When a person is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, they can face criminal consequences and non-criminal or civil consequences, especially if the drunk driver caused an accident involving property damage or injuries. While the non-criminal consequences of an alcohol or drug-related accident don’t involve jail time, they can still be quite serious.
Perhaps the first thing that the drunk driver notices is how a DUI affects their auto insurance. When it comes time to renew their policy, their auto insurance premiums are going to shoot through the roof. Second, if a drunk driver is involved in an accident with another driver or vehicle, they have almost zero chances of winning a civil lawsuit that is filed by the victim.
If you are involved in an accident as a result of drunk driving, your auto insurance carrier is going to do its best to settle with the victim’s insurance company, and in most cases, for more money than it would have settled had you not been drunk.
What if My Auto Insurance Isn’t Enough?
If you seriously injured another driver or passenger, the injured victim’s claim may be worth more than your auto insurance coverage. If this is the case, you may have to pay out of your own pocket to settle the case – that is if you can afford to.
Let’s say that you seriously injured someone in an accident and they became paralyzed. If their claim is worth around $1,000,000, but you only had $100,000 of insurance coverage, you can expect your insurance to offer the policy limits to settle your case. However, the victim probably won’t accept that amount if they’re convinced that you have some assets.
Even if the injured victim is able to recover some money from their own underinsured/underinsured motorist coverage, they are likely to look to you to help pay a portion of their settlement. The victim’s lawyer runs an asset check on you, and if it turns out that you can afford to contribute to the settlement or verdict, then you are not going to be left off the hook.
If you are concerned that this scenario may describe you, don’t hesitate to contact an Orange County DUI defense attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. at once!