Most individuals understand that drunk drivers can be held liable for damages caused by a drunk driving accident in Pennsylvania. They can file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver claiming compensation for various injuries, including the cost of medical care, loss of income, medications, physical pain, future damages, and emotional suffering. However, what happens when the drunk driver is a relative? Do you have a claim against your relative for causing your injuries in a drunk driving accident?
Fault for a Drunk Driving Accident in Pennsylvania
Before any victim can recover compensation for damages arising from a drunk driving crash in Pennsylvania, that person must prove fault. The intoxicated driver must have caused the DUI accident to be held responsible for damages caused by the accident. Therefore, the first step is to conduct an accident investigation to determine the cause of the DUI accident. Did the drunk driver have any responsibility for causing the accident, or was the crash caused by another driver or other factors outside of the control of the intoxicated driver.
Assuming that the impaired driver was responsible for causing the crash, such as swerving into another lane or failing to yield the right of way, that driver can be held liable for damages caused by the collision. Of course, the driver may also face various DUI offenses that could carry significant criminal fines and penalties for a DUI conviction. However, the criminal DUI case and the civil personal injury case are two separate matters. You must have evidence proving the driver caused the collision, not just that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, to prove your case for compensation in civil court.
Recovering Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident Involving a Relative
When a relative is the intoxicated driver in a DUI accident, filing a claim against a family member can be emotionally and legally challenging. DUI accident cases are often complex, even when a relative is not involved. For instance, DUI cases can involve multiple insurance providers. In some cases, the DUI driver may only be partially at fault for the cause of the accident. The sober driver may have had some liability for causing the crash. If so, you have two insurance providers trying to avoid liability, which can result in the victim being harmed again as the companies try to avoid paying the claim.
When a relative is the drunk driver, the insurance company may try a variety of tactics to avoid paying the passenger’s personal injury claim. It may try to claim that coverage is not applicable for family members or that the family member knew the driver was drunk and assumed the risk of danger for the accident. Do not allow an insurance company to convince you that you are not entitled to compensation for a drunk driving accident simply because your relative was the driver. Contact an Erie DUI accident attorney to discuss your legal rights immediately.
Contact an Erie DUI Accident Attorney Now for More Help
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with our Erie drunk driving accident attorney.