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Can you sue the driver of a vehicle for suffering and emotional distress that runs into your home that was charged with a DUI?

Harrisburg, PA |

Last week we had a drunk driver run into our home about 12:30 in the morning. we were wondering if we can sue for emotional distress and suffering that it has caused our family. Not to mention this was a PA state corrections officer driving the state owned vehicle. I cannot find any information if you can sue someone in PA for this circumstance. The damage that the driver has done not only shocked and has shaken up our family from being woke up to a vehicle running into our home but atleast $30,000 worth of damage to the home including a large 10'x5' hole that is in the side of it. We just need answers.

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Attorney answers 5


I focus primarily on DUI Defense. I would contact a civil attorney for your issue and not so much a criminal/DUI attorney who will be in a better position to answer this for you.


Mr. Cooper gave good advice. To answer further yes you can sue for emotional distress and for the damage to your home but as Mr. Cooper said you need to consult with a civil attorney for a more definitive answer.

This information does not create an attorney /client relationship and should not be use or relied upon to make any decision in your case. Only consultation with your own attorney can provide you with the advice you need for your case.


Yes. You may sue the driver for any damages caused by his negligence. This means that you may sue for the damage to the home. You may also sue for any emotional injuries he caused. To recover for the emotional injuries, you will have to have expert testimony. This means that you will have to see a psychologist or psychiatrist.

That being said, there are many other facts that must be considered before you file suit. You should contact a civil attorney in your area.

L. Kenneth Chotiner, Esq.
the Chotiner Firm

However, your chance of recovering on the damages will depend upon the evidence. You will have no problem proving the damages to your home

The information provided here is not intended to provide legal advice on any subject nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Actual resolution of legal issues depends upon many factors, including variations of facts and state laws. The information is provided for information purposes only.


As my colleagues have correctly stated, you do have the right to commence a civil lawsuit to recover for property damages as well as emotional damages. Please promptly consult an attorney. You may have also claims against governmental agencies.

No attorney/client relationship is formed between the attorney responding to this question and the individual asking the question.


The legal requirements for filing a winable legal claim for "negligent infliction of emotional distress" varies from state to state. I suggest that you contact a personal injury attorney in your state for a comprehensive answer.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.