Almost everyone in Georgia already knows that it is illegal to drive if they have had enough to drink that it begins to affect their motor function or thought processes. However, plenty of people still drive drunk anyway, often because they assume they can do it safely or because they think they are technically sober enough to drive.
A crash could leave you unable to work or without a vehicle for weeks. What options for financial reimbursement will you have if a drunk driver hits you in Georgia?
An insurance claim
Drivers typically need to carry liability insurance to register and legally operate their vehicles. You can count on the other driver’s insurance to help you pay for healthcare costs, lost income and vehicle repair expenses.
If the other driver is uninsured or if the insurance that they carry isn’t enough to fully pay your expenses, then you may have to look into alternate options.
A lawsuit again the drunk driver
Given that they have violated traffic laws and caused provable damage as a result, the person who got behind the wheel after drinking could a civil lawsuit from you and anyone else affected by the collision.
A personal injury lawsuit could help you recover the costs the crash caused that the other driver’s insurance policy failed to pay in full. Unfortunately, those who don’t have decent insurance may also lack personal resources. Additionally, a drunk driver could end up in prison and unable to earn any money to pay your costs for some time. State law helps you in that situation as well.
A dram shop claim
Georgia state law establishes specific standards for the legal service of alcohol to paying patrons. When wait staff or bartenders at a business serve someone who is already visibly drunk or someone who is not old enough to lawfully drink, they open the business up to liability under the dram shop law.
When a business violated the laws related to liquor service, someone affected by a drunken patron after they leave the business could hold the establishment responsible.
You need to understand how much the crash will cost you and what forms of protection are available to you based on the circumstances of the wreck to protect yourself from the financial hardship that often accompanies collisions caused by intoxicated drivers. Knowing and asserting your rights after a motor vehicle collision caused by someone else will reduce the losses you must absorb personally because of the crash.