Millions of people are arrested in the United States for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They get charged as DUI drivers. It’s not necessary to point out that driving under the influence is illegal in all states and above all is dangerous for the driver and other traffic participants.
Almost all accidents that happened because of drunk driving ended up with injuries and fatal DUI accidents were often a result of blood alcohol content of .08 and higher.
Drunk drivers will face penalties such as jail time, driver’s license suspension, or fines but they can also face serious charges such as manslaughter.
In some accidents, the driver may be so drunk and incapable to react fast as a sober person would do.
If the drunk driver hits a pedestrian, things will be far more complex. Pedestrians have no protection as people in vehicles do, which means their injuries would be severe. In this case, the driver can expect to get a lawsuit and should seek legal help. Contact a Portland DUI attorney immediately after the accident.
Can the Pedestrian Sue You?
Absolutely, the answer is yes. If you hit a pedestrian with your car while driving under the influence, they would sue you since you were negligent. In most cases, pedestrians who were injured in such accidents, can and will sue the driver to get compensation for their losses.
In case the pedestrian dies in the crash, their representatives can sue the drunk driver in a wrongful death action.
How Much Can an Injured Pedestrian Collect?
This mainly depends on the severity of their injuries. In general, lawsuits should help the victim collect compensation for their losses (medical expenses, damages, pain, and suffering). In pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian could reasonably collect about $50 000 for their injuries. This settlement will be paid by the at-fault driver as compensation for the damages and injuries.
However, the calculation of damages isn’t quite simple. There are several categories that should be considered (besides medical expenses, pain and suffer) such as lost wages, loss of normal life.
Medical expenses and lost wages (economical damages) can be easily calculated. Pain and suffering and loss of normal life on the other hand are complicated and not always easy to calculate. The final answer will be given by the jury. They would determine the answer to questions such as how much it is a month of severe pain or post traumatic stress disorder that may last for life.
What About the Insurance?
And while things sound great on paper, the truth is that most DUI drivers don’t really have $50 000 to pay for the injuries and damages. This is a big amount of money; in fact, in many cases, drunk drivers may not even have a driver’s insurance policy. If the driver is not insured, the pedestrian may be able to sue and get a large verdict, but what is the point of that when the driver simply has no money to pay for it.
This is why the law requires drivers to get car insurance. If the pedestrian sues the driver, in fact, they are trying to get compensation from their insurance company.
Let’s say they have insurance. It’s very much probable that the insurance company would work hard to pay the victim a lower settlement or even deny it completely. They could argue that the pedestrian wasn’t careful, wore dark clothes at night, and so on.
However, this shouldn’t make the DUI driver happy, because in many cases the pedestrian will have a great and strong case against them. The fact that the pedestrian doesn’t get a claim doesn’t mean that DUI drivers won’t face the penalties.
If the driver has little or no insurance, the pedestrian options for a claim are limited. They may be able to collect the claim up to the limits (let’s say the limit is $30 000). For any amount above this limit, the drunk driver would have to cover it personally.
In case an injured pedestrian is awarded $100 000 dollars, they could easily collect the limit of $30 000. However, the rest of the money would be a challenge to get if the driver doesn’t have them.
Hiring DUI Lawyer
Hitting a pedestrian is a serious thing and would surely lead to a lawsuit and penalties. You should definitely hire a DUI attorney and have a strong defense in court.
Let our team at Trilogy Law Group to help you with your case.