Drunk driving is a dangerous crime that is taken very seriously in the United States’ judicial system. And with good reason. Drinking and driving kills as many as 10,000 people a year. On average, 27,000 drivers get arrested every week for DUI, and it is estimated that arrests only represent one percent of total drunk driving cases in a week. That implies that there are over three million drunk drivers on the road in America every single week.
The police do everything they can to prevent people from drinking and driving, as well as minimizing the damage caused by it. Unfortunately, people continue to be injured and even killed by drunk drivers every single day.
When they do, it becomes a lawyer’s job to ensure they receive the punishment they deserve, and the victimized party gets adequately compensated. But it is quite common for drunk drivers to drive without insurance. This begs the question, where does the compensation come from if a drunk driver is driving without insurance?
When A Drunk Driver Is Driving Without Insurance
As it turns out, there are a few possible answers to that question. It should be noted that in order to receive compensation by any of these means, it must be proven that the drunk driver was at fault for the accident.
The Injured’s Insurance Should Cover Accidents Caused By The Uninsured
First, the injured driver should have some form of insurance that specifically handles accidents with an uninsured party, no matter if they were driving someone else’s car or walking on the sidewalk when the accident occurred. This specific type of insurance will help provide compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages due to injury. Unfortunately, this type of insurance is often not able to provide enough financial coverage in most situations. While it may help, it will not keep a family fed or pay for a funeral on its own.
Uninsured Drunk Drivers Must Pay
Second, a drunk driver can still be responsible for providing compensation, even if they claim bankruptcy. While declaring bankruptcy is often used to avoid liability, liability caused by a DUI is specifically unaffected. This means that if they have significant financial assets, you may be able to receive compensation from them. So if the driver has any possible way to pay, the courts will make them do so.
Another Establishment May Be Liable In An Uninsured Drunk Driving Accident
Third, if an establishment served the drunk driver alcohol, it can be legally responsible. Establishments that serve alcohol are required by law to stop serving customers who are visibly drunk. This can mean any signs of intoxication, from slurred speech to the inability to keep balance. Failing to do so makes the establishment liable for the damages caused in light of the driver not having insurance. Furthermore, any other illegal selling of alcohol makes them liable. That means if they sell alcohol without a license, or sell to men and women who are underaged, they are expected to help pay compensation.
Fourth, vehicle manufacturers can be liable for your injuries. A car, truck or SUV has to do more than drive from point A to point B. They must also be able to do so safely. For this reason, vehicles must be able to withstand crashes.If it is believed that the vehicle was not made to survive the crash, you can file for a crashworthiness claim. This means that the things in the car that are designed to keep you safe failed at their job. Examples of this are if the airbags failed to deploy, or a seatbelt failed keep a passenger safely in their seat. It is not uncommon for car crash injuries to be caused by some malfunction of the car, thus making the manufacturer up responsible provide compensation.
Finally, if the accident was caused by unsafe driving conditions, the local government or local construction companies could be responsible for liability. There are a plethora of ways a road could be considered unsafe. Every town seems to have at least one road that is considered more dangerous than the rest. This can be caused by poor lighting on the road, negligence due to the construction company, or because other structures such as telephone poles are too close to the roadway.
If you get into an accident with a drunk driver, having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side is a good way to ensure you are justly compensated. And while the drunk driver lacking insurance can make the process more difficult, there are methods an experienced attorney can use help you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve. By carefully investigating the cause of the crash, we can utilize creative solutions to help you work through the trauma and get you back on your feet.