If an at-fault party is an underage drunk-driver who inflicts “serious bodily injury” to another driver, can they be sued for any more than the $10,000 liabilty coverage they held?

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If an at-fault party is an underage drunk-driver who inflicts “serious bodily injury” to another driver, can they be sued for any more than the $10,000 liabilty coverage they held?

Could the at fault party file bankruptcy on the suit? Could the person providing the alcohol to the minor be sued?

Asked on December 21, 2012 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The injured party can sue the drunk driver for more than the $10,000 policy limits if the injured driver's damages exceed that amount.  The injured driver's damages include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injuries.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

The person who provided alcohol to the underage driver is also liable.  The injured party would file one lawsuit for negligence naming both the drunk driver and the provider of the alcohol as defendants.

The civil case (lawsuit) mentioned above is separate from criminal charges filed against the drunk driver and the provider of alcohol to an underage person.


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