After a crash that causes substantial property damage or injury, Georgia police officers responding to the scene of the collision will typically request chemical testing from the drivers involved. If you were recently injured by a driver who was impaired at the time of your collision, this evidence could prove critical to the outcome of your case.
If your case is successful, you may be wondering what kinds of compensation you can seek following a crash caused by a drunk driver in Georgia. In general, you can seek an insurance settlement, personal injury damages and (if appropriate) workers’ compensation benefits.
Motor vehicle insurance claims
You probably realize that insurance coverage is mandatory but may have some concerns about whether an insurance company will pay for losses caused by a drunk driving crash. The good news is that an insurer typically will cover such collisions. You have the right to seek up to the policy limits of the driver who caused the crash. Unfortunately, a drunk driver might not have an active insurance policy or may have inadequate coverage. What happens then?
A lawsuit against the drunk driver
Someone who causes a collision but does not have adequate liability insurance could face legal consequences. Personal injury laws in Georgia permit a lawsuit in a situation someone’s illegal behavior or negligence causes harm to others. Drunk driving is a known safety issue and an illegal action, so you will likely have strong grounds for a personal injury claim in civil court.
A claim against a business
There are two scenarios in which a business may have partial liability for a drunk driving crash in Georgia. The first is when someone gets drunk in a bar and then causes a crash. Georgia dram shop laws permit personal injury claims against businesses that violate liquor laws by serving visibly intoxicated patrons and those under the age of 21.
Sometimes, it might be the employer of the drunk driver who is to blame for the crash, especially if their company policies forced them out onto the road or they failed to do a proper background check before hiring that individual. This situation will likely only apply if the driver was “on the clock” at the time of their crash.
The more serious the financial consequences of the crash, the more likely it is that you may need to turn to the courts and not just the other driver’s insurance coverage to cover all of your costs. Understanding the financial protections you have after a drunk driving collision can help you reduce losses incurred because of someone else’s illegal behavior.