Can I sue a drunk driver for personal injuries? 46 Answers as of June 10, 2013

I was rear ended by a drunk driver with a suspended DWI license. He was driving someone else's Tahoe. My car was totalled and i came out with a concussion, bruised and battered legs and now a pinched nerver has been aggravated and both sides of my back hurt now. Who can I sue for injuries? The driver or the SUV owner?

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LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
Technically you can sue both and I would urge you to sue both to make sure the responsible party pays for the damages. We can help in this regard.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/27/2011
Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP
Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP | Matthew Shipman
I am sorry to hear about your injuries, you can definitely still sue someone for your injuries even though they were drunk. You should contact an experienced attorney to assist you.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 5/25/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Potentially both. If the owner knew that the driver was not a safe driver, then the owner may be liable under negligent entrustment. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/19/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
You can sue the driver. You only have a suit against the owner if that owner let his car to the other knowing that the other was drunk. It's a case called negligent entrustment.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/19/2011
Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
You can sue the driver and possibly the owner of the vehicle under a negligent entrustment theory.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    You can sue this driver most definitely, and if the owner of the vehicle gave permission to the inebriated driver to operate his vehicle, you may also wish to consider submitting a claim for your compensable damages to the owner's insurance carrier.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    You absolutely can. As I human being, I am so sorry that you were hit & injured by a drunk driver. It really must have been scary. I would speak to an experienced attorney who you are comfortable with, who is accessible & who will aggressively take up your cause. I wish you a quick recovery & take care.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You can sue both. Contact a personal injury attorney in the county or city where the accident occurred now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Leone, Throwe, Teller, & Nagle
    Leone, Throwe, Teller, & Nagle | Adam J. Teller
    In Connecticut, a drunk driver can be sued for damages caused by his own negligence, recklessness, or violation of the law and in some cases will be liable for punitive or multiple damages. The owner of the vehicle operated by a drunk driver may also be responsible for damages on various theories such as negligent entrustment or agency. The owners' insurance may also cover the driver's negligence depending on the circumstances. You should bring the situation to an experienced personal injury attorney for review and investigation as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    In Texas you can sue the drunk driver and maybe the owner of the vehicle if you can show negligent entrustment for your damages and pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    The answer is: YES. Not only can you sue the driver, you may also be able to sue the owner of the car. The owner may be liable under theories of agency or negligent entrustment. These are complicated issues - as are your injuries. I recommend you contact a personal injury attorney to assist you. Please feel free to contact me - and I would be happy to talk with you about this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Of course you can sue a drunk driver for personal injuries sustained in an accident caused by him/her. You can also sue the owner of the vehicle that struck your car. Speak to personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    Yes. As long as the driver did not steal the vehicle, you can sue both the driver and the owner of the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C.
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C. | L. Todd Kelly
    Both. Call me if we can help.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can sue both.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Yes. You can sue both the driver and owner of the SUV in Florida. The owner is liable for any accident that occurs even if he was not in the car. I have handled many similar cases. You will want to be sure to involve a lawyer able to navigate the potentially complex insurance issues. Check to see if you have something called uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. That may help you make a full monetary recovery if the drunk driver or Tahoe owner had low limits and/or no insurance which is entirely possible given the situation you've described. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    You would sue the driver. You may have a claim against the owner, if you can show the owner cause your injuries in some way.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Yes, both the driver with the suspended license and the owner who entrusted the SUV to him to drive.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Suisman Shapiro
    Suisman Shapiro | John A. Collins
    Assuming this accident is in Connecticut and that the drunk driver is using the Tahoe with the owner's permission, you can bring a claim against the driver and the owner. Feel free to call if we can be of assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    You have a claim as a result of the accident. The interesting question is where will your recovery come from as the issue of insurance coverage is important. An experienced injury and accident lawyer can help sort out the coverage issues. You have multiple avenues for recovery. You should start by looking at your own insurance to see what your uninsured coverage is. Once you determine this amount, you know what the minimum coverage is for the accident. You will then have to find out what coverage the drunk driver has and also the owner of the vehicle. If either of them has more than one vehicle or insurance policy, then there may be more coverage. As you can see, it is complicated and that is why I recommend getting a lawyer involved.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Both; and you really should do so without further delay. If you wish to discuss further please contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Van Sant & Slover LLC
    Van Sant & Slover LLC | David Van Sant
    You may be able to sue both. You need to contact a personal injury lawyer asap. I will be happy to answer any of your questions in more detail - you can call me, or check out my accident guide available on my website.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    you sue the owner and the driver. Sounds like you have a good case. Insurance companies hate DWI cases and they usually settle them. Get you a good PI lawyer or call me.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    It depends on the state where the accident happened.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You have a claim against the driver and possibly against the owner of the vehicle. For a claim like this you definitely need an attorney. It sounds like you were seriously injured and going it alone could significantly reduce your monetary recovery. I'd be happy to help you with this case; if you're in Utah, call.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Office of William Justice Whitaker
    Law Office of William Justice Whitaker | William J. Whitaker
