Drunk driver/accident


hi everyone, last August my husband and his friend were driving when a drunk driver came out of nowhere FAST and hit them (he was coming out into the street from the parking lot and he hit the oncoming side of them). This was a rented vehicle they were in at the time since we had just moved.

Here’s some background - this is a group of heavy drinkers. One died 2 years ago after one of their drinking sessions in a drunk driver collision. So, on his death anniversary the drinking buddies got together and drank away the whole day -literally. The bar tender didn’t want to say so he could avoid trouble, but people in the bar said the guy had at least 14-15 drinks before smashing into the truck.

Now the guy is in a permanent coma. We have kept in touch with our friend about this who has been in contact with the girlfriend a little while ago, so we know he is still in the coma and it’s prob permanent.

So, the insurance hasn’t been able so far to get anything from his insurance so now they have wrote us and said we will owe over three grand if they can’t get it soon from the other insurance - well, we can’t afford that - we can barely afford next months rent with taxes paid and how the economy is going.

While I pray for him to recover (and so do others we know and maybe some of you :)), and I feel horrible, but we shouldn’t be saddled with this burden when this guy was drunk and reckless. Please pray that they get this money from his insurance and that we won’t have to pay for this. Also, please pray for this guy and that his buddies don’t repeat the same mistake that took two of their friends lives (one physically and one mentally). I have a sinking feeling none of them have learned a lesson.


I wonder if you would have a case for suing the owner of the bar which served this guy those 14 - 15 drinks? There were witnesses, after all. You are innocent victims in this and shouldn’t have to pay, although in Michigan we have “no fault” insurance, which is basically “your fault” insurance. I’d check out small-claims court if I were in your situation, if you wind up having to pay.


hi Carrie, well now that I talked more to the insurance lady, I guess they are thinking he actually didn’t even have insurance! Uhh…well, I don’t know if they can take a guy in a coma to court, but if they can’t get it somehow, I guess we’re liable. Uhh…I get so mad at these kinds of things, - I just want to find the remaining guys and say take some responsibility guys - don’t get drunk and be menaces to society. Hopefully they have finally learned to knock this off.

And that is also a good idea, if they can’t get anything from this guy, we will look into suing the bar/bar tender. He should have known better too.


I don’t know how you’re liable. You did not cause the accident. The drunk driver coming in your lane of traffic caused the accident. I would NOT pay this at all. If need be, get legal representation – sometimes your insurance company will pay to defend you in a lawsuit when you’re not at fault. So contact them and ask them for advice.


My prayers are with you. As an insurance adjuster, I see this everyday.

Do you have any type of medical payment coverage on your auto insurance? If not, if there are outstanding medical bills due to a carrier, you can usually negotiate them down to about 50-60 cents on the dollar and/or work out a payment plan.

Also remember, medical bills do not effect your credit. You have time to pay them back with out penalty.

Do you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy?

There is case law regarding vicarious liability on liquor establishments and social host laws. You’d need to look into your own jurisdiction.

Without knowing all the details, I can’t give more advice that that. PM me if you want. Maybe I can offer more insight.


well, I believe it’s because it was a rented truck, the renters place won’t cover this, and our insurance probably won’t because it wasn’t our car (I will call them later today and check this out though), and then here is this guy with no insurance and in a coma. So, if the renter won’t cover it and the guy doesn’t have insurance, it comes down to us. But I will talk to a lawyer for b4 paying anything. Not fair :frowning: Thanks!


I’m confused. Is the person in the coma the drunk who hit your husband his friend or the friend that was in the car with your husband? If it was the friend of yours, then I MIGHT see where you would have some liability. If it’s the drunk person that came into your lane and hit you that’s in the coma, while I feel sorry for him and his family, I still do not see how that makes you liable. HE caused the accident. Not your husband.


If you had an active policy at the time, it should be secondary. If you had coverage, file a claim with your carrier and see what options are available to you.


hi! here are 3 people - my husband, his friend, and the dd. It is the dd that is in the coma - he was on a motorcycle and not wearing a helmet.

Yes, he caused the accident, if they can’t get the dd for it as he has no insurance and is in a coma, this is why it comes down to us.


Unless there’s way more to it than I’m getting, I still don’t see how you or your insurance company is responsible for his medical bills. HE, the dd, caused the accident. While it’s a very sad situation, you should not have to pay. That’s part of the problem with our justice system right now – people being sued for money that they do not have to pay and then they end up settling because it’s easier and more cost-efficient. I’m a court reporter in a courtroom that does some civil trials.

If it were me, I would not pay one dime; and if my insurance company let me, I’d fight it tooth and nail. The dd caused the circumstances he finds himself in now; and as tragic as it is, I’m not paying!!! That’s just my two cents!!


Was the DD issued a ticket?


Okay, your husband was driving a rental car. He was hit by a drunk without insurance. The rental car company is billing you for the damages to the rental car?

I would think that your regular car insurance company would cover you. If not, check and see if the credit card you used to rent the car has secondary coverage of car rentals.

I think a lawyer is a good bet here. Even just a consultation to explain your options. A few lawyer hours is cheaper than $3K.


When one rents a car, you have an option to pay for insurance. The only time I would not pay for the rental company insurance is if my full coverage car insurance has coverage for rental cars OR the credit card I used to rent the car has insurance for car rentals (I would think you have already checked these two things out for coverage…)

If driver drunk driver had no insurance AND the driver of the rental car did not buy the insurance from the rental company, was not covered by his own auto insurance or credit card insurance, chances are the driver will be liable for the damage to the car.

Please, check with your attorney for advice in your state or your situation.


Do call your insurance company. Typically your insurance would automatically extend to any vehicle that you rent for less than 30 days.


I think I’m understanding now. The car rental company is coming after you for repairs? I thought they were wanting you to pay for the dd’s medical bills, and that’s just not right.

I think your own car insurance might cover the cost of repairing the rental – or did you get extra insurance when you rented the car?

Sorry for my confusion:D


Personal injury attorney.


My grandmother was injured by a dd, and even though he had minimal insurance, his estate was required to pay more. Just because he doesn’t have insurance doesn’t mean he does not have to take responsibility. Him being in a coma doesn’t either. The DD who hit my grandmother died on the scene. I suggest you see a lawyer. Remember this: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

My prayers are with you and the people who will suffer when this man inevitably drives drunk again if he comes out of the coma.


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