When people who have had too much to drink get behind the wheel of an automobile, they threaten their own safety and that of everyone else on the road. They also subject themselves to serious criminal penalties. As a result, when a drunk driving-related car accident does occur, the claim settlement process can be more complex. It is important to remember that even if the at fault driver is in jail or suffers serious injuries, you are still entitled to compensation for the medical costs, lost wages, property damages, and other expenses you suffer.
DUI Driver Jailed After Causing Multi-Vehicle Accident
A recent DUI car accident near Portland illustrates the extensive damages that can result from the reckless actions of intoxicated drivers. According to a March 1, 2019 KATU 2 news report, an 18-year-old woman driving a red 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee was headed south on S. 12th Street in Cornelius, going at a high rate of speed when she crashed into a Toyota Camry as it attempted to navigate through an intersection. The force of the impact totaled the other vehicle and caused the Jeep to spin out of control, violently slamming into a parked Chevrolet Silverado that was nearby.
The Jeep burst into flames, but community members were able to free the 18-year-old unidentified driver from behind the wheel. She was life flighted to a Portland trauma hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. Police investigators discovered that she was legally intoxicated at the time the accident occurred and she was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), second degree criminal mischief, and reckless driving.
Making Intoxicated Drivers Pay for DUI Accidents
When car accidents such as the above occur, there are three main avenues for seeking compensation:
- Filing a claim against the at fault party’s insurer: Unfortunately, while you may be entitled to compensation through an insurance claim, there are plenty of cases in which DUI drivers do not have coverage. This is often due to the fact that they have similar violations that occurred in the past.
- File a claim with your own insurer: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation advises that while insurers are required to offer personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, consumers are not required to purchase it. If you do have this type of policy in place, it may cover a portion of your damages.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit: This may entitle you to additional compensation you would not otherwise be able to get in an insurance claim. While the at fault party may not have the money to immediately settle the judgement, it can eventually be enforced by the court through liens against their property and assets.
Get Legal Guidance From Our Portland DUI Car Accident Attorneys
When the actions of a DUI driver leave you with serious injuries, the Johnston Law Firm provides the legal guidance and professional representation you need in seeking compensation. To request a consultation regarding your case, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland DUI car accident attorneys online today.