Do I have legal recourse to cover loss wages if I was injured by a drunk driver who died in the accident?

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Do I have legal recourse to cover loss wages if I was injured by a drunk driver who died in the accident?

I was hit by a drunk driver, and have accumulated medical bills and lost my
job and consequently my health insurance as a result of my injuries and
lengthy hospital stay. However, the driver, who was at fault and intoxicated
according to the police, passed away as a result of her injuries sustained in
the same accident. Do I have any civil options to be made whole?

Asked on October 27, 2016 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the drunk driver had auto insurance, have you filed your personal injury claim with  her insurance company?
If the drunk driver did not have auto insurance and you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance, you would file an uninsured motorist claim with your auto insurance carrier.
When you are released by the doctor upon completion of your medical treatment or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the drunk driver's insurance company or if no insurance, your insurance company on an uninsured motorist claim, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the drunk driver's estate.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the drunk driver's estate must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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