Drunk driving accidents are costly. In addition to facing serious medical expenses and property damage at the time of an accident, injury victims oftentimes find that the cost of long-term care and other expenses can last for years after an accident has occurred.
According to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drunk driving collisions caused $49.8 billion in crash losses in the United States over the course of one year. These losses were borne by victims injured and by family members who lost loved ones. Victims and their families need to pursue claims for damages after DUI car accidents but sometimes this can be difficult for victims to do.
Getting Costs Covered After Louisville Drunk Driving Accidents
One big issue which can sometimes make it hard for victims of DUI crashes to get costs covered is drunk drivers sometimes leave the scene of an accident. WLKY recently reported on one of many incidents in which a drunk driver ends up being charged with a hit-and-run for leaving a crash scene after a suspected DUI accident. In this particular incident, the 32-year-old man who was charged with leaving the scene of an accident had allegedly rear-ended another vehicle and driven away. He was arraigned not only for leaving a crash scene but also for wanton endangerment.
Police were able to find this motorist because his car was pursued when he caused the rear end crash, and his car ultimately broke down at Bardstown and Fairground roads. In some cases, hit-and-run drivers are not found. When this happens, the motorists who were injured by these impaired drivers will not be able to pursue a damage claim since there is no one to make a claim against.
Kentucky requires personal injury protection (PIP) coverage so victims can get their medical bills and some losses covered, but won't be able to recover any damages in excess of policy limits or any damages for things like pain and suffering. Some victims may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim to get additional compensation above what PIP covers, but uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Kentucky.
Another problem motorists may have is, even when a drunk driver stops at the crash scene or is identified, the driver may not have any insurance (despite the fact being insured is required by law) or may have insufficient insurance to cover damages. The driver who allegedly caused the recent hit-and-run DUI accident has previously been convicted on seven DUIs.
It is very common for people in DUI accidents to have past convictions. NHTSA reports drunk drivers in fatal crashes are six times as likely as sober drivers in fatal crashes to have prior DUI convictions. Since convictions can make it hard to get insurance, some drivers may illegally drive without it or may have the minimum in coverage which doesn't fully cover a victim's losses. An experienced attorney can help victims to explore all possible ways to get their losses covered so they won't have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.