QUESTION

Do I have a legal claim after being Rear Ended by a Drunk Driver?

Asked on Jun 24th, 2011 on Personal Injury - Virginia
More details to this question:
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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29 ANSWERS
Answered on Jul 11th, 2013 at 2:19 AM
Generally, a person who has suffered no physical injury cannot recover damages.

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Answered on Jul 11th, 2013 at 2:19 AM
Yes you may still receive some compensation.

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Answered on Jul 11th, 2013 at 2:12 AM
Yes, in Florida, at least, for the damage to your car.

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Answered on Jul 05th, 2011 at 12:51 PM
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.

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Answered on Jul 01st, 2011 at 5:11 PM
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.

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Answered on Jul 01st, 2011 at 9:04 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:23 PM
Yes, the easiest way would be to file a property damage claim with the driver's insurance company.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:21 PM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:17 PM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:16 PM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 12:11 PM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:57 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:56 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:55 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:54 AM
You can be compensated for whatever damages, if any, that you have, for example, property damage, rental, lost wages, punitive damages, etc.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:54 AM
Not for personal injuries unless you are injured, at least in Florida you can't.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:40 AM
Initiate a claim against the other driver's insurance company or retain an accident attorney to represent you.

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Paul L. Whitfield
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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:38 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:30 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:15 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:15 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:06 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 11:03 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:34 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:34 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:27 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:27 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:11 AM
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.

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Answered on Jun 30th, 2011 at 9:54 AM
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.

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