Visitor Question

Settlement for DUI wreck with commercial insurance?

Submitted By: Join (Texas)

I was hit head-on by someone who was arrested for DUI and had commercial vehicle insurance. They were 100% at fault. I am now getting treatment for my back and for whiplash. How does this (the DUI and the commercial vehicle insurance) affect the settlement? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Join,

The arrest for DWI is very important to your settlement. Moreover, if the driver is convicted, whether after trial or through a plea bargain, there will be no doubt of the driver’s culpability. With no doubt about culpability, your settlement will be primarily dependent upon your injuries and the treatment you receive.

Commercial insurance is appealing when a victim’s injuries are extensive. This is because commercial insurance policies normally have much higher limits than do normal operators’ licenses.

In your case, your injuries and resulting treatment do not appear to warrant high insurance limits. Whiplash is normally a “soft tissue” injury. While you didn’t mention whether your back injuries are more serious than sprains or strains, it’s reasonable to assume your back injuries are also soft tissue.

Presuming your injuries are soft tissue, the amount of your settlement will likely be approximately 2 to 3 times the amount of your medical and chiropractic bills.

In the alternative, if your back injury is serious, including disk herniation, spinal injury, or other similarly serious malady, your settlement will likely be much higher. In that case, if the driver’s insurance doesn’t cover your settlement amount, the commercial insurance policy will.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 17, 2013

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