It finally happened. One minute, you’re on your way home from a long day at work, and the next, you’re on the side of the road, discombobulated and aching. A car accident can come out of nowhere and take even the most diligent defensive driver by surprise. When you finally do emerge from your vehicle and approach the other driver, you notice the strong smell of alcohol on their breath. You’ve just become part of a statistic involving drunk drivers. You now have to do what you must to get compensation for your vehicle and personal damage. How do insurance companies deal with drunk-driving accidents? Discover the typical way an auto insurer handles these types of crashes.
Depending on your state laws, the insurance company will first investigate the claim. Progressive Insurance, for example, will assign an adjuster to do some further digging into the events of the incident. Things like police reports, accident reports, and witness information will all go along with your initial statement. The fact that the other driver was intoxicated may not come into play until a liability finding is determined. Some states operate on a shared liability system where both drivers may wind up getting some of the blame. If your actions before the accident may have contributed to it happening, such as speeding or running a light, you may find yourself with some of the responsibility.
Drunk Driver Liability
An insurance company may assign you much less of the blame than the other driver. Say you were determined to be speeding, but not by a significant amount. Had you not been traveling that fast, you may have been able to stop or avoid the accident. However, if the drunk driver was negligent, they will be found more responsible. For example, if they ran a stop sign or were driving erratically due to intoxication, they may be found accountable. The opposing insurance company may start paying medical benefits and even for damage, but it may not be as much as you need.
Recovering What You Need
The insurance company may stop paying out before you can get your damages fixed. At this point, you may want to consider finding a car accident lawyer who can help you file a personal injury claim. This type of legal action may help you gain more compensation from the driver, especially if there was alcohol involved. Drinking and driving is a negligent act, and as such, you may be able to recover more money.
Insurance companies want to help you, but they also want to protect themselves by giving minimum payouts. A car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Newark, NJ, may be your best bet when trying to recover damages in an accident.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., for their insight into who holds the blame in a drunk driving accident.