If the Driver who Injured me is Arrested, do I Still get Compensated?

December 10, 2019

It may seem incredibly unfair, but sometimes when the driver of a car is arrested after a collision with another vehicle, the arrest means that the injured person won’t be getting compensation from the person who hurt them.

However, if the driver is committing certain crimes while driving, and is involved in a crash, then their insurance company might refuse to pay. The question is, which crimes?

One injured in DUI Crash in Spokane

On Sunday night, December 8, 2019, a car occupant was injured in a two-car crash that happened on North Division Street and East Magnesium Road. Police have arrested the driver of one of the cars on suspicion of driving while impaired.

The injured was taken to a local hospital, and the allegedly impaired driver didn’t suffer any injuries. Police are still investigating the scene, and further charges may be filed pending the outcome of the investigation.

Insurance Policy Rules

Insurance companies have a long-standing rule that they won’t pay out for intentional acts. This makes sense as otherwise, you could purposefully set fire to your house or even car and then collect the insurance.

However, not all crimes are intentional. For example, if you run a red light and hit someone, you might get charged with failure to stop at a red light, but this charge won’t keep your insurance company from paying compensation for those you injured. Why? Because the nature of a red light violation is unintentional.

Levels of Intent

For example, if someone stole a vehicle, then driving a stolen vehicle is intentional and thus not covered by the insurance company. Another one would be an intentional assault with a motor vehicle. If someone used a car to murder another person, then the insurance company wouldn’t be liable to pay.

So what about a DUI or a charge of vehicular manslaughter? In both cases, the level of intent is not sufficient to keep the insurance company from paying out. When someone is impaired, the law realizes they have a lower ability to form intent, but even if that weren’t the case, the intent was to drive drunk not to hit someone.

The same is for most manslaughter charges which by law means that the person didn’t mean to kill, but was negligent or careless and should have known their actions could cause great bodily harm. This isn’t the same as purposefully ramming someone with your vehicle.

Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer.

Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.


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