Does Auto Insurance Cover DUI Accidents?

Does Auto Insurance Cover DUI Accidents?

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Does Auto Insurance Cover DUI Accidents?

Were you involved in an accident with a DUI driver, or were you over the legal limit when a collision occurred? You may wonder whether auto insurance covers DUI accidents. There is no hard and fast rule, and whether a car insurance policy pays for accident damages can depend on the policy’s terms, exclusions, and the crash’s circumstances.

Morgan & Morgan understands that victims of DUI accidents may feel angry and upset and worry about who will pay for their damages. However, you could have several options for recovering the compensation you need for car repair, medical bills, and other accident-related expenses.

You don’t have to figure this out on your own. We are here to help you understand your rights during this challenging time. Contact us today for more information.

What Is a DUI Accident?

DUI accidents involve drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving crashes kill one individual approximately every 45 minutes. Driving intoxicated is a serious offense in all states and can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Moreover, a driver causing an accident while over the limit may have to pay personally for victims’ damages.

The consequences of a DUI accident can be far-reaching, especially for victims who suffer from severe and life-changing injuries. Individuals may also experience long-lasting emotional trauma from the accident, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Financially, a DUI accident can present a significant and long-lasting burden for victims.

If you or a loved one was harmed in a crash with an intoxicated driver, you could have legal recourse and hold them personally responsible or receive a settlement from their car insurer. A car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you understand whether auto insurance covers your DUI accident and your other options for getting what you deserve.

Understanding Auto Insurance in DUI Accidents

Whether or not auto insurance covers DUI accidents depends on the facts of the accident. Some common DUI crash scenarios include:

You Are the Victim

If you were hurt and your car was damaged in an accident with an intoxicated driver, you can usually file a claim with their car insurer. The DUI driver’s liability coverage should pay for car damage and medical expenses from the accident, even if the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the crash.

If you have trouble getting what you deserve, consider hiring a car accident attorney to represent you and ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance company. You could also file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

You Caused the DUI Accident

If you caused a DUI accident, your auto insurance may or may not cover your damages. Many car insurance policies have exclusions for accidents where the insured driver is intoxicated. While your liability coverage will likely pay for other drivers’ damages, don’t be surprised if your insurance company denies your claim.

However, there can be exceptions. For example, if someone else owned the vehicle you were driving at the time of the accident, the owner’s insurance policy may cover the damages.

You Are a Vehicle Passenger

As an injured passenger in a vehicle involved in a DUI crash, you could file a claim with the driver’s auto insurer or your own insurance company. Passengers can often recover compensation for healthcare costs and other accident-related expenses from the driver’s liability coverage. However, if the driver’s policy does not cover all your costs, contact your insurer about filing a claim.

You Are a Pedestrian or Cyclist Hit by a DUI Driver

Pedestrians and cyclists may suffer life-altering and disabling injuries if struck by a vehicle operated by an intoxicated driver. If this has happened to you, you could file a claim, and the driver’s auto insurance should cover your damages from the DUI accident. You could also file a claim with your own insurance company.

DUI accidents can involve complex insurance issues. Even if your insurer covers the damages, you may incur out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles. Moreover, you may also want to hold the DUI driver personally responsible if you cannot recover a fair insurance settlement. Consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer can be crucial for protecting your legal rights.

Compensation DUI Accident Victims Could Recover

Compensation can vary depending on the accident’s facts, where you live, and the extent of your injuries and damages. In general, victims could recover the following:

Medical Expenses

If you suffered significant injuries in a DUI accident, the responsible driver or their insurance company should pay for your accident-related medical expenses, such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Doctor’s fees
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Future medical expenses
  • Medications

Lost Wages

Severely injured victims may be off work for weeks or months or may never return to their careers. Compensation for lost income can include lost wages, overtime pay and bonuses, and other benefits the victim would have earned had they not been harmed in the crash.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can include the physical and emotional effects of the crash on the victim. Damages may be available for:

  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of life quality
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Punitive Damages

While rare in personal injury lawsuits, a court may award punitive damages if the DUI driver was driving recklessly or with a willful intent of causing harm.

Wrongful Death Damages

If a close family member died in a DUI accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover various damages, including:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of income and services from the deceased
  • Loss of companionship

Morgan & Morgan understands that your well-being is priceless, and no amount of money can turn back time. However, recovering the full value of your claim can help rebuild your life and provide financial stability.

Our compassionate car accident attorneys want to help. We can explain whether auto insurance covers all your DUI accident damages or whether you could file a legal claim to get justice.

