If you are injured in a DUI accident, the fault for the crash seems obvious — the drunk driver is at fault. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime. Drunk drivers in Erie face severe penalties and punishments for a DUI conviction. In most cases, proving liability in a drunk driving accident case is usually straightforward.
However, keep in mind, you must still prove the driver “caused” the collision, not that he was simply drunk at the time of the crash. Our Erie DUI accident attorney can help you prove your claim by investigating the accident to obtain evidence that proves the drunk driver caused the crash.
Who Pays for a DUI Accident?
As with any other traffic accident, the driver who is at fault is responsible for paying damages. In the case of a DUI accident, the drunk driver is responsible for paying compensation to you for your damages if he caused the crash. Therefore, the first step in the process is to prove the impaired driver caused the crash. The next step is to determine insurance coverage.
If the drunk driver is covered by liability insurance, his insurance company should pay your damages. However, if the driver has multiple DUIs, the chances are that he has lost his insurance coverage. Even if he has insurance coverage, Pennsylvania only requires a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. In a serious accident, $15,000 may not cover the first few days in a hospital, much less the other damages caused by a drunk driver. Fortunately, there may be other options available for victims of DUI accidents.
Alternate Sources of Compensation in an Erie DUI Accident
Our personal injury attorneys investigate all sources of compensation for victims of drunk drivers. There are three additional sources we investigate.
- Personal Assets — If you receive a judgment against the driver for damages, you might be able to recover money from the driver’s personal assets. However, many assets are exempt, or the driver does not have anything of substantial value. Therefore, we explore this option, but we never rely solely on this option for compensation.
- Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage — If the driver has no insurance coverage, you might recover money from your uninsured motorist coverage. Likewise, if the driver does not have sufficient insurance to pay your claim in full, your damages may be covered by your underinsured motorist coverage. We recommend that you discuss your automobile insurance coverage with your insurance agent. This type of car insurance is inexpensive for the protection it offers.
- Third Party Defendants — In some cases, we might be able to identify a third party who is partially responsible for your damages. For example, an employer who allowed an employee to operate a vehicle after drinking at a party could be liable. The owner of a vehicle or the person who served the alcohol could also be potentially liable. Our experienced DUI accident attorneys explore every avenue to identify additional parties who might be liable for damages.
Talk to an Erie DUI Accident Attorney About Your Case
If a drunk driver injured you, an experienced Pennsylvania DUI accident attorney could be your best resource for recovering compensation or your medical bills, lost income, and other damages.