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3 options for covering drunk driving crash costs in Georgia

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Drunk Driver Accidents/Dram Shop Liability

Drunk driving collisions are notorious for being some of the worst crashes that occur on U.S. roads. Those operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol often behave in erratic ways that other drivers can’t predict. They may also drive at very dangerous speeds, potentially worsening the consequences of a collision.

Many drunk driving crashes cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Those affected by the collision may need to look carefully at each of their options for seeking compensation afterward. What are some of the ways that people can recover the expenses generated by a drunk driving wreck?

Liability insurance coverage

Motorists in Georgia typically have a responsibility to carry liability insurance. After all, they can cause fatal injuries and massive property damage with just a momentary lapse in judgment. Insurance payouts can help cover hospital bills and vehicle repair costs. Insurance can also help cover lost wages. However, if a crash causes permanent injuries or death, then the insurance coverage available may not be enough to offset those expenses.

A lawsuit against the drunk driver

Someone injured in a drunk driving collision could take legal action against the intoxicated motorist. Family members grieving the death of a loved one might decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver. The courts can theoretically award compensation for the economic damages caused by the crash. Drunk driving lawsuits are among the limited scenarios that could potentially lead to punitive damages in Georgia. The wanton disregard for the safety of others and overt violation of the law involved in a drunk driving collision could justify speaking punitive damages from the intoxicated motorist.

Dram shop claims

Under Georgia law, bars, restaurants and other businesses licensed to distribute alcohol to customers may have liability if a patron goes on to cause a crash. When workers at an establishment violate liquor law by serving someone who is visibly drunk or not old enough to legally drink, the company may be at least partially liable for the crash that results. A dram shop claim can lead to more robust compensation, as businesses tend to have more assets and better insurance coverage than the average person.

Those worried about recovering the losses caused by a drunk driving crash may need to explore each of their options for financial compensation, including dram shop lawsuits. Insurance combined with litigation can potentially help offset the costs generated by drunk drivers effectively.