What you’ll learn reading this article:
- If a drunk driver injures you, their insurance may cover your losses.
- It may be difficult to get their insurance to pay without the help of an experienced accident lawyer.
- Even if they were uninsured, you may be able to seek compensation from your insurance or an accident lawsuit.
When you file an accident claim with your own insurance company, that’s a first-party claim. In this article, we’d like to look at third-party DUI accident claims, where you file with the other driver’s insurance company after a drunk-driving crash.
Would you know when to make a third party DUI claim? Are you aware of how much it could help you cover your losses? Read on to learn more.
The Right Time to File a Third-Party Claim
In some states with no-fault insurance laws, everyone files accident claims with their own insurance companies regardless of fault. But in Indiana, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance.
This is particularly relevant after a crash that involves drunk driving. If the other driver was responsible due to their drunkenness at the time of the accident, you may be able to appeal to their insurance to cover your losses.
Let’s say you have a police report that clearly states the other person had alcohol in their system at the time of the crash. You may be able to request compensation from your own insurance company depending on the coverage you’ve selected, but pursuing the other driver’s insurance may yield a much better result. After all, their client is at fault for the crash!
How to Start a Third-Party Liability Claim Involving a Drunk Driver
A drunk driver should notify their insurance company that they caused a crash, but that doesn’t mean they will. It could be up to you to contact their insurer and submit a claim.
Of course, it can be difficult to get insurance information – or any information – from a drunk driver at the scene of an accident. The person may be too inebriated to interact with you productively. They may even put your safety at risk, causing you to keep your distance.
Instead, you may need to interact with the on-scene police officer to get this information. If that doesn’t work, contact your own insurance company and let them know you plan to file a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurer. Your insurer may be motivated to track down the other carrier to avoid having to pay the claim themselves.
Be persistent about following up on the claim by phone and email. Send a written request by mail to show how serious you are about collecting an insurance payment. Reiterate that the accident was caused by their policyholder and provide relevant evidence with each inquiry you make.
Here’s How a DUI Accident Lawyer Can Help
Hopefully, the drunk driver’s insurance company will agree that their client is responsible and pay your claim quickly. But often, insurance carriers resist paying these kinds of claims and hope you’ll back down and go away.
They may make a lowball offer that barely covers your costs. Or they might say they want to conduct their own investigation to determine who’s at fault. Be careful! Now they’ll be analyzing everything you say and do – including things you post on social media.
A DUI accident lawyer can help you tread carefully during this process and minimize the chances of hurting your claim. Your lawyer can also handle the back-and-forth communication with the insurer, as well as any negotiation that may need to take place.
A good lawyer is always working in your best interests and will inform you about the games insurance companies play with people like you. They’ll look out for anything that could prevent you from getting as much compensation as possible.
Having a DUI accident lawyer also makes the process less stressful and allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Your lawyer can handle time-consuming tasks like gathering your evidence, finding eyewitnesses, organizing written and recorded statements, and managing all the paperwork that goes along with your case.
Successful accident claims require evidence like:
- A copy of the police report
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Photos and bills related to your car’s damage
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
What if the Drunk Driver Was Uninsured?
The state of Indiana requires proof of insurance to register a vehicle, and at minimum, the liability insurance must cover:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person per accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $25,000 for property damage liability
But if the person who hit you is uninsured, there’s still hope. Unless you declined uninsured motorist coverage (UIM), your insurance company may cover you after being hit by a drunk driver. Most UIM policies cover somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000 in bodily injury and property damage.
UIM coverage may not cover all of your losses, but it could help significantly. And if the drunk driver was uninsured but has the financial resources to pay, you may be able to work with your lawyer to file a lawsuit against them and secure the resources you need to pay your medical bills and more.
Seek expert assistance from an experienced car accident attorney after an accident with a drunk driver. We’re here to help you fight for your rights and win the compensation you deserve.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product, or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%* and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.