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  • What Should I Do After a DUI Accident?

    Whether auto insurance covers your DUI accident-related damages can also depend on what you do after the crash. Several steps can be critical for preserving your rights, including:

    Seek Medical Attention Immediately

    Seeing a doctor can be essential for your insurance claim or legal case, even if you feel fine immediately after a crash. Some typical car crash injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and whiplash, can have a delayed onset. The Mayo Clinic says that symptoms of a TBI can show weeks later. You do your health a favor by getting a thorough check-up after a car accident.

    Contact Law Enforcement

    When you are involved in a DUI accident, contacting the police is crucial. DUI accidents typically involve a criminal offense. The attending police officer can investigate the accident, create an official report, and provide proof that the other driver was intoxicated during the crash, which can be critical for your case.

    Document the Scene and Gather Evidence

    Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the vehicle damage, if possible. Pictures can help accident reconstruction professionals piece together what happened. Collect the contact details of all involved drivers and witnesses, and obtain a copy of the police report. All of this information will help with your insurance claim or legal case.

    Notify Your Insurance Company

    Contacting your insurance company immediately and notifying it of the accident is essential. Your insurer can tell you whether your auto insurance covers the DUI accident and initiate the claims process so that you can receive compensation as soon as possible.

    Document Your Accident Expenses

    Keep a record of all your medical expenses, such as:

    • Hospital or urgent care bills
    • Doctor’s appointments
    • Costs of diagnostic tests
    • Prescription and over-the-counter medication expenses
    • Hire-car and other transportation costs
    • Out-of-pocket accident expenses

    Also, document any lost wages related to the crash. Documenting your losses is vital to calculate your damages and negotiating a fair settlement with the other driver’s insurance company.

    Speak to a Car Accident Attorney

    Getting clear on your rights, obligations, and next best steps after a DUI accident should include legal advice. An experienced lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you clarify your options, protect your interests, and guide you through the complex process of seeking compensation.

  • Will a DUI Crash Impact My Insurance Premiums?

    If you caused a DUI accident, your insurance company may consider you high risk and increase your premiums significantly. Insurance companies view drivers involved in DUI accidents as more likely to file future claims. This increased risk for the insurer often leads to charging more.

    Depending on the severity of the accident and your driving record, your insurance premiums could increase by hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. Moreover, your insurance company may cancel your policy altogether.

  • Is a DUI Driver Automatically Considered Negligent?

    A DUI driver is not automatically negligent in an accident. That said, driving intoxicated is a strong indicator of negligence in a car accident case. In other words, victims may have an easier time proving negligence and liability when the other driver in the accident was intoxicated. However, the victim must still provide evidence that the driver was impaired and at fault for the crash.

    Even if your case seems clear-cut, you may face hurdles when trying to get adequately compensated for your accident damages. Consider speaking to a car accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan, who can prove a DUI driver’s negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve.

  • How Long Can I File a Claim After a DUI Accident?

    The statute of limitations, which sets the deadline for personal injury lawsuits, can vary depending on the state where the DUI accident occurred. In some states, victims may have as little as one year to file a claim. In others, injured individuals have up to six years. Since the deadline can also depend on other factors, consulting with a DUI accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision is crucial. If you miss a critical deadline, your case may be dismissed, and you could lose the right to compensation.

    Morgan & Morgan is everywhere for everyone. We can help you understand your state’s specific laws and file your claim on time.

  • What if the At-Fault Person Was Driving a Company Vehicle?

    If the person who hit you was driving a company vehicle, the company might be liable for your injuries. Employers are generally responsible for the actions of their employees while they are on the job. However, liability in such crashes can be complex. A car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you investigate the circumstances of the crash, identify all potentially liable parties, and pursue maximum compensation.

  • What if the DUI Driver Was Uninsured?

    If you were hurt in a DUI accident and the person who hit you is uninsured, you could still recover compensation for your injuries. For example, you may have personal injury protection insurance (PIP) or uninsured motorist coverage, which can provide financial protection in accidents with uninsured drivers.

    Morgan & Morgan can help you explore your options and identify the best course of action.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights for DUI Accident Victims

    The days and weeks after a DUI accident can feel exhausting and overwhelming. Taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally is essential after a crash. Remember: you don’t have to go through this alone. Morgan & Morgan is here for you.

    We can assess whether auto insurance covers your DUI accident and help you get the justice and compensation you truly deserve. Don’t wait; the time to file a claim may be limited.

    Contact us now for a free case review to learn about your rights.

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