What should I do if I was hit by a drunk driver? 22 Answers as of January 24, 2013

I was heading home from a friend’s house. I was stopped at a red light the next thing I heard was a big slam and all I did was step on my brakes so I wouldn't hit the car in front. I was driving a Nissan Altima 2005 and as I got out, I saw my entire car destroyed. I was hit by a hummer H2. This lady told me not to call the cops but I did anyway. She came out of her car and tried to take the phone away and she noticed that I wasn't getting off she climbed back into her car and fled the scene. A cop then arrived and I told him what direction she was headed. I ended up going to the hospital that night then come to find out the car isn't registered under her name and that was her third DUI. She doesn't have insurance or anything. I'm a college student and I need a car and good legal advice on how to approach this. I'm getting treatment because I did get hurt.

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Shean Law
Shean Law | John Shean
Report this accident to your insurance carrier and make an Uninsured Motorist claim.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/24/2013
Timiney Law Firm
Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
Unfortunately, when you are involved in an accident and the at fault driver does not have insurance, you have very little options. One option is to make a claim with your own auto insurance carrier. You can do this if you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy. This type of coverage protects you in the event you are involved in an accident such as this, where the at fault driver does not have coverage. Another option is to pursue the at fault driver personally through a civil lawsuit. This types of claims can be difficult to pursue and often times you can spend a great deal of time and money pursuing a claim such as this and get nothing in return. If the person who hit you does not have a lot of assets, if you were to prevail in a civil suit against them and obtain a judgment from a judge, collecting on your judgment against them could be difficult, expensive or impossible. It is likely safe to say that a person driving a car that is not theirs, who does not have insurance and who is on their third DUI, probably does not have a lot of assets to cover any judgment against them. I would check with the uninsured coverage on your own auto policy.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 1/18/2013
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Talk to your carrier. Uninsured, under insured coverage. Also there is the owner of the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Bummer. I see this sort of thing all the time. Hopefully, you have insurance that will cover the collision damage and your injuries. If there is no insurance on either car, then your only hope is to get the District Attorney who is prosecuting the DUI to require the drive pay restitution as part of her sentence. I also suggest you seek free advice on Alabama accident law on Google and then determine whether you need to consult a lawyer. If you are seriously injured, you need to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 1/18/2013
The Law Firm of Kristina L. Combs, PLLC
The Law Firm of Kristina L. Combs, PLLC | Kristina L. Combs
Since you would need to provide more facts to have your case evaluated, you should contact an attorney immediately to protect any possible claim. Most attorneys do not charge for auto accident consults and they work for a contingency fee, they don't get paid until you get paid, for these types of cases. The driver and the vehicle information should be identified in the police report. You should bring all the information with you to your consult. Insurances usually have a clause in their contracts stating that they will not pay under certain circumstances, such as if the driver was drunk. In these cases, you would need to try to collect damages from the driver or the person who owns the vehicle. Whether you can actually collect on a judgment would depend on what the driver or vehicle owner owns.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/18/2013
    The Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck, LLC
    The Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck, LLC | Scott D. Camassar
    Sounds like you'll need to make an uninsured motorist claim against your own policy. Hire a personal injury lawyer near you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    WEIMAR LAW OFFICES
    WEIMAR LAW OFFICES | Linda Weimar
    You should contact a lawyer immediately. Did you have auto insurance at the time of the collision? If so, you should open an uninsured motorist claim ("UM"). In addition, if the lady was ultimately arrested and charged with a crime, you may be entitled to some victim's rights compensation through the courts.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    I am going to assume you had insurance. Given that you should hire an injury attorney and have them open a PIP claim with your insurance. You should also open an Uninsured Motorist claim with your insurance. The PIP will pay up to 15K in reasonably related medical bills. As far as the property damage, you can check to see if your policy has any coverage under the Uninsured Motorist policy for property damage.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Under Michigan law, you go to your own auto insurance for the medical (for life), for lost wages, medical mileage, household replacement services (3 year maximum), and for your auto damage. You sue the owner and the driver of the other vehicle for your deductible (up to $500), and your pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Reade & Associates
