December Newsletter 2017
Drinking and Driving During the Holidays
Curse of the EggnogThe holidays are here. Family. Good cheer. Office party hookups. Good times all around.
Drunk driving skyrockets in December. A third of all accidents on Christmas Eve are the result of drunk driving.
And things get even boozier on New Year's Eve. Over 40 percent of accidents those nights are caused by drunks.
But accidents resulting from drinking and driving don't just happen on those two days. The whole month of December is filled with accidents due to winter break from college, holiday parties, and looking back at the year in the rear-view mirror.
A lot of people think that insurance doesn't cover drunk and drugged driving accidents. And maybe it shouldn't. But it does.
Some drunk drivers have plenty of insurance. But most don't.
Approximately 70 percent of drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. Amongst drunk drivers the number jumps to at least 80 to 90 percent.
Getting Paid After Being Hit By a Drunk DriverIn most personal injury cases recovery is effectively limited by insurance coverage. There are a couple of reasons for this but the biggest is that most people who cause an accident don't have anything you could get if they filed a bankruptcy petition.
But you have additional leverage with a drunk driver: a judgement against a drunk driver is not dischargeable (can't be wiped out) in bankruptcy because drunks usually don't have enough insurance assets to compensate the people they hurt it's important to find other sources of recovery.
Bars and restaurants can be held responsible if they let someone have too much to drink.
In Washington the standard for imposing liability on bars and restaurants used to be "obvious intoxication." But the law has changed from "obviously intoxicated" to "apparently intoxicated." This relaxed standard means it's easier to pursue over-service claims.
Drunk Driver Cleans Out 401K AccountsWe represented a motorcyclist who lost his leg. We pursued the claim against the drunk driver.
Judgments obtained against drunk drivers aren't dischargeable in bankruptcy. They can be renewed so that they last up to 20 years.
Faced with two decades of collection action the drunk driver capitulated and cleaned out her 401K accounts to settle the case.
Bar Pays For Over-serving CustomersA bar served two drinks to a woman. She had four drinks earlier in the night. She drove the wrong way on the viaduct and hit our client. We recovered $1 million from the bar.