Anyone who is involved in an accident knows that their physical bodily recovery is only part of recovery equation. Insurance companies undoubtedly get involved after an accident as insurance agents on both sides are tasked with determining how much their insurance coverage company must pay to their drivers. Assuming both the victim and the drunk driver are insured—as uninsured drivers are another separate issue—merely the fact that a driver was drunk may not mean that an injured victim will receive everything to which they are entitled without a fight.
Insurance Coverage Generally
Arizona is a “fault” state, which means that the expenses incurred by parties (e.g., medical treatment, property damage, etc.) are divided among the parties per their allocated share of fault. What can be frustrating about this process is that insurance companies are often the arbiter of the percentage of fault for each involving party. In these states, insurance companies are also able to withhold any settlement payments until the fault is determined. This means that a victim of a drunk driver not only may be forced to wait to receive payments for which they are eligible, they also may get assigned a portion of fault by the insurance company. Adding insult to injury, a victim of a drunk driver may then have to sue the careless driver’s insurance company to recover adequate damages before they can begin to put their life back together.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
The life of someone who has been injured by a drunk driver has been significantly disrupted, and if they are unable to receive the help they need to repair the damage done by another’s carelessness, it may cause long-term damage. The last thing a victim wishes to do is file a lawsuit, as it may take months to resolve the issue. However, if a drunk driver’s insurance company determines that the victim is partially at fault for the accident, or if a victim does not receive sufficient compensation for their injuries, a lawsuit may be necessary.
The evaluation of fault is generally on either negligence or recklessness, both of which could be used to describe the actions of a driver who chooses to drink and drive. If the driver’s insurance company determines that the victim was partially at fault, that victim may be forced to prove in court that the drunk driver’s decision was such that any potential fault on their part was negligible in comparison.
If a car accident injures you, the professionals at the Thompson Law Firm, PLLC are available to help. Whether you have questions with regard to fault, insurance coverage, or a possible settlement offer after an accident, you are not alone. By calling someone who is an expert in the intricacies of Arizona DUI law, you can rest assured that the advice you receive serves your interests, not the interests of an insurance company or drunk driver.