Drivers all need to carry insurance and are also subject to state traffic laws, including rules against drinking and driving. In theory, the rules and limitations imposed on drivers by the state serve the purpose of keeping people safe and reducing the number of motor vehicle collisions that occur.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who will make bad choices at the wheel, including deciding to drive while drunk. People in North Carolina don’t really understand what rights they have when a drunk driver causes a collision that leaves them injured or ruins their vehicle.
Who will cover your expenses after a wreck caused by someone under the influence of alcohol?
The person who drove drunk
Motor vehicle insurance in North Carolina has to do with liability. The driver who caused the crash will have insurance that protects them from personal financial responsibility for a collision. Even when someone does something illegal, like driving after drinking, their liability coverage can reimburse the other party affected by the crash in most cases.
When someone doesn’t have insurance or when their insurance isn’t enough to pay your expenses, you may need to take them to court. Personal injury lawsuits can reimburse those who lose wages or suffer expensive property damage expenses that insurance doesn’t completely cover.
The bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver
North Carolina has a dram shop law that may make a business partially responsible for a crash if one of its patrons is to blame. Bars and restaurants must adhere to state liquor laws when serving alcohol.
If the staff at a business serve someone who is already visibly drunk another alcoholic beverage or if they serve someone who is under the age of 21, then the people affected by the wreck may be able to bring a claim against the business in addition to or instead of a claim against the driver at fault.
When a drunk driver doesn’t have good insurance or ends up in prison and unable to pay the people they harmed, a dram shop claim against a bar or restaurant could be a workable solution for the people affected by the wreck.
Learning more about your rights as someone hurt in a North Carolina car crash can help you pursue financial reimbursement from the appropriate parties.