Posted on: 6 June 2023
Drunk driving incidents are unfortunate and often lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. The situation can become even more complicated when the intoxicated driver lacks auto insurance. So, what happens if you're the victim of a drunk driving accident and the at-fault driver has no insurance?
This is where a drunk driving attorney can help.
The Impact of Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only illegal but incredibly dangerous. Alcohol impairs the driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely, increasing the risk of accidents. When accidents occur, they can lead to significant injuries, property damage, and emotional trauma. The financial implications can also be substantial, ranging from medical bills to loss of income and other associated costs.
Dealing with Uninsured Drunk Drivers
The typical route to compensation after a car accident is filing a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance. However, if the drunk driver is uninsured, this pathway is closed. It can seem like a dead end, but you do have other legal options:
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you have uninsured motorist coverage (UM) as part of your own auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company. This type of coverage is designed to protect you when involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Personal Injury Lawsuit: If the drunk driver is uninsured, another option is to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the driver. Keep in mind, though, this path can be complex and often depends on the driver's ability to pay any judgment against them.
- Dram Shop Laws: In some states, you may be able to seek compensation from the establishment that overserved the drunk driver under "dram shop" laws.
Role of a Drunk Driving Attorney
Navigating through these legal pathways can be challenging, especially while you're dealing with the physical and emotional trauma following an accident. Here's how a drunk driving attorney can assist you:
- Assessing Your Case: An experienced attorney can review the specifics of your case, advising on the best legal options available to you.
- Filing an Insurance Claim: If you're filing a claim under your UM coverage, your attorney can help negotiate with your insurance company to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If a lawsuit against the drunk driver or a third party like a bar or restaurant is viable, your attorney can prepare and file the lawsuit, representing your interests in court.
- Estimating Damages: Your attorney can help calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
- Gathering Evidence: Your attorney can collect and preserve crucial evidence to support your case. This might include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and more.
Remember, every situation is unique, and a specialized attorney can provide advice and support tailored to your circumstances. For more information, contact a drunk driving attorney near you.Share