Can You Sue as a Passenger in a Drunk Driving Accident?

October 24, 2019

When you and your friends go out at night, all you want to do is have a good time. The last thing you’re thinking is that the night will end in tragedy. You designate one friend as the designated driver. You have no reason to think that they’ll drink alcohol, or that a drunk driving accident will happen.

As the night goes on, you notice that your driver is drinking more than they should. But they assure you they’re find to drive so you don’t give it a second thought. You could’ve called an Uber or Lyft. Or, you could have called another friend to come get you. Instead, you trust your driver. At the end of the night, you all pile into their car and head for home.

So, what happens when you don’t make it home? What if your driver is drunk and ends up getting into a serious car accident. If this happens, you and the other passengers are probably going to suffer some pretty severe injuries. Given the fact that most drunk driving accidents are serious, it’s unlikely that you’ll walk away from the crash unscathed.

If this happens to you, it’s important that you contact a car accident lawyer in Columbia. They can review your case and let you know if you have a claim against the driver and their insurance company.

What if You Don’t Want to Sue Your Friend?

A lot of people hate to see a lawyer in a situation like this. The first thing they ask is: “Will I have to sue my friend?” Columbia car accident lawyers hear this all the time. And the answer is – maybe.

What’s really going to happen is that you’ll have to file a claim against your friend’s insurance policy. If you’re lucky, your claim will be approved and you’ll get your check in a week or two. Your friend’s insurance rates may go up, but they can’t get mad at you for that.

You can’t expect to pay your own medical bills. If the driver was drunk and caused a crash, they have to be held accountable. And, your personal care provider is not going to be willing to cover your injuries without getting reimbursed. If you don’t file a claim, they will. They’re going to want the thousands of dollars they spent on your medical care reimbursed to them.

You May Actually Have to File Suit For a Drunk Driving Accident

If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim, you may have no choice but to file suit. There are lots of reasons why the insurance company may deny your claim, including:

  • They don’t believe you were injured
  • They feel that you assumed the risk by getting in the car with your drunk friend
  • There may not be enough coverage to pay all of the claims filed
  • The policy wasn’t valid or had lapsed for non-payment

If your claim is denied, you definitely want to call an experienced car accident lawyer. They can contact the insurance adjuster and find out why your claim was denied. They can also try to negotiate a payment or settlement of your claim.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Your lawsuit will have to name both the driver and their insurance company. You may even have to sue a third party if you believe your friend was overserved. It all depends on the situation.

What Damages Will Your Columbia Car Accident Lawyer Demand?

Your attorney is going to demand damages when they file your lawsuit. In a serious drunk driving accident, the victims tend to suffer very serious injuries. Some of the damages your attorney may demand includes:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability

Your attorney will do their best to get you the compensation you deserve. They’ll also work hard to settle your case so you don’t feel like you’re personally suing your friend.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer About Your Drunk Driving Accident

If you were the passenger in a drunk driving accident, you need to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. They can help you settle the matter as quickly as possible so you don’t have to file a lawsuit against your friend.

Call Connell Law Firm today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.