Who Can Be Held Liable in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that intoxicated driving causes approximately 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in America. In total, that amounts to nearly 10 million drunk driving deaths per year, and about one death every 53 minutes. Additionally, there are thousands more injured in drunk driving crashes. The following examines who can be held liable in such situations, and why it is important.
Understanding the Importance of Liability
If you or someone you love has experienced such a tragedy, it is important to know your rights, including who may be considered liable in a drunk driving accident. Doing so can increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve, which can help ensure that you or your loved one receive the treatment and therapies you need. Compensation can also cover income losses, such as those experienced when a loved one experiences death or disability (either temporary or permanent) during a drunk driving crash.
Wisconsin Dram Shop Laws and Liability
Wisconsin has a modified Dram Shop Law, which means hotels, bars, nightclubs, and private social hosts can be, in some situations, held liable for selling alcohol. This law typically only applies if the host or establishment knowingly (or should have known) sells alcohol to a minor. In most other situations, drunk driving accident victims will need to turn to an auto insurance carrier for compensation for their losses related to injury, fatality, or personal property.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim
Typically, an injured victim would turn to the insurance of the at-fault driver for compensation. It is encouraged that victims do not work with the insurance company directly but, instead, obtain assistance from a personal injury attorney. Doing so can reduce the risk of experiencing a wrongful claim denial, lengthy or manipulative delay in processing the claim, or intentionally low offers to reduce the insurance company’s payout.
If the at-fault driver did not have insurance, had insufficient coverage, or left the scene, the victim may still have the options for pursuing compensation from their insurance company or the insurance company that covers the vehicle that the victim was in at the time of the accident. Keep in mind, however, that finding coverage can be difficult, and that there may be notice requirements that must be met immediately if a claim is later going to be filed. Again, it is highly recommended that victims employ the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Contact Our Green Bay Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. for assistance. Committed to protecting your rights and best interest, our seasoned Green Bay drunk driving accident lawyers will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call 920-739-7366 and schedule your personalized consultation.