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Will You Go To Jail After a Fatal Car Accident in New York?

Posted in Car Accidents on December 22, 2022

Will You Go To Jail After a Fatal Car Accident in New York?

Every year in the United States, tens of thousands of people die in car accidents; in 2021, approximately 43,000 people were killed in fatal car accidents. Unfortunately, these tragic events can have serious legal consequences for all parties involved.

What happens if you cause a fatal accident in New York – will you go to jail? The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of your case.

You Can Be Charged With Vehicular Manslaughter

In New York, any driver who is driving while intoxicated (DWI) or transporting dangerous materials and causes a fatal accident can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This charge comes with serious penalties and you could end up spending years behind bars if found guilty.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter

If convicted of vehicular manslaughter in New York, you could face up to 15 years in prison. You may also be required to pay fines and restitution to the family of the deceased and complete community service or other alternative sentencing programs. Additionally, your license will be suspended, and there will be an increased risk that your insurance rates will rise significantly.

Even if you are not subject to criminal charges after a car accident in New York, an injured party can still bring a personal injury lawsuit against you.

How Can I Protect Myself After an Accident?

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter, then it is important that you contact an experienced New York attorney immediately. Your lawyer will review your case and help build a strong defense strategy so that your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.

In some cases, they may even be able to negotiate lesser charges or reduced sentences on your behalf.  It is also important that you speak with an attorney before signing any legal documents related to the case; this includes insurance forms or paperwork from law enforcement officials.

Additionally, your lawyer can provide guidance on how best to prepare for hearings and trials, as well as offer sound advice on how best to handle any potential issues that may arise during court proceedings.

If You Lost a Loved One in an Accident, You May Be Entitled to Compensation

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person responsible for your family’s tragedy. This could include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.

The best way to ensure that your rights are protected is by seeking legal help from an experienced car accident attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases. An experienced lawyer will handle all necessary paperwork related to the incident and can provide representation during negotiations or at trial if necessary.

Determining Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim

To pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim, you must first be able to prove that the at-fault driver is legally responsible for the death of your loved one and for paying damages. Most wrongful death cases are based on negligence, which has four elements.

  • Duty – You must show that the driver had a legal duty of care toward your loved one. All drivers have the duty to take reasonable precautions to keep others on the road safe.
  • Breach – Next, you must prove the driver breached their duty of care by engaging in reckless or negligent behavior.
  • Causation – You must show that this breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s injuries and eventual death.
  • Damages – Lastly, there must be evidence of damages (such as medical bills or funeral expenses) resulting from your loved one’s passing.

If all four elements are present and can be proven, then you may have grounds for a successful wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.

If you are charged with vehicular manslaughter after an accident involving fatalities or if you lost a loved one in a car accident, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel right away to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

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