Do I have a legal claim after being Rear Ended by a Drunk Driver? 49 Answers as of July 11, 2013

If I am stopped at a red light, in compliance of my local traffic regulations, and a drunk driver rear-ends me and totals my vehicle, even though I am not injured, could I still receive some sort of compensation? What ways can I go about it? Also, he does have insurance, to what extent, I am not sure.

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Jones, Boykin, & Associates, P.C.
Jones, Boykin, & Associates, P.C. | Noble L. Boykin, Jr.
Yes, in Georgia you can file a claim against a drunk driver for damage to your vehicle along with a claim for punitive damages. You can do this even if you are not injured.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/11/2011
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
Yes. Loss of value of your car, loss of use of your car, med. bills, pain and suffering if some injury, lost income, punitive damages. You should contact an attorney right away.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/5/2011
Bristol & Dubiel LLP
Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
You have the legal right to collect your property and personal injury damages if a drunk driver is liable for rear-ending you in a car accident. I recommend that you contact an attorney who can provide what legal remedies you have and the process to collect your damages.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/5/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
In Louisiana you are only compensated for your damages due to another's fault. If you were rear-ended you may have property damage to your vehicle and injuries to your person. An injury may be slight or more or less severe, but if you were not injured you cannot receive damages. Louisiana does provide for punitive damages to be rendered against persons who cause accidents because of the influence of alcohol, so you may have that claim as well.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/1/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
His ins co should pay you for the value of the vehicle, rental until ins co adjusts your claim.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/1/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    If you are not injured then no damages and nothing to collect other than payment for lost wages through PIP (call your own insurance company) and repair of your vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You are entitled to the loss of value of your car. Check DMV to see if he has coverage (it should be on accident report) and inform the carrier. Sue him for the value of your car in small claims (Judge Judy) court if need be.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    Pursuant to Florida Law, in order to be entitled to compensation for personal injuries from a car accident, regardless of whether it was caused by a drunk driver, you must sustain a permanent injury, as diagnosed by a doctor. You should be able to pursue a claim for your property damage and any rental car/loss of use claim.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP | Darrell J. Greenwald
    The short answer is yes you have a claim. The amount of your claim depends on the damages to your vehicle and the extent of your personal injuries. Although you didn't realize any immediate physical effects, soft tissue injuries are often masked by the adrenaline running through your body immediately after a traumatic event and often don't materialize until sometime after the accident. Feel free to call me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    Yes. If someone rear ends your vehicle then in most cases they will be charged with accident and charged with a charge of following too closely. If the person is drunk, liability is clear. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, the lawyer will handle everything in your case and take a percentage of the recovery as his or her fee, with no cost to you. This is the best way to ensure a good settlement and maximize your recovery.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You have a great claim for liability, but damages are relatively low. You want to be compensated for value of your car and inconvenience, but without personal injuries you cannot recover a lot of money. Try to settle with the other insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    A drunk driver who causes an accident is responsible for all of the damages he or she has caused. The victim has a personal injury claim for any injury and all damages, including pain, suffering, and emotional anguish. You state that you were not injured. You were very lucky. Which leads to the question, for what injury are you seeking compensation? When you say you were not injured, does this mean that you just weren't hurt enough to go to the doctor, but you were still banged up and want compensation for your discomfort? Or does it mean that the impact was so slight that you were not hurt in any respect? If you believe you are entitled to some recovery, then you need to contact the driver's insurance company and let them know that you have a claim. You can then attempt to settle your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Get the police report to find out the address. Contact your carrier so they can pursue his insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    You are limited in what type of compensation you can get. As a rule, you are entitled to recover for any damages you have received. This would include damages to the car, and any costs associated with fixing it and renting a car if you needed to while repairing the vehicle. The goal is to put you in the position you were in before the accident so you will not be entitled to a new car or repairs that were not needed as a result of the accident. If you were not physically injured this will limit your recovery as well. You can contact his insurance company about recovery. An experienced injury attorney should be able to help you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    You have a legal claim for all damages caused by the driver. If you weren't injured you will not be compensated for pain and suffering. However, you certainly have a claim for the property damage caused by the driver.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    You are very fortunate to not be hurt if your car was totaled. Make sure you don't have any delayed effects before releasing your claim. As for property damage, you are entitled to recover the replacement value of your vehicle and costs incidental to the process of getting a new car, such as a rental car. There are no damages for the nuisance of having to go get a new car, but they should cover everything that was damaged or ruined in the crash. Washington's required minimum for liability insurance is $25,000, so if he has an insurance policy in this State, that's the least he could have to cover your vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Compensation in Oregon is for economic losses like property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, etc. You also can receive noneconomic compensation for pain, suffering, disruption of normal lifestyle, mental anguish. Typically the latter requires some sort of injury.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    You certainly have a claim for property damage, for the economic loss of your vehicle. You may also be able to obtain $300-500 for the inconvenience and interference with your normal activities apart from work. If you lost work hours having to deal with the accident, you may also have a claim for lost wages.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    You certainly can have your car paid for. If you suffered any degree of injury, pain, soreness, etc. then you should be able to recover some amount for damages.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Riley Law Firm
    Riley Law Firm | Timothy Dennis Riley
