A Drunk Driver Caused A Car Accident. What Can I Do?

acceladmin   October 11, 2016   Comments Off on A Drunk Driver Caused A Car Accident. What Can I Do?

Sometimes a client will come in and they have been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver. They figure that there’s nothing they can do, but they said well, maybe I should just talk to an attorney anyway. Usually, what happens in drunk driving cases is that we are able to recover for the injured party. Sometimes the insurance company insuring the other vehicle of the driver will actually defend and then pay damages, if necessary, in that lawsuit. However, more times than not, they will disclaim coverage, which means there is no coverage available for my client from the person who was driving.

In all likelihood, the person that driving the car is not going to have enough assets to make up for what my client is suffering. The thing that is available, which is mandatory on insurance in New York State, is what is called uninsured motorists coverage, or UIM. It would be handled very similar to a lawsuit. We would put that insurance company on notice, our client’s insurance company, their intention to make the claim, we have to show proof that the other insurance company has declined or disclaimed coverage for that other vehicle, and then we still need to prove what we normally have to prove in a lawsuit involving a motor vehicle that the other car was at fault, which is not that difficult in a case like this. Also, we have to prove the serious, physical injury component.

If the injuries are not serious enough, while we may be able to make out the case against the driver, we unfortunately, may not be able to recover anything. If the injuries do meet the threshold and they are serious, then we will be able to recover against our own client’s policy for the client. This is something that I usually advise my clients when it comes to underinsured or uninsured coverage, there is a mandatory, minimum amount that has to be on these policies. My recommendation is to purchase as much extra insurance as you can in case you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver or a car that has coverage, but not enough coverage to make up for what happened to you.

If you are in need of legal counsel in regards to a personal injury in New York, please contact The Law Offices of Jonathan D. Sands and we would be happy to assist you.