DUI Injury Frequently Asked Questions
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Will Insurance Cover a Drunk Driving Accident?
Yes, insurance will cover a drunk driving accident, but coverage depends on the available insurance policies. The drunk driver’s bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage should cover your injuries.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
The drunk driver’s bodily injury liability coverage should cover your injury-related losses and damages, including:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital and ambulance bills
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Bodily injury liability provides coverage up to the policy limits. In Georgia, the minimum auto insurance requirements for bodily injury liability are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. But some drivers have limits above these minimums.
Property Damage Liability Coverage
The drunk driver’s property damage liability coverage should cover your property damage costs, including:
- Cost to repair your vehicle
- Value of your vehicle if it is declared a total loss
The minimum property damage liability coverage in Georgia is $25,000, but some policies have higher limits.
Your Options if the Drunk Driver’s Auto Insurance Does Not Fully Cover Your Damages
If the drunk driver does not have auto insurance or your damages exceed the drunk driver’s policy limits, you still have some options to get compensation for your damages.
Talk to your lawyer about all the insurance coverage that may be available to you following a drunk driving accident.
Here are some of the insurance coverage that may cover your injuries:
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help if you bought this coverage as part of your auto policy. Your uninsured (UM) coverage can pay your damages if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance.
If the drunk driver has inadequate coverage and you bought underinsured (UIM) coverage, UIM coverage can help pay your losses that exceeded the drunk driver’s policy limits.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage is an optional type of auto coverage. It can pay some of your medical expenses regardless of fault.
Your collision coverage can help you pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it was damaged in the wreck. Collision coverage comes with a deductible which varies depending on your policy.
Your Health Insurance
Your health insurance might help you pay medical bills. If you later recover compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit against the drunk driver, your health insurance may try to recover part of your settlement or judgment.
See our article on paying medical bills while waiting for a personal injury case to resolve to learn more about health insurance and other options that may be available to you after an accident.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Your lawyer may pursue a lawsuit against the drunk driver. Discuss this possibility with your lawyer. To get a free consultation about your case, call 404-474-0804.
Recoverable Damages for Drunk Driving Car Accidents
Recoverable damages for a drunk driving accident depend on the available insurance coverage, but common recoverable damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning potential
- Disability and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Talk to a lawyer at our firm about your case and the damages for which you may recover compensation. Get a free consultation about your case by calling 404-474-0804.
What Happens if You Were Partly at Fault for a Wreck With a Drunk Driver
You can still recover damages if you were no more than 49 percent at fault for the accident.
Georgia follows the rule of modified comparative negligence, which reduces your compensation in proportion to your percentage of the fault, but bars you from getting any compensation if you were 50 percent or more responsible for causing the accident.
So, if the drunk driver was 90 percent at fault, but you were 10 percent at fault, you can get 90 percent of your damages.
Get Help With Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim
At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we do not charge for your initial consultation, and we do not charge any attorney fees unless you recover compensation.
Call us today at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation if you were in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
How do I report drunk drivers in Georgia?
To report a drunk driver in the state of Georgia, you have two options: call 911 or call *477.
This is a good option because it is easy to remember. The downside is that you may have to wade through getting connected to the correct authorities, or deal with an overworked 911 operator trying to handle multiple emergencies.
The Star GSP, or *477 program was launched in Georgia in 1994. Calling Star GSP (which correlates to the buttons *477 on your phone) contacts the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) directly. Your cell phone provider will not charge you for the call. The call will be automatically routed to the nearest Georgia State Patrol post. This system is intended for use on cell phones.
Important Tips When Reporting a Drunk Driver
Regardless of whether you call 911 or *477 to report a suspected drunk driver in the state of Georgia, there are some important facts you need to know.
- Do not place the call to report the suspected drunk driver while you are driving. When it is safe to do so, pull off the road to a safe location, park your vehicle, then place the call.
- Try to get the license plate number of the suspected drunk driver’s vehicle. This can be particularly useful to law enforcement if the driver leaves the immediate area.
- Make a mental note of the color, make, and model of vehicle, and whether it is a newer or older vehicle. Tell the 911 operator or *477 dispatcher this information early in the conversation, while it is fresh in your memory.
- Location of the vehicle. Although the vehicle will not likely remain in the exact same location, law enforcement officers need to know the general area to look for the suspected drunk driver. Let the 911 operator or *477 dispatcher know the direction in which the vehicle was traveling.
- Do not engage or interact with the suspected drunk driver. Remain at a safe distance from the driver. It is not your job to stop the vehicle. You could be seriously injured if you try to interact with a suspected drunk driver.
- Stay out of the drunk driver’s way. Drunk drivers tend to drive erratically, so keep a safe distance from the vehicle.
- If possible, from a safe distance, try to get as much descriptive information as possible about the driver and any passengers. Is the driver male or female? Are there any passengers? Do any of the passengers appear to be children? Does the driver have any distinctive identifying features? What color and kind of clothing is the driver wearing?
Also, see our blog on reporting aggressive drivers in Georgia.
If you are injured in an accident with a drunk driver, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC is here to help. Call 404-474-0804 today for your free consultation and claim evaluation.
I was intoxicated when a car hit me. Will this affect my liability claim?
When you've had a few drinks and you're ready to call it a night the last thing you should do is get behind the wheel. If you're able to walk to your house or a nearby public transit stop you'll be doing your part in keeping yourself and others safe by not becoming another drunk driver on the roads.
However, walking near traffic always has its risks, and intoxicated or not, accidents can happen to pedestrians walking near or across streets. If you were drunk and walking home when a car hit you, your liability claim may or may not be affected.
If the car was not following local traffic laws such as posted speed limits, traffic signals, and crosswalks and it hits you, the driver could be liable for the accident due to failure to follow traffic laws and signals. In this case, the driver's negligence was the cause of the crash and your intoxication will have had little to do with the accident.
However, if your conduct added to the cause of the crash, such as if you lost your balance due to intoxication and fell into the road in front of a car, you may be held liable for your own injuries. If there is evidence that you were intoxicated and the driver can prove that your conduct caused the accident, you may not be able to file a liability claim against the driver because he or she was following the laws and would not have hit you if you were sober and in control of your faculties.
A case of a drunk pedestrian being hit by a car can also have shared liability where the person walking while drunk may be partially at fault for stumbling into the road, but the driver may also be partially at fault for driving too fast to be able to slow down for an obstacle in the road. Georgia's comparative negligence 50 percent rule allows for you to be up to 49 percent at fault for the accident before you are unable to collect damages.
If you were intoxicated and walking when you were struck by a car, the first thing you should do after seeking medical care is to contact a Peachtree City personal injury lawyer. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. offers free consultations to people injured in car accidents regardless of who they believe was at fault. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to review your case and discuss your legal options.