Everyone learns that drunk driving is dangerous, but some people still get behind the wheel after having had too much to drink. They may think that their actions are harmless, but chemical impairment increases the probability that they will cause a major wreck.
Innocent members of the public often are the ones to suffer the consequences of another person’s negligent and technically illegal behavior. Drunk driving car crashes can leave someone with severe injuries and a totaled vehicle. Sometimes, they leave behind grieving family members, as car crashes can be fatal.
Those directly harmed by a drunk driving crash may have three different means of pursuing compensation.
An insurance claim
Every driver in Connecticut should carry a motor vehicle liability insurance policy. You can make claims for losses like unearned wages, hospital bills and vehicle repair costs after a crash.
Unfortunately, how much compensation you receive depends on how much insurance the other driver carried. If they have a very low policy or lapsed coverage, that could mean that you have many uncovered expenses. You can make a claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist protection or take legal action.
A personal injury lawsuit against the driver
When your medical costs and other expenses are higher than what you can get from insurance, you may be able to take the driver to court. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits can hold a drunk driver financially accountable for the crash that they caused.
Unfortunately, the person at fault for the wreck may not have much property or income to compensate you with after the crash.
A dram shop claim against a business
Under Connecticut state law, a business that serves alcohol could share some liability for collisions caused by their intoxicated patrons. The state limits such claims to specific scenarios and also the overall amount of compensation possible. At most, you could recover $250,000. While that may not cover all of the costs an individual or family suffers, it may help defray expenses that insurance and the driver could not cover.
Exploring all of the options for financial compensation after a drunk driving car crash impacts your family, like dram shop claims, may be the only way to cover the costs of a fatality or serious injury.