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Lose a loved one to a drunk driver?

It is unfortunate that, even though the vast majority of people know that impaired driving can have severe consequences, it does not stop people from doing it. Sadly, this behavior results in numerous fatalities every year in New York and across the country. Losing a loved one to a drunk driver challenges one's emotions and can be financially devastating to boot.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, in the United States a person is killed by a drunk driver every 53 minutes. This adds up to well over 10,000 people a year. While it is believed that this number has slowly been decreasing over the last 30 years, it is still far too high.

What is it about driving under the influence of alcohol that increases one's odds of causing a crash? It is simple, really. Alcohol makes it harder for one to think reasonably and it affects muscle coordination -- greatly reducing one's reaction time, among other things. The more alcohol in one's system, the harder it is to safely control a moving automobile.

The damages associated with DUI-related traffic fatalities come out to about $52 billion a year. That is quite a bit, but for the families who receive some of that as compensation for their losses, it may not seem enough. There is no price tag that can be put on a life. While that may be the case, there is still reason to fight for compensation. Filing a civil claim in a New York civil court against the drunk driver responsible for a loved one's demise, if it is successfully litigated, may provide a sense of justice, closure and even offer some financial relief.

Source: nhsta.gov, "Drunk Driving", Accessed on June 13, 2017

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