    Reade & Associates | R. Christopher Reade
    You need to consult with Counsel immediately to preserve your legal rights, to be able to properly process your claim and make sure that you are protected. Counsel can likewise assist you with processing the various potentially responsible parties and available coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Good luck with a woman with 3 DWIsThey normally dont have insurance and don't have any assets (in case you sue and get a judgment) If she has assets (check register of deeds office and tax office in your county) your judgment may be collectible. If you were really smart you might have uninsured motorist coverage. If you don't know what that is call your agent and ask, and ask him to add it to your coverage for the future.UM coverage as it is called covers you when there is no liability coverage on the car of your drunk driver for instance. If you aint got it and the lady has no assets you are out of luck.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    If you have full coverage you need to file a claim against your insurance company under the uninsured portion of your policy. Also retain a lawyer, you can sue the driver and the owner of the vehicle but that will take a long time and you may end up with nothing, and that is assuming the owner of the vehicle did not report it stolen.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    Talk with your insurance agent to see if you have coverage for the car ( collision) or coverage for you- uninsured motorist and/or medical payments insurance. You also need to pursue a claim against the other driver.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    Hopefully you were insured at the time, and have Uninsured Motorist coverage. If not, then you are limited to seeking restitution if she is charged by the DA, or filing suit and seeking to collect against her assets, if any.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    In south Carolina, If you have collision insurance, file a claim for your car damage using this coverage. You should have uninsured motorist coverage because it is mandatory. I do not believe it will cover property damage, but it will cover damages for your personal injuries. If your injuries are severe and you have more than 25,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage, you might consider retaining an attorney for your injury claim (if your injuries are severe but you have only 25,000.00 coverage, you may be able to get them to pay the 25,000.00 without an attorney). If you have no collision coverage, be sure to let the authorities know of you property damage in connection with her DUI charges, if she was charged. The court might order her to pay restitution, but it will likely be paid over a long period of time if at all. You could also sue her personally and get a judgment against her. It will be hard to collect, but it is good for 10 years and she may pay it some day in an attempt to get good credit.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    I sure hope you have collision and uninsured motorist coverage on your own car. If not you may be out of luck unless the driver is wealthier than I suspect she is. It's worth investigating the Hummer owner's insurance coverage if he or she has any. Unless the driver stole the Hummer or is an "excluded driver" under the owner's policy, the driver should still be covered. See a lawyer, for goodness' sake.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis | Malosack Berjis
    Have you looked at your own car insurance policy to see if you have uninsured motorist benefits? Because if you do, such coverage is intended for exactly this type of situation. You should, also, consider consulting with a local personal injury attorney. Many of them, like myself, offer free consultationsso, you have nothing to lose by calling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    The Hilt Firm, llc
    The Hilt Firm, llc | Matthew L. Hilt
    You have the right to file a lawsuit against the driver that struck your vehicle. Hopefully you can force the other driver, or her insurance carrier, to pay for the damage to your vehicle, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may also recovery punitive damages to punish the other driver for being drunk and behind the wheel. I have handled a number of these cases, and I would be happy to discuss it with you further.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney, and bring your insurance policy. You may have aims for uninsured motorist, against the driver and the person who owns the car she was driving.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You have several options including pursuing you cars uninsured motorists coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    Even if the other driver is truly uninsured and uncollectible, if the owner of the car knew of this driver's two prior DUIs, then you may have a claim against that owner for negligent entrustment. Hopefully the owner will be insured. If not, however, then consider making a claim under your own insurance policy under its Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you did not purchase that coverage for your policy, then your only option is to sue the drunk driver and/or owner. If you have to go this route, I would recommend retaining an attorney to first evaluate whether the other parties are collectible.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/18/2013
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