Drunk driving is still a serious problem in the United States. In fact, nearly 30 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents because of an alcohol-impaired driver every day. That means that there is roughly one death every 51 minutes. You have a one-in-three chance of being involved in a car accident with a drunk driver over the course of your lifetime.
Crashes that involve drunk drivers and pedestrians are often even more serious than car-on-car accidents because the pedestrian has nothing to protect him or her from the oncoming vehicle. Both civil and criminal liability can result. In some situations, the driver can face charges of manslaughter as well as charges for driving under the influence. These cases can be complicated, so having a car accident lawyer on your side can be very helpful.
Civil Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents that Involve Pedestrians
Any time that a driver is acting negligently and causes an accident, legal liability will arise. In a drunk driver situation, the driver is “automatically” considered negligent because he or she got behind the wheel while intoxicated. This behavior is virtually always found negligent. That means that negligence in drunk driving cases that involve pedestrian is extremely easy to prove, particularly when the driver was found criminally liable for the action.
You must also have damages that stem from the accident. In many pedestrian-car accidents, the injuries are severe. That means that this requirement is often met easily as well. Losses in this type of case often include:
- Medical expenses (or other costs related to your recovery)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Costs related to career changes or retraining in some serious accidents
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
A severe accident can change your life. The damages awarded in this type of case are designed to attempt to put your life back to the way it was before the accident.
Pedestrian Accident and Insurance in Massachusetts
Every car insurance policy in Massachusetts is required to have certain minimum levels of coverage. Personal injury protection (PIP) covers the driver and some other individuals if they are injured in an accident. One of those individuals is a pedestrian that the driver hits. The pedestrian’s first $2,000 in medical bills should be covered by the driver’s insurance. Your personal health insurance will have to cover the rest in most circumstances.
Some insurance companies will refuse to cover accidents that are a result of drunk driving. This is because driving drunk is a violation of the insurance policy in some circumstances, so coverage may not be available at all. In those situations, you may have to rely on your own health insurance entirely. Then, if your case is successful, your health insurance company may request a portion of medical expenses be repaid to them because they “fronted” the costs.
There are many complicated aspects of being involved in an accident. It is often not a good idea to navigate these legal matters on your own. A car accident lawyer can be a vital asset in these situations. Call Jim Glaser Law for more information.