    You can sue both the driver of the Tahoe and owner of the Tahoe. You are entitled to damages that include medical expenses (past,present, future), lost wages and pain & suffering for the injuries that are caused by another persons negligence. In addition, if the other person was drunk you may be entitled to "punitive" damages which are additional damages imposed as punishment to discourage the type of behavior that caused your injury i.e. drunk driving. I would be happy to discuss this matter further with you. Please feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    In Florida, you can sue both. Our state considers a motor vehicle to be a dangerous instrumentality, and both the owner and the driver can be held liable, if the driver had the owner's permission to use the vehicle. With the driver being intoxicated, that allows you to plead punitive damages, which puts the insurance company in a very tenuous position. Go get representation right away, as a good personal injury lawyer will know how to use the DUI to your advantage.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    It depends you may be able to sue both depending on who is insured and how much their policy limit is. I would need a lot more information to analyze your case.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    You may bring suit against both.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    Under Florida Law, so long as the owner of a vehicle gives his permission for someone else to drive his car, both the owner and driver of a vehicle are responsible for any damages caused in a car accident, if the driver was negligent. Assuming the driver of the car that hit you was DUI, you may also have a right to seek punitive damages against that driver. We strongly suggest you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights. We offer free, no obligation, consultations in cases such as yours.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    I'm sorry to hear you have suffered those injuries. There is nothing to stop you from suing a drunk driver for personal injuries. First, you can sue the responsible driver. The law recognizes very few excuses for rear-ending another vehicle. Second, the vehicle owner may be liable under a few legal doctrines, but it depends on the relationship of the owner to the driver. The owner's liability insurance coverage may apply, however, regardless of the owner's personal liability.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Premier Law Group
    Premier Law Group | Jason Epstein
    You may have a claim against the driver and the owner of the vehicle who let him use it. You really need to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options and how to proceed. Usually the initial consultation is free so it won't cost you anything to interview some attorneys and find one you like.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Law Office of William R. Falcone, Esq.
    Law Office of William R. Falcone, Esq. | William R. Falcone
    You bring claims against the other driver and owner. The owner's insurance company should cover the other driver if he was a permissive user of the auto. There may be some coverage issues if the driver was a licensed household member not listed on the policy, but that should not effect your rights. You also need to look at your policy as you likely have underinsurace coverage that would provide another source from which you could recover for your injuries. You do need to speak with a personal injury attorney in your state to get more details on the these issues and the value of your injury claim.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You can sue both the drunk driver and the owner of the car. I just handled one of these and if the drunk driver gets convicted of DUI, its good for you and the insurance company will likely settle more easily than the ordinarily would.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    The SUV owner will be the liable party since that is where the insurance lies. The fact the driver had a suspended license will not have much bearing on the accident or liability. However, the driver should receive a criminal driving with license suspended that could have serious consequences since they are probably still on probation for the DUI. A judge could assign additional jail time and fine for breaking probation. Back to your original question the SUV owner is ultimately responsible for your injuries and damage.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You have rights against the driver and the owner of the care, and perhaps some other avenues to compensate you. There are strict statute of limitations issues in personal injury cases, so call an attorney sooner rather than later. I provide free consultations in cases like this.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Actually, you potentially bring a claim against both the driver and the owner depending on the circumstances. Really the factor here is what insurance coverage is available. You should seek out an attorney who can help you to maximize your claim and make sure your interests are protected.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Yes! First, you will want to file an insurance claim. There are various parties you will need to notify (insurance on the car the person was driving, the insurance company for the person who was driving the car and your own insurance provider) You should contact a car accident injury lawyer right away. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    You can certainly sue the driver. You may be able to sue the owner of the Tahoe which hit you. Of you have uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, you may also be able to make a claim against your own insurance. I handle such claims. Feel free to give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Your claim would be against the actual driver. However, in the event the owner of the Tahoe allowed this person to drive his truck knowing he was drunk, or that he had a suspended DWI license. In either event, you could bring a claim against the truck owner for what is called "negligent entrustment". But, your strongest claim is against the drunk driver who caused the accident. That is how the claims line up. But the other aspect is the insurance coverage. The insurance coverage will be the coverage on the Tahoe, and as a secondary source, you will be able to go after the drunk driver's insurance if he either owned an insured car, or is a resident relative of someone who owns an insured car. These are complex insurance coverage analysis issues, so contact a qualified personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    You can sue both. You need to call a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    I am currently representing a man who was critically injured by a drunk driver. Because of the immense injury my client suffered, his damages will probably range into the millions. So the quick answer is yes, you can sue a drunk negligent party for causing you injury. Most automobile cases are more complex than you think from the surface and litigation is long and costly. Gathering all the medical information, hiring experts etc., are things that need to be done, so please consider hiring a lawyer, especially if you have suffered significant documented injuries. Call if you want to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/17/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You can and should sue both! You received horrible injuries, and because the driver was drunk you may receive an award for punitive damages. This increases your possibilities for recovery. Please contact me if you have any questions at all. On this type of case, you get better results if you move fast!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/17/2011
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