Not every accident involves more than one vehicle. For example, sometimes a single car crashes into something else, such as a curb or even a house.
Drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in a single-vehicle accident because of their intoxicated state.
Slower reaction times, reduced decision-making abilities, and the inability to concentrate, among other impairments, make drunk driving extremely dangerous for the impaired driver and everyone around them.
Accidents do not need multiple vehicles to cause serious damage or injuries. According to The Insurance Information Institute, more than half of all car accident fatalities occur in single-car accidents in the United States of America.
The most common single-car accident involves the vehicle leaving the roadway, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The driver either drives onto the shoulder or completely off the road before colliding with another object.
Drivers may also collide with something in the road, such as an object that fell off of another vehicle or an animal attempting to cross the street.
Without another negligent party to pursue damages, a driver involved in a single-car accident will have to rely on their own insurance policy to pay for their injuries and property damage.
Full coverage policies are required on financed vehicles and will cover the cost of the price for repairs or the replacement of the vehicle. However, if the driver owned the car and opted for a less expensive insurance policy, they may be left without any coverage for their own vehicle.
The required liability insurance would still pay for the damage they caused to someone else’s property, such as a road sign, mailbox, or fence. The driver would have to have collision insurance to cover their vehicle.
Not all insurance companies will pay for single-car accidents when the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Insurance companies do not pay for intentional acts. They may choose to argue that drinking alcohol was a deliberate act, as was the decision to drive afterward.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, and deciding to partake in this illegal activity could negate all insurance claims. Hence, the driver would be responsible for paying for all damage and injuries caused by the single-car accident they caused.
That being said, there are some insurance companies that will cover the cost of the accident depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and the type of policy the driver holds, but that is definitely an exception and should not be relied upon.
In fact, some insurance companies will cancel your entire policy.
Finding an insurance policy after a driving under the influence citation is already challenging. Trying to find an insurance company that will take you on as a client after a DUI accident is very difficult.
Drivers with a DUI on their records can expect to pay an average of $2,556 more per year for full coverage car insurance than a driver without a DUI.
Insurance companies are most successful at denying coverage when the accident involves injuries to other drivers and passengers.
The company will investigate the accident and the circumstances surrounding the incident before making a decision on whether or not an intentional act caused the accident. If the driver has collision insurance, the insurance company should pay for the damage to the vehicle.
A personal injury lawyer versed in drunk driving accidents can help by negotiating on the driver’s behalf to get compensation for property damage as well as for injuries suffered by the driver.
If the insurance company decides to pay for damages to the vehicle, the vehicle will first be inspected for an estimate of the cost of repairs.
If this estimate exceeds the insurance company’s determination of the value of the vehicle, they declare the car a total loss and will only pay the value of the vehicle to go towards a replacement.
The true value of the car may not match what the insurance company says it is worth, and a lawyer will help in this matter by providing the actual value and keeping the company honest.
The true valuation is affected by any upgrades or customizations that the owner has made. Overall mileage, maintenance, and care will all be factored into the amount.
The drivers also have to consider damage to any objects they collided with during the accident. The driver may have hit a power pole, or they may have driven through someone’s home.
The driver is almost always assigned fault for single-vehicle accidents and especially so when the driver is intoxicated. Whatever the case, the driver is responsible for paying compensation to the victim for the damage they caused.
The electric company has to be compensated for the damage to the pole. The homeowner deserves compensation for damages to their home and any other property damaged in the collision.
Although the accident only involved one vehicle, there may have been multiple passengers in the car.
These passengers can file claims for treatment for their injuries, as well as rehabilitation and medications. They can also claim compensation for lost wages if they cannot work during recovery and loss of future earning power if they can no longer work at the same capacity.
Claims for pain and suffering and emotional distress often accompany personal injury claims, and so the final compensation amount can be astronomical.
If the insurance company denies payments due to the driver’s driving under the influence status, the driver will be held responsible for paying the compensation for each passenger.
It is also possible that the total damages will exceed the insurance policy limit if the company is willing to pay. The driver will have to rely on personal health insurance to pay for their own injuries.
Most drunk driving accident lawyers focus on helping the victims of drunk driving accidents. At Tatum & Atkinson, we understand that people make mistakes and will help people facing DUI charges.
We will guide you through the legal processes as you come up against license suspension, fines, and possible jail time. We will help by negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
Although you will be held accountable for your actions, we will minimize the confusion and see that you are treated fairly. If you or someone you know caused an accident while intoxicated, call us at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation.
We are knowledgeable in dealing with all aspects of DUI cases and are ready to help you today.