Your son is seat belted and traveling through an intersection on a green light at or below the speed limit. A drunk driver travels through his red light at the same intersection at a high rate of speed, and he crashes into the driver’s side of your son’s vehicle. Your son is hospitalized, in intensive care, and you’re eventually told he’s brain dead. What do you do next?
Suing the driver
Assuming the drunk driver had at least minimum liability insurance, a lawsuit should be filed against him immediately. By virtue of that lawsuit, your attorney can make a demand for the policy limits of the drunk driver’s insurance. Given your son’s condition, you’ll be needing everything from that driver’s liability insurance coverage that you can get.
Suing the bar
If the drunk driver had left a bar, you can include that bar in the lawsuit against the drunk driver under the Florida liquor liability law. Under that law, if a person willfully and unlawfully provides alcohol to a minor or a person habitually addicted to alcohol, that person can be held liable for any damages caused by the minor or habitually addicted alcoholic. It might be difficult to prove that the owner of an establishment or their employee knew that an individual was habitually addicted to alcohol. It’s very easy to prove that the driver was under the age of 21 when served though.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
If the drunk driver was uninsured, and your son had uninsured motorist coverage, you could make a claim on his behalf. If he was driving your vehicle and you had that coverage, you could probably make that claim on his behalf too. Your policy’s language in its uninsured motorist coverage controls who is an insured person under those circumstances. If the drunk driver was riding on minimum liability coverage and your son maintained $300,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, a claim might be made on your son’s behalf on that coverage of your policy. The same coverage might be applicable under your policy if he was driving your vehicle.
Other factors must also be considered in a case like this. The knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney knows which avenues of recovery to explore, how to explore them and how to obtain compensation for damages. Immediately placing a case of this nature in the hands of such an attorney is what you do next.