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Mike Bryant
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Potential Drunk Driver, A Ditch, A Passenger: What Coverage Is There

2 comments

The Minneapolis Tribune had an interesting story about a truck that got caught in a ditch. Apparently, the passenger got out and was run over as he pushed the truck out. The driver was charged with drunk driving.

As it happened in Minnesota there would be at least two sources of coverage to look to:

-As with any accident involving a motor vehicle, you will always have No Fault coverage to pay the basic needed medical , wage loss and replacement service benefits. Even though the vehicle was in the ditch the injuries were caused by the use of a motor vehicle. However, the pain and suffering part of the claim will be covered through the liability part of the policy.

- If a family member is negligent (at fault) and due to that negligence a relative is injured, there is a claim after a motor vehicle accident. It’s no different than if you never knew the person who caused the accident.

- It will be interesting if the insurance company tries to use the drinking as a way to escape liability. It will be important to differentiate when the injury happened and why. But, clearly, a drunk driver shouldn’t have less fault.

Just one of those odd questions that sometimes need to be answered. If you are in an accident that involves a vehicle you should take the time to talk to a lawyer that does this type of work.

2 Comments

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  1. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Okay so now you have me wondering about the accident. This was a single vehicle accident where the passenger was run over by the driver of the car he just got out of? Assuming that to be true, would the passenger’s dependent children and perhaps widow under Minnesota law have a dram shop claim against the bar? And finally, if the passenger had drunk at the bar and bought drinks for the driver would that preclude the claim or perhaps lessen the damages?

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Yes, they would have a claim and the fault of the passenger wouldn’t be allowed against them. Although, the changes in joint and several laws in Minnesota have gutted dram shop claims. Also from what I have been told, the premiums have gone up for bars, so go figure. Thanks for taking the time to comment.