If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, you may find some unique challenges when you attempt to recover compensation for your injuries. If you are lucky, the person at fault will have appropriate insurance coverage, and you’ll be able to pursue damages without much difficulty. Unfortunately, many drunk drivers are repeat offenders and, as such, may be without insurance or may have limited coverage. What are your options if the person who hit you was drunk, and doesn’t have the resources to cover your losses?
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists Claims
Your first option may be to review your own motor vehicle insurance policy to determine whether you have a clause providing coverage in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Most insurance companies offer this type of coverage, but it is customarily an elective provision. You may be uncertain whether you have such coverage, and you may not get much help from your insurance company. Remember, it’s in their best interests to minimize payment to you. An experienced attorney can help you protect your rights.
Dram Shop or Social Host Liability Claims
In Pennsylvania, as in most states, there are laws that assign liability to individuals or to establishments that serve alcohol to people who subsequently drive and cause accidents. This may be a bar or restaurant, but it can also be the host of a private party. You must show that the host, or the person who served the alcohol, either knew that the person was drunk when served alcohol, or that the amount of alcohol consumed would reasonably lead to intoxication.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
Another avenue for recovery may be from other potentially responsible parties. You may be able to demonstrate that there were design or manufacturing defects in the automobile operated by the drunk driver. You may be able to show that there were roadway defects, or that traffic signals or signs were not properly maintained.
Contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr.
At the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. Contact us online or call us at
(610) 565-0240 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, as well as debit cards.