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Georgia Car Insurance Legal Q & A: A drunk driver fled after the collision and neither the driver nor the car owner had any insurance. Can we recover compensation?

Published February 6, 2018 by Bruce Millar

In this situation, you should file claims against the at-fault driver, the car’s owner and with your own insurance company for your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, if you have it. An UM/UIM policy entitles you to compensation for injuries when the at-fault party either has no liability insurance (UM) or has insurance that does not cover the full extent of your damages (UIM). It’s estimated that 11.7 percent of Georgia motorists were uninsured as of 2012.

Though your insurance company may have been friendly when it accepted your premiums, it may not be so friendly when you file an accident claim. Dealing with insurers who act in bad faith is among the services a personal injury lawyer can provide you.

Second, an investigation into the activities of the driver who hit you may be able to demonstrate that he or she was drinking before the accident and that his/her impairment was the reason for crash and caused you to be hurt.  Evidence may be found in restaurant or bar receipts showing alcohol purchases, interviews with witnesses, cell phone data pinpointing the driver’s whereabouts at certain times, and even social media posts in which the drunk driver implicates him/herself.

Investigation may also discover another insurance policy in the household of the drunk or drugged driver that might provide liability coverage for your Georgia injury claim.

If the evidence indeed shows that the driver was drunk and ran from the crash scene, you could make a case for punitive damages. This is additional compensation that is awarded to punish someone who acted with willful misconduct, wantonness, and lack of care.

Third, the owner of the car may have a responsibility to you if he loaned the vehicle to a driver who was intoxicated at the time or, perhaps, had a history of drunk driving.

An experienced drunk driving claim attorney at The Millar Law Firm can investigate your case, sort out the responsibilities of the parties involved, and help you receive justice for the losses and injuries that were no fault of your own.

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