A man in Spotswood, who was blinded and paralyzed in an Old Bridge New Jersey auto accident in 2004 caused by an intoxicated friend at the wheel, has been awarded more than $2 million by a jury for his injuries, according to this report from a news website. A New Brunswick Superior Court jury decided on a $3.25 million verdict, but found 49-year-old Craig Staffa 35 percent liable for the car accident in New Jersey. Staffa’s friend, 45-year-old John Buckalew, is serving time in state prison for aggravated assault in connection with the crash.
Buckalew apparently bears 45 percent of the liability, but has no assets to pay Staffa. The third party in the lawsuit, Moore’s Bar & Liquors on Route 35 in Cliffwood Beach, has been ordered to pay $625,000 for 20 percent of the liability for serving alcoholic drinks to Buckalew, who was already drunk.
In the state of New Jersey, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were a total of 771 auto accident fatalities in New Jersey in 2006, out of which 285 involved alcohol. Out of the 285 alcohol-related fatalities, 224 incidents reportedly involved the driver having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
Drunk driving amounts to negligence, and if you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an auto accident in New Jersey, you may be entitled to significant compensation. As it happened in this case, sometimes, the establishment that served the alcohol to the driver may also be held partially liable for the accident and resulting injuries. If you have been injured in an accident, please call the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lependorf and Silverstein to find out more about your legal rights and options.