Getting into a car accident can change your life. You may sustain injuries, you are certain to be inconvenienced, and you may incur fines if you were responsible.
If you get into a crash while driving under the influence of alcohol, you can get a ticket, have your license suspended, and pay fines. If you are injured, you may wonder if your insurance will pay your hospital bills if you were drunk at the time of an accident.
Today we'll discuss in details what happens If you crash while drunk in detail and what to do in such case.
Insurance Laws in California
According to Grossman Law Offices, there are two different kinds of insurance rules in the United States; fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person who is responsible for the accident is also responsible for its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a driver's insurance will pay for their accident bills no matter who is responsible for the collision.
California is a fault state, which means that the at-fault driver's insurance should pay for your bills. The Golden State is unique because it is a pure comparative fault state. This means that each driver must pay for the percentage of the accident they cause. If you were 20% responsible for an accident, you could recover 80% of your bills from the other driver's insurance, and they can claim 20% of their accident bills on your insurance.
When you are caught driving under the influence, you may be worried that you will be held responsible for 100% of the crash, but you should only be held responsible for the percentage of the accident you caused
Determining Fault in an Accident
After an accident, you should call the police and wait for them to arrive. Take pictures if you can and get the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses. You should never admit fault at the scene, even if you think you caused the crash. There may be circumstances of which you are unaware.
The police will ask you questions about the accident, and if you appear to be under the influence, they will ask you to take a breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety exercises.
If you fail one of these tests, you are likely to be charged with a DUI and will have to appear in court, and you may face penalties.
The police will try to determine who caused the accident, and when you file an insurance claim, the insurance adjuster will investigate the accident as well. They will look at factors like tire marks and the positioning of the two cars in the accident. They will undoubtedly take the fact that you were inebriated into consideration. But that alone does not prove that you caused the accident.
Talking to Your Insurance Company
When you make your initial call to your insurance company, they will ask you for basic information about the collision and have you send in the documentation of your bills and lost wages.
Once the other driver’s insurance company gets your information, they will call you and ask you more in-depth questions about the accident. They are certain to ask you questions about your DUI. If there is anything they ask you that you do not remember, you should just tell them you don't remember.
Why You Need an Attorney
It is always a good idea to talk to an attorney whenever you have had a car accident. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. You are likely to be taken more seriously if you have the assistance of a lawyer.
If you were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision, it is even more important to be represented by an attorney. They will be well versed in examining evidence and will know what evidence is needed to prove that an accident occurred specifically because a person was drunk. If you are facing penalties for the role your DUI played in the accident, then an attorney can provide the defense you need to get the charges dismissed or dropped.