Your Rights after an Auto Accident with a Drunk Driver

If you suffered injury in an accident in Doylestown with a drunk driver, it’s important to understand the legal rights afforded to accident victims. There can be a variety of issues that come up such as proof of the driver’s impairment, options for seeking compensation and holding the right people accountable.

Evidence a Drunk Driver Caused an Accident

There are serious consequences doled out to those caught drinking and driving. Pennsylvania has instituted a “Zero Tolerance Law” when it comes to underage drinking. The state has also made it mandatory that any person convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense must have an ignition interlock system installed on his/her vehicle for a year.

It’s important to get proof that the other driver was impaired. Because of Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, those who refuse to take a chemical test can not only lose their licenses but the refusal can be used as evidence against the person in his or her DUI case.

Of course, the results of a chemical test—whether breath, blood or urine—can be very helpful in a civil or insurance case. When it was administered at the scene, the results will be noted in the crash report. You may submit this as evidence of the other driver’s fault for the accident.

Options for Accident Victims Injured in a DUI Accident

If you’re in an accident that another driver caused, you may file a claim with your insurance company under your medical benefits coverage. Your options for filing a case against the other driver will hinge greatly on whether you have limited or full tort coverage.

If you have limited tort coverage you might not be entitled to damages other than out-of-pocket medical and other expenses. However, if you have full tort coverage there are no restrictions in filing a lawsuit. A lawsuit can address the medical costs incurred from the accident.

An attorney can help in determining your legal rights to compensation.If you have full tort coverage or if you have limited tort and your injuries meet certain requirements you could receive compensation for losses like:

  • income;
  • pain and suffering;
  • disability; and
  • emotional distress.

Liability for Injuries Sustained in a DUI Accident

While it makes sense to hold the drunk driver accountable for his/her actions, it’s possible that an injured person has the right to file a claim against others as well. Under dram shop laws, it might be possible to hold the owner of a business liable if it knowingly served a driver who was visibly intoxicated.

Let’s say the driver had spent a night on the town, visiting several establishments on Main Street in Doylestown and then jumped on the Doylestown Bypass. While weaving in and out of traffic, the driver strikes your vehicle. In this case, you may be able to recover damages from both the driver and an establishment that served the obviously intoxicated patron.

But these cases can be very complicated and require consultation and representation with an attorney before moving forward. Talk to a lawyer at Cordisco & Saile LLC to learn more about your options: 215-642-2335.