Protect Your Rights When You Have Been Injured by a Drunk Driver
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, one of your first steps is typically to gather information from the other driver, gathering contact data, as well as insurance details. If you are injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, though, you may discover that the other driver was uninsured or only had basic coverage. The reality is that many drunk drivers are repeat offenders and once they’ve had one conviction, it becomes either cost prohibitive or impossible for them to obtain automobile insurance. So what are your options?
The first place to look is in your own motor vehicle insurance policy. All automobile insurers offer coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, but this coverage is typically in the form of a rider, an additional clause with a separate premium. Uninsured/underinsured policy provisions typically offer up to a certain dollar amount in additional coverage if the person causing the accident either had too little insurance or had no insurance at all. Don’t rely, however, on your insurance provider to advise you as to whether you have coverage. Instead, you should ask an experienced attorney to review your policy.
Even if you don’t have coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, you may be able to pursue damages from the establishment that served alcohol to the driver. Dram shop/social host liability laws typically attribute liability to individuals or establishments that either:
- Served alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated or who they had reason to know was intoxicated, or
- Served a sufficient quantity of alcohol to a person within a limited period of time to reasonably conclude that they would become intoxicated
In some instances, where the decision to serve a visibly intoxicated person constituted “gross negligence,” you may even be able to get punitive damages from the wrongful party.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside motor vehicle accident injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 9516820488. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.