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Does car insurance reimburse the victims of drunk drivers?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Car Accidents

Drunk driving is a serious safety hazard. Ohio makes it illegal to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while chemically impaired because of how dangerous it can be. Drunk drivers have longer reaction times than sober motorists. They might make the wrong choices while driving. They may have a hard time paying attention to their surroundings and could even fall asleep at the wheel.

Drunk drivers often make the choice to get behind the wheel while knowing that their actions violate the law and endanger others. If they cause a crash, the other parties involved in the collision may be unsure of what to do next. The collision could have caused severe damage to a vehicle or left someone with significant injuries.

Motor vehicle liability insurance is often the simplest way for someone to cover crash costs. Does Ohio car insurance cover collisions caused by intoxicated motorists?

Misconduct does not negate insurance coverage

Certain types of insurance policies have rules limiting company liability in certain scenarios. Life insurance often doesn’t pay out if someone dies because they broke the law, for example. However, it would be highly unfair to leave the others involved without appropriate coverage because someone else broke the law.

If insurance companies could deny claims based solely on the bad behavior of drivers, then the vast majority of collisions might be ineligible for liability coverage. The property damage and injury coverage that protects the people in the other vehicle should be available regardless of the underlying cause of the crash.

So long as it is clear which driver caused the wreck, their policy can help cover the cost of the other people affected by the collision. Of course, the baseline insurance requirements in Ohio are quite low when compared with the potential costs generated in serious collisions.

Even if those affected by a drunk driving crash file a successful insurance claim, they may also need to look into pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Civil litigation can lead to more thorough compensation than an insurance claim in cases where a crash causes catastrophic injuries or a loss of life.

Fault is often easy to establish after a drunk driving crash, as impaired motorists tend to be erratic and unsafe drivers. Still, holding a drunk driver accountable after a motor vehicle collision can be a lengthy and complex process. Those who understand the forms of compensation available – and who seek legal guidance promptly – can generally pursue what they need to move on from a wreck.