDANT IS LIKELY NEGATIVE
Drivers who injured others (while intoxicated) are typically fighting an uphill battle when it comes to public perception. Juries tend to look upon such drivers in a negative manner. In the litigation context, this is a meaningful consequence that is worth noting. If you are involved in a DUI accident dispute (and it is clear that the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the accident), then you will be able to exercise substantial leverage during negotiations, as the defendant will have a difficult time at trial.
POSSIBILITY OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES
New Jersey courts are empowered to award bonus punitive damages in situations where the defendant’s misconduct was willful and malicious. Punitive damages may be awarded in situations where the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, though the courts usually only award punitive damages if the defendant-driver’s consumption of such substances was indicative of a wanton disregard for the safety of others.
For example, if the defendant was more than three or four times over the legal limit for blood alcohol level, then the court may choose to award punitive damages.
Contact Folkman Law for a Free and Confidential Consultation
At Folkman Law, our team of attorneys boast decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs in a variety of disputes, including DUI accident cases. We know the ins-and-outs of motor vehicle accident litigation, and what is necessary to secure the best possible result for our clients.
Please call 856-354-9444 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Cherry Hill DUI accident lawyer at our firm. We are available 24/7 to respond to any and all inquiries that you may have.