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$7 Million Awarded After Drunk Driver Hits Motorcycle Rider In New York

Motorcycles are loved by many but it’s difficult to deny that riding one can be dangerous. Even if the rider does everything they can to keep themselves and others on the road safe, other drivers may not be so considerate.

In 2015, the life of a 57-year-old aviation mechanic was ended because another driver made the terrible decision to get behind the wheel of a car drunk. Today, his family has finally received compensation for his death with the help of our drunk driving accident attorney.

Intoxicated Driver Runs Down Motorcycle

alcohol which could cause a motorcycle accidentIn March of 2015, the driver of an SUV skidded to a stop at a DUI checkpoint where officers were doing a routine and random check of drivers on the road. The officers at the stop immediately recognized that the driver seemed confused and asked him to leave his vehicle. While talking to him, they also reported that he smelled of alcohol, was unsteady, and a quick look at his SUV revealed a blown tire, a damaged bumper with red paint on it, and that the airbags inside of the vehicle had been deployed.

Just prior to the driver arriving at the scene, a call had gone out to all police officers in the area because of a hit and run accident just four miles away, where a man riding his motorcycle had been run over by an SUV. The victim was in critical condition and had been rushed to the hospital while police tried to find the negligent driver. It quickly became clear that the SUV had been involved in the accident, although the intoxicated driver claimed he knew nothing about it.

Since the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test, the police arrested him and took him to a hospital where a blood test was performed which proved that he had been driving while under the influence. Meanwhile, despite his doctor’s best efforts, the motorcycle accident victim died from extensive internal injuries.

The drunk driver, who had been driving a company SUV at the time of the accident, was convicted of a felony DUI and was sentenced to 12 years in prison and was also sued by the widow of the victim.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

motorcycle of accident victimWhen someone dies an untimely death because of the negligent actions or decisions of another party, their surviving loved ones often have the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. This lawsuit can provide the family of the deceased with compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical bills for treatments that the deceased received before they passed, the loss of inheritance, and the loss of consortium.

In this case, the widow of the deceased filed both the negligent driver and the company he worked for. She reached a settlement agreement with the employer, however, the driver chose to go to trial. At the end of her legal battle, she obtained $7.75 million from the defendants.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Typically the people who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit include the spouses, parents, and children of the deceased. However, if another family member was dependant on the deceased, they may also be eligible depending on the circumstances.

How Do I Know What My Lawsuit Is Worth?

There is no way to 100% guarantee how much a lawsuit is worth but if you consult with an experienced attorney who can review the case and determine both past and expected future losses. These losses are what any damages will be based on.

How Much Will A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Cost Me?

At Banville Law, we understand that our clients are already under enough stress and are typically struggling financially because of the loss of their loved ones. That’s why we work on a contingency basis which means that we don’t get paid until you get the compensation that you need. Then, our fees come directly out of that compensation.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact our offices now.

How Long Will It Take To Obtain Compensation?

It's nearly impossible to determine exactly how long any lawsuit will take. There are many factors involved and if the case goes to trial, it may take some time to get a court date. It may take anywhere from several months to more than a year, however, don't allow this to stop you from consulting our legal team. Lawsuits are often the only way to obtain compensation, compensation which will make the future financially comfortable while you grieve for your loved one.

Read related articles: Family Of Man Killed By Drunk Driver Obtains Favorable Verdict


The family of a man who was hit and killed by a drunk driver in 2013 has won a drunk driver accident lawsuit against the driver that caused the accident, as well as her employer.

The Tragic Day

The victim, his wife, and their two children were driving in the couple’s SUV when they were struck head-on, on the driver’s side, by a woman driving under the influence of alcohol.

The SUV rolled several times before finally coming to a stop. When paramedics arrived on the scene just a few minutes later, the husband had already passed away, and despite their best efforts they were unable to revive him. His wife and children lived, but all three suffered severe injuries.

His wife was diagnosed with several spinal fractures and facial lacerations. She continues to have a limited range of motion in her neck and back. Their two children, a seven-year-old and a ten-year-old, suffered from facial fractures, orbital injuries, a fractured scapula, lung contusions, and lacerations. The cost of medical care for the three survivors has been exceedingly expensive and the mother has been unable to return to work due to her injuries.

The driver who struck them was taken to the hospital and her blood alcohol level registered at 0.40, which is five times the legal limit.

The Complaint


Allegory of justiceIn addition to pleading guilty to criminal charges of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault, which earned her 18 years in prison, the drunk driver soon found that she was faced with a civil lawsuit filed by the family of the man who had been killed.

The investigation into the accident revealed that the driver, a nurse, had been told to leave work after her fellow employees noted that she was unfocused and slurring her words. A further look into the matter showed that this wasn’t the only time the nursing home had sent the woman home for being intoxicated. She had allegedly been sent home a few months prior after being so drunk that she dropped a patient.

When the family filed a lawsuit, it not only named the driver as a defendant, but also her place of employment. The complaint alleged that the driver was negligent for driving drunk and the employer, a nursing home, had been negligent in allowing their employee to drive home when they knew that she was too intoxicated to get behind the wheel of the car.

The Final Determination

In an attempt to reach a settlement agreement, the driver offered the family the full limit of her insurance policy which was $60,000. Her employer also made an offer of $100,000. Both were rejected.

At trial, the plaintiff’s legal team presented evidence which showed that the nursing home had a strict policy regarding the suspected use of drug or alcohol during working hours. The policy indicated that anyone suspected of using drugs or being drunk while at work would be tested, and would either undergo disciplinary action or be fired. In this case, the nursing home never tested their employee despite her history of being sent home.

At the end of the trial, the court awarded the plaintiffs $16.73 million. This sum included $5 million in punitive damages against the nursing home for their failure to prevent their employee from getting behind the wheel.

New York Law

Sadly, this case is just one of many. Our auto accident lawyers in New York work around the clock with clients who have suffered severely after being hit by a drunk driver.

Just like the plaintiffs in this case, our team frequently uncovers evidence that shows it wasn’t just the driver who was at fault. New York law includes “Dram Shop” law. This law holds any establishment that continues to serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated patron liable for any injuries that the patron may cause. In a large number of cases, we have determined that a bar or restaurant should also be held responsible for the harm that was inflicted on our clients.

If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver a lawsuit may be in your best interests. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially, as well as physically, for an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Continue reading similar articles such as:

Negligent Alcohol Use: A Leading Cause Of Accidents in New York

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: February 23, 2018
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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