A little after 10:30 p.m. on December 9, Duquan Falk, 21, of West Babylon, led Suffolk County police in a footrace after he fled the scene of an accident. Falk, who was allegedly high on drugs and driving with a loaded weapon, injured another motorist in the crash.
Drugs allegedly involved in Suffolk County crash
The car crash took place in Deer Park. Reports say that Faulk was headed westbound on Long Island Avenue and ran a red light at Deer Park Avenue. His 2016 Chevrolet Malibu struck a 2006 Dodge caravan headed south on Deer Park. After the collision, Faulk took off on foot. Police searched his vehicle and claim to have found a loaded gun that had been reported stolen in Virginia.
After chasing him down, Suffolk County detectives arrested Faulk and charged him with:
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs
- Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident without Reporting
He was scheduled to be arraigned on December 10. The driver of the Caravan reportedly sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.
Long Island impaired drivers face civil liabilities
New York law imposes penalties on motorists who drive while ability impaired by drugs or alcohol. A DWAI-Drug is subject to a fine of $500-$1000 and jail time up to one year, along with a suspended license. But drunk or drug-impaired drivers can also face civil liability to their victims.
A civil drunk driving lawsuit is separate from the criminal action that a driver may face. In a criminal matter, the government is a party and, if successful, the penalties are assigned according to statutes. In a civil action, the victim or his or her family brings the claim and can be awarded damages for medical expenses, lost wages, amounts for pain and suffering, and in the case of a wrongful death, funeral expenses.
New York No-Fault law
As a no-fault insurance state, New York requires a showing of a serious injury before a victim may file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation beyond his own personal injury policy payout. State statutes set out timelines and other rules that victims must follow in order to pursue additional compensation for their injuries.
Once a victim meets the injury threshold, he must still be able to prove the essential elements of the claim, including:
- The defendant drunk or high driver’s breach of a duty by acting in an unsafe way toward others on the road;
- The breach caused damages that the law recognizes as entitled to compensation; and
- Proximate cause between the breach of duty and the damages.
Non-lawyers, like jurors, do not always understand these elements or the significance of the evidence. An experienced Long Island car accident lawyer, however, can convey these concepts to establish liability.
Consult a New York personal injury lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in a DWAI or other impaired driving incident, speak with a Long Island car accident attorney to protect your rights. Call Edelman, Krasin & Jaye at 1-800-469-7429 for a free evaluation of your case.