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NYC Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

New York City Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Helping Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents & Their Families

Even though driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI) is illegal in New York, some people still think it is okay to get behind the wheel after drinking. Sadly, not only do these drunk drivers put their own lives at risk when acting so carelessly, but they also risk your life and the lives of your loved ones. In fact, thousands of people are severly injured in drunk driving accidents every year.

At Keith D. Silverstein & Associates, our New York City drunk driving accident attorneys represent injury victims throughout the state. Our legal team has extensive experience, including experience in insurance defense. This allows us to not only understand how the other side operates but also effectively counter the defense’s efforts to dispute your case. 


If you were injured or if someone you love was seriously injured by a drunk driver, call Keith D. Silverstein & Associates at (646) 813-3922to learn more about your legal options during a free consultation. 


We Can Help You Obtain Compensation for Your Losses

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, it is important to remember that he or she may be liable for any injuries and/or damages you sustain. This means you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and, in some cases, pain and suffering. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to collect punitive damages, which are intended to punish and deter drunk drivers.

While it is often best to pursue your claim for damages against the drunk driver’s insurance provider, you should be aware that you may be able to file a no-fault claim with your own insurance company to cover certain damages. In either case, it is always a good idea to speak with an experienced New York City drunk driving accident lawyer to learn what legal options may be available.

At Keith D. Silverstein & Associates, we understand how overwhelming it can be to file a claim following a drunk driving accident. 

Thankfully, we are here to help. Whether your accident was caused by someone driving a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other type of motor vehicle, we are ready to do everything possible to help get you the compensation you deserve. 

Criminal vs. Civil Drunk Driving Cases 

In New York, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime and drivers over the legal limit can be convicted of DWI and face certain criminal and administrative penalties, such as jail time, a prison sentence, fines, and driver’s license suspension. 

In addition to facing criminal proceedings, drunk drivers can be held accountable for the harm they cause in civil court. 

A civil drunk driving accident lawsuit is different from a DWI case. Rather than seeking criminal penalties, the party who brings the claim against the drunk driver seeks financial recovery to help compensate for losses, or “damages,” caused by the drunk driver.

Common damages in drunk driving accident cases include: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost income/wages
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Disfigurement 
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of earning ability
  • Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses

The exact types of damages you can recover depend on the specific details of your case. Get in touch with our New York City drunk driving accident attorneys to learn more during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. 

Who Can File a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit? 

Because New York is a no-fault car insurance state, you will need to prove that you suffered a “serious injury” to be eligible to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. 

In New York, a “serious injury” is defined as one of the following:

  • A bone fracture 
  • Significant disfigurement 
  • Any injury resulting in permanent and significant loss of use of a bodily function, organ, member, or system 
  • Any injury resulting in substantial full disability for a period of at least 90 days 

If you can prove that you have a serious injury, as determined by these criteria, and you can prove that the drunk driver was to blame for your injury and related damages, you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver and/or their insurance provider. 

Who Is Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident? 

Liability, or legal fault, is one of the key elements of your drunk driving accident claim. To have a successful case, you will need to prove that someone else is legally responsible for your injuries and damages. 

In most cases, the drunk driver is liable. This is because all motorists have a duty to others on the road to follow the law and drive safely to avoid causing accidents. Drunk drivers violate this duty of care when they put others at risk by driving while intoxicated. 

However, the drunk driver may not be the only liable party. Under New York’s dram shop laws, you could have a claim against a bar, restaurant, or vendor that over-served the drunk driver. 

To have a dram shop claim, you will need to prove at least one of the following:

  • The establishment or vendor provided alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated, and that person went on to cause a drunk driving accident that left you injured
  • The establishment or vendor provided alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age (21), and that individual went on to cause a drunk driving accident that left you injured

Additionally, you could have a claim against someone other than an establishment or vendor, such as a social host, who provided alcohol to a minor (someone under the age of 21) who then went on to cause an accident that left you injured.

New York’s social host law is narrower than its dram shop law; liability only applies when the individual who caused the injury was under the legal drinking age of 21. 

Insurance Companies Take These Claims Seriously, and So Should You

Insurance companies do not like to make large payouts, so you can expect them to vigorously contest any case in which you seek significant damages following an accident caused by their customer, the drunk driver. It is important that you take these claims as seriously as the insurance company. 

The best way to show insurance companies that you are serious is to hire a lawyer. At Keith D. Silverstein & Associates, our attorneys have great experience handling car accident and drunk driving injury claims. 

In fact, not only has attorney Keith D. Silverstein been practicing for nearly three decades, but he started in insurance defense, so he already knows what opposing counsel will do and can protect you during this process.


Let us help make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you―contact us today at (646) 813-3922 and schedule your free consultation. Hablamos español.


  • How long do I have to file a claim after a drunk driving accident in NYC?
    In New York State, including NYC, you generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, which includes cases related to drunk driving accidents. This is known as the statute of limitations. However, it's important to note that some circumstances could shorten this timeframe. Additionally, if you're looking to make an insurance claim, it's typically required that you report your accident and injuries to your insurer within 30 days of the incident. If the accident was a hit-and-run, you should report the crash to the police within 24 hours or as soon as possible.
  • Are criminal charges required to file a civil claim against a drunk driver?
    Criminal charges are not required to file a civil claim against a drunk driver. These are two separate legal processes. A criminal case is initiated by the state or government to punish illegal behavior, while a civil case is usually initiated by an individual (or their family) seeking compensation for damages or injuries. Even if a drunk driver is not criminally charged or is found not guilty in a criminal trial, victims can still file a civil lawsuit to seek damages. However, if the driver is convicted in a criminal court, the conviction can potentially be used as evidence of negligence in a civil case.
  • Can I sue the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver?
    You can sue a bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver in New York due to the state’s dram shop laws, which hold businesses accountable if they unlawfully overserve alcohol or serve alcohol to people under 21. These establishments may be held liable if their actions contribute to a drunk driving accident. The law also extends to situations where a business serves alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated.
  • What happens if the drunk driver was uninsured?
    If the drunk driver involved in an accident is uninsured, it can complicate the process of seeking compensation for damages. However, you still have options. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of your own auto insurance policy, this can cover your damages up to the limits of your policy. If you don't have UM coverage or if your damages exceed your policy limits, you may need to sue the drunk driver directly to recover your costs. Keep in mind that collecting damages from an individual can be more challenging than from an insurance company, so working with an injury lawyer is nearly required.
  • What should I do immediately after a drunk driving accident?
    If you're involved in a drunk driving accident, your priority should be to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Call 911 immediately, even if no one appears to be seriously injured. Do not admit fault. If you suspect that the other driver is intoxicated, inform the police when they arrive, but avoid confronting the driver directly. Take pictures of the accident scene, if it's safe to do so, and collect contact information from any witnesses. Seek medical attention, even if you feel fine, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Finally, consult with an attorney from our firm.
  • What constitutes a drunk driving accident?
    A drunk driving accident is any car crash or accident that occurs when at least one of the involved drivers is impaired by alcohol. Depending on the circumstances, a criminal investigation may be needed to determine if the driver was intoxicated and to what extent. From a legal perspective, any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater is “legally intoxicated,” whether the alcohol has impaired their ability to drive or not.

We Care About Your Healing Our Client's Story

"My husband was injured a few years ago and Keith D. Silverstein & Associates was there to help him receive the compensation he deserved. They worked hard and never settled for anything less than what they thought he was entitled to."

- Virginia

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