I was hit head on by this drunk driver, which then sped away from the scene. My husband in a different car behind me was able to follow the driver. The driver ended up crashing into a persons fence then held at that scene. The police gave me insurance info but that expired 6/25 and the wreck occured 7/2. I know the guy is still in the hospital, is it legal for me to contact him to find out if he has another policy?...which I doubt!
There are a bunch of questions here. Did the drunk driver own the car? If not, there may be another policy out there. One for the car, one for the driver. If not, do you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy? If so, file through that.
Henry Moore, Attorney
Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law
316 W. 12th, #318
Austin, Texas 78701
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There is nothing illegal about you contacting the drunk driver, but my guess is that he won't speak to you. This is especially true since he is no doubt facing criminal charges. A good personal injury lawyer will uncover any applicable insurance policies. If he does not have insurance, you can make a claim under the Uninsured Motorist provision of your own insurance assuming you have not denied that coverage in writing. You may also be able to cover medical expenses under the Personal Injury Protection provision of your own policy. A good personal injury attorney can help you navigate all of these issues and I strongly recommend you contact a personal injury attorney. You may call me toll free or visit my website by clicking the Free Consultation link below.
DO NOT TALK TO THE DRUNK DRIVER!!
If you were injured, call a personal injury attorney immediately. I cannot tell you how many times a client has unintentionally said the wrong thing to the wrong person before talking to me, thereby shooting themselves in the foot and diminishing the value of their claim.
As personal injury attorneys, we are trained and experienced in talking to the right people and insulating our clients from would-be post-accident mistakes.
Also, as an aside, even if the driver does not have insurance, you may have a dram shop case against a bar or restaurant if it over-served him.
But again: this is an inquiry you should leave to your lawyer.
You make no mention of your injuries. If you were injured, and if we agree that I will represent you, I would investigate whether other insurance might cover the loss. I sometimes find other insurance, even when the defendant says there is no coverage. If you assert an uninsured motorist claim, you must comply with the terms of your own insurance contract. I am Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. It costs nothing out of pocket to talk to me. I only charge for my fees and expenses out of your recovery, if any. In short, if you recovery nothing, you owe me nothing.
We have seen these types of cases a lot of the time. The good news is the insurance policy probably expired June 25, 2013, but was renewed. It will be highly unlikely that the driver would not have renewed given his car would not be repaired if they let the insurance lapse. In any event, you really need a lawyer to run this down for you. You do not want to be discussing your injuries with his insurance as such conversations are geared towards undermining the extent of your injuries. If you only want to recover your property damage you probably do not need a lawyer. If you were injured, I recommend you at least sit down with a lawyer to discuss. If you have any additional questions or simply want to know your rights as an accident victim please do not hesitate to call or add a comment. Good luck to you.
I suggest you immediately consult with an attoney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Please make sure you care for your injuries first. You also need to contact your insurance company and see if you have uninsurance coverage, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and Medical Payments coverage. These coverages apply independent of whether the drunk driver has insurance coverage. Also, if your insurance company tells you that there is no underinsurance coverage or PIP coverage then make sure you request a copy of the pages where you signed and rejected these coverages. If they cannot produce the signed rejections then you should have these coverages for the miniumum amount required under Texas law. My firm has handled many of drunk driving cases and would be happy to consult with you. Thanks and good luck. www.urhurt.com
Sorry to hear of the unfortunate event. The laws of nature seem to show that the most irresponsible people are often uninsured. This may be the situation in your case, and that is why all of the other lawyers who answered your question asked whether you have uninsured motorist insurance. The agency in your state which issues car registrations may disclose to you the current insurance information on file in response to your request. Another avenue is to ask the local law enforcement for assistance by following up with the driver to demand current insurance information. You or your lawyer can always contact the person by letter asking to provide you with the current insurance information. Keep in mind, in the end, this person may not have any insurance. If that is the case, it is your policy that will be the only source of benefits to you.
Most likely the person did not have coverage, but nothing stops you from contacting him to ask. Consider filing a claim with your insurance company for the property damage- if you have collision coverage, and for your injuries, if any, with your uninsured motorist coverage. If you were injured it would be best to let an injury attorney handle the matter.
Dram shop laws exist in some form in 43 states and are used as a basis for victims of DUI to seek damages from alcohol vendors.
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