Visitor Question

Suing Drunk Driver’s Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance?

Submitted By: Mary (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)

My husband was hit by a drunk driver. He was walking down a sidewalk which crossed the drunk driver’s driveway. After being hit the man dragged my husband 100 feet into his home causing more injury to my husband.

My husband is now permanently deaf, ringing in the ears, and has balance issues and severe vertigo. A year later my husband was fired from his employment of 16 years, due to issues from the injury.

Can we sue both the drunk driver’s auto and homeowners insurance companies?

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 Mary,

You don’t have to “sue” the homeowners insurance company and the drunk driver. It doesn’t have to proceed as a lawsuit, but rather as a claim. From the facts you present it seems clear your husband does have a valid claim against the drunk driver and his insurance company.

It may not be necessary to file a lawsuit though. If you decide to pursue this claim you can do so primarily by negotiating a settlement with the homeowners insurance company as well as the drunk driver’s auto insurance company.

Because of the serious nature of the crime, and your husband’s equally serious injuries, pursuing these claims may be “above your pay grade”. Without meaning to be flippant, under these circumstances it would be in your husband’s best interests if you contacted a skilled Personal Injury Attorney.

There are some types of cases we suggest our readers are able to handle themselves. There are others in which we strongly suggest our readers seek out the skills and expertise of skilled Personal Injury Attorney. This is one of those cases.

There is another way to be sure your husband receives some additional amount of compensation for his injuries. Your husband was the victim of a serious crime. As a result the drunk driver was most probably arrested. And as a result of his arrest he either received a jail or prison sentence, or received probation.

If he received probation, the conditions of that probation may have included compensation for your husband’s medical bills. Check with the Assistant District Attorney who handled the drunk driver’s case. She may be able to help.

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: August 24, 2011

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