How Drunk Driving Affects a Claim

Drunk driving is one of the top causes of car accidents today. It’s good to understand how a DUI arrest can affect your settlement negotiations.


There are different levels of intoxication. Whether your state classifies the crime as Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired (DWI), or Driving Under the Influence (DUI), the end result is the same. The at-fault drivers’ act of drinking or drugging resulted in the negligent operation of his vehicle. Those actions were the direct and proximate cause of the collision.

The act of being intoxicated can’t be the actual cause of a drunk driving crash. The cause is the negligent actions of the driver due to his or her intoxication. It’s essential for you to understand this subtle, but important difference.

Using Intoxication in Claim Negotiations

In drunk driving cases, the existence of a citation for an open container of alcohol, or an arrest for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence, should be all the evidence needed to convince the claims adjuster her insured was negligent.

Tips for establishing DUI or DWI:

An insurance company’s claims adjuster knows that his insured’s arrest for drunk or impaired driving is all the proof a judge or jury needs to render a verdict in your favor. And that verdict may be for a much larger amount than you’re currently asking the adjuster to pay. This is powerful leverage you can apply during negotiations.

Following Up

Documentation of a driver’s arrest for drunk or impaired driving is excellent evidence of negligence, but proof of a conviction is even stronger. Be sure to follow up on the driver’s arrest to confirm if he is convicted.

The Law Offices of Dussault & Zatir