In most accidents, the person who was at fault has insurance that covers all damages the accident causes. However, not all accidents have the same circumstances. Sometime the driver of the car is arrested and in prison, and those who were injured wonder how this will affect their claim for compensation.
Driver at Fault in Accident Found with Drug Paraphernalia
On May 9, 2019, a driver on the Freya Way Bridge near Spokane Community College jumped the median and crashed head on into another car. Both drivers were injured, and a passenger in the at-fault vehicle has seen “hobbling” away from the scene. Police are investigating the scene for possible DUI, vehicular assault and drug charges.
Can a Prisoner be Sued?
Yes, you can still sue a person if they are in prison. It may affect where you file your claim or how the person is going to pay for the damages they cause. But once you know where the person is, you can serve papers on him or her in prison.
What about the Driver being Charged with Drug Use?
In some cases, an auto insurance policy will not cover illegal activity. For example, let’s say you are a car thief and you want to insure the cars you steal in case you get in a wreck. This sounds absurd, but it happens, and insurance policies generally prohibit payment for illegal activities.
So what about impairment? This is an exception to that rule. If a person is impaired and driving a car, the policy will still pay despite that fact that what the person did was illegal. The primary difference was that the car itself was covered under their policy whereas if you steal a vehicle, then that vehicle is not covered under your insurance.
In any case, you have to prove that the driver who caused the accident was negligent when he or she cause the accident. If the negligence was caused by illegal activity like drug usage, then the law allows for that person to be sued because they were negligent.
To be considered negligent, a person must have been engaged in conduct that put others at risk for personal injury. So while being impaired itself might not be considered negligent, running a red light or crossing into oncoming traffic is.
Illegal Drug Activity
So what if the driver was using their vehicle for dealing drugs and injured another? This sounds like the same problem as the thief because the driver is doing something illegal and hit another person. However, this is different because the vehicle is owned and insured by the at-fault person, and thus as long as that person was negligent, then the insurance company must cover the damages done by their insured.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in crash, you should talk to an attorney so you can know your rights under the law. If the driver was doing something illegal when he or she hit you, then don’t take the word of the insurance company that you are not entitled to compensation.
Talk to the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., and get someone on your side. We serve clients in Spokane, WA, Coeur d’Alene, ID, and surrounding communities and can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call us at (509) 926 4900, or send us a message by clicking here.