    There is a possibility of recovery of exemplary damages, up to two times the economic damages for damage to your vehicle. However, if you settle the property damage claim so that you can replace your vehicle, you will not be able to pursue exemplary damages alone.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    To explain what your rights are under New York law you have to understand a little bit about No Fault law. Basically, No Fault says that a person involved in an accident gets their medical bills, lost wages and certain other expenses (called economic loss) paid whether or not that person caused the accident, subject to the limitations and conditions of the automobile insurance policy. In exchange for that benefit, the lawmakers took away that persons right to sue for non-economic loss (pain and suffering) unless a serious injury is sustained. The law then goes on to describe what is a serious injury. Having a serious injury is called piercing the No Fault Threshold because the injuries rise to a level severe enough to be cross an imaginary line between injuries that do not qualify and ones that meet the legal definition of serious. The car you occupy or the car that struck you if you are a pedestrian covers your economic loss. This is also referred to as PIP coverage. PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. Basic economic loss is the minimum coverage that is required by law. There may be extra coverage carried by the responsible insurer and sometimes if you own your own insured automobile or you live in a household with someone who owns an insured automobile, then you may get extra benefits from one of those insurance policies. When people talk about suing for personal injury damages they are almost always talking only about recovering for conscious pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is non-economic loss. That is where the big money awards are made. The No Fault Law does not apply to property damages. If you have collision coverage, then your company covers you. If you do not carry collision coverage, then you can make a property damage claim against the owners and operators of the cars that caused the accident. If you settle, it will almost always be directly with the other cars insurance company, unless the other cars owners and drivers do not want to report the accident to their insurer. So, you can sue for pain and suffering if you have a serious injury. Did you break a bone? Are you disabled? Have you lost use of part of your body? Is part of your body suffering from limited use? Things like that. As for your totaled car, that is property damage and yes, you can recover for that. Clearly, the other vehicle was at fault.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy | Garrett S. Handy
    In my opinion, your claim is limited to a claim for property damage. If the vehicle was totaled, then they must pay the fair market value of the vehicle, rental car, etc. If the car can be repaired, then they need to pay for the repairs and put you in a rental. You may also have some claims for loss of use or for diminished value. If you were not injured, I do not believe you are entitled to any additional compensation. Even though there is aggravated liability here because of the DUI you are only entitled to the property damage claim. If you believe you may be injured, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You can only recover up to $500 for damage to your car. If your insurance has paid they might recover the deductible depending on the type of coverage you have.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    His insurance will cover the value of your car. If there are no injuries, there is nothing more you can do in terms of compensation. That being said, I would be checked out before I signed anything with the insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    Check your own insurance policy. New Jersey has "No Fault" insurance. In order to be completely free to sue the responsible party, you must have chosen that election in your insurance policy. It costs more so most people do not select that option in their policy. If you did not select that option, you must be able to prove a serious injury (i.e. broken bones). It would appear you do not have a serious injury by your own account and thus would not be able to exceed the threshold to be able to sue. Your insurance would cover your vehicle damage.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    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, the easiest way would be to file a property damage claim with the driver's insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    No, if you have no damages then there is no claim to be made.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, $500 mini tort claim for your damages. Hopefully you had collision and you are only out this amount out of pocket, because it is the limit in Michigan.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You can recover for the damage to your car. In theory, you might get punitive damages as well, which are damages meant to punish the at fault driver if he/she was reckless. However, it is unlikely you would recover punitive damages if you weren't hurt, and frankly is probably not worth pursuing.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Yes, in Florida, at least, for the damage to your car.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Personal injury cases are pursued for just that - personal injuries. If you did not suffer any injury, on what basis are you seeking compensation? Clearly he's responsible for the car damage and you might make an emotional distress and inconvenience claim claim, but it is probably not something an attorney would want to handle. At best $500 to $1000 for your troubles is all the insurance company would likely pay.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Groth Law Firm, S.C.
    Groth Law Firm, S.C. | Jonathan Groth
    The answer sounds like a lawyer's answer: it depends. If there is diminished value to your vehicle then "yes". If you have pain or problems and didn't want to bother a doctor with your problems then maybe. Honestly, this is why you have dedicated personal injury attorneys to consult with.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Van Sant & Slover LLC
    Van Sant & Slover LLC | David Van Sant
    Absolutely. The drunk driver is responsible for any damage or injuries he caused. In addition punitive damages are possible to deter the drunk driver from doing it again.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    The law allows compensation for economic losses caused by someone's negligence (damage to a car, lost wages, towing expenses, etc), so the answer is yes, you have a claim even if you are not injured. You could also sue the drunk driver for punitive damages, and seek recovery above and beyond your actual damages. Drunk driving is often the basis for an award of punitive damages in Florida. Be aware that punitive damages are usually capped under Florida law between 3 and 4 times actual damages. You will want to consider the fact that bringing a lawsuit is expensive and time-consuming. If the other driver's insurance and/or your own insurance company offer to compensate you for the damage to your vehicle and any incidental expenses, it may not make economic sense to pursue the case, especially if the driver who hit you does not have significant assets to collect beyond his insurance. You will probably want to see what you are offered before you make a decision. Be careful not to sign anything releasing the driver from liability if you decide you want to pursue a lawsuit. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    You can get property damage for the car and lost wages and medical bills paid. In order to collect for pain and suffering you need to have 'serious injury' as that term is defined in the Insurance Law.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    You do have a claim; but not for an injury - since you've indicated you weren't injured. Assuming he had insurance; he would at least have the state minimum. You would be entitled to compensation for the value of your car - plus a reasonable amount of time in a rental car - after you've been provided with funds to buy a replacement vehicle. You should contact his insurance company immediately to make arrangements for them to pay. If there isn't insurance - or isn't enough; call your own insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Anderson & Bliven P.C.
    Anderson & Bliven P.C. | Scott Anderson
    Yes you may still receive some compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Generally, a person who has suffered no physical injury cannot recover damages.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    You should hire an attorney. Yes, you can. Sometimes even if you think you are no injured, you may be. Adrenalin from an accident can make a person feel that they are perfectly fine even though they may be seriously injured.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
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