Car accidents can happen for a lot of different reasons, including another driver’s negligence, distracted driving or drunk driving. People who are injured in a car accident are often unsure about how to proceed. You ask yourself questions like: Do I call my insurance company or the other driver’s insurer? Is it okay to give a recorded statement about the accident? How do I know if the insurance company is treating you fairly and offering you the right amount of compensation?

All of these questions can be answered with a free call to O’Malley & Perry Law. See below for answers to other questions you may have, or visit our website for more information about the ways O’Malley & Perry Law can help after a Pennsylvania car crash.

Obviously, the drunk driver who hit you is liable for the injuries and damages caused in the crash. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a breach of the duty of care a driver owes to others on the road, and the drunk driver can be held liable for damages that result from a traffic accident caused by the intoxicated driver. The drunk driver’s insurance company will also cover the accident. Even though the person may have intentionally chosen to drink and drive, the person likely did not intend to cause a car accident, so the event is generally covered under the driver’s liability insurance policy.

In some circumstances, if the individual was at a bar or restaurant drinking alcohol prior to the incident they can be liable for your injuries if it is determined that they served the driver with alcohol when he was showing signs of visible intoxication when served at their establishment. Pennsylvania’s dram shop law makes it illegal to serve or sell alcohol to a minor or a person who already appears to be visibly intoxicated. This law holds the provider of alcohol liable for damages which were proximately caused by the liquor consumption. In order to hold the bar liable, you must be able to prove that the server was negligent or reckless by showing that the server either actually knew the driver was a minor or was visibly intoxicated, or the server should have known these facts based on the circumstances.

Pennsylvania law may hold the host liable for damages caused by an intoxicated guest if some special relationship existed between the host and guest. This special relationship exists when the intoxicated guest was underage, but it may not necessarily exist if the guest who later caused a drunk driving car accident was an adult. It’s important to contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer to discuss the specific facts in these complicated situations.

Contact the police and give them all the information you can, and contact a personal injury lawyer as well. Law enforcement agencies, as well as private investigators, may be able to track down the driver who hit you so you can hold the driver responsible for the damages they caused in a hit-and-run accident. If the driver cannot be found, you can still pursue a claim under the uninsured motorist coverage provisions of your own liability insurance policy, the same as if you were hit by an uninsured driver.

If you have other questions or need help pursuing a car accident or other personal injury claim, call our office at 570-348-3711 for a free consultation.
We won’t charge any fee until after we recover valuable compensation on your behalf.

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O’Malley & Perry Law

345 Wyoming Ave. #1
Scranton, PA  18503