Driving under the influence (DUI) can increase the odds of a collision. These motor vehicle accidents often lead to injuries and significant property damage. In some cases, your vehicle may sustain so much damage it’s considered totaled by the insurance company.
What happens if you total your car during a DUI in Pennsylvania? In these cases, you can file an insurance claim. However, insurance companies do not always cover the damage caused by DUI accidents.
Does Insurance Pay Out if You Damage Your Car in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Pennsylvania uses no-fault rules to handle car insurance claims, though you can opt out. Generally, this means that you can file a claim with your insurance company after an accident to seek compensation for your losses. You do not necessarily have to prove someone else caused the accident to get money to repair your vehicle.
However, these rules can change when you end up in an accident caused by your drunk driving. Many insurance companies include language in their policies that allows them to deny coverage for damage sustained in an accident caused by illegal acts.
As driving under the influence is a criminal act, your insurance company may try to refuse coverage for your totaled vehicle if you are convicted of a DUI in this collision.
How Does Pennsylvania Handle DUI Charges?
You can face DUI charges in Pennsylvania if your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit. Generally, Pennsylvania expects all drivers to keep their BAC under 0.08%. Drivers under the age of 21 must keep their BAC under 0.01%, as they are not legally allowed to drink alcohol.
You may face more serious DUI charges if you had a higher BAC. However, any DUI charge can impact your ability to seek damages if you totaled your car during a DUI.
Police officers may perform a BAC test if they suspect you were drinking before an accident. The court system uses the results of the BAC test and other information to decide whether or not you committed a DUI. A Pennsylvania traffic crimes lawyer can walk you through this legal process.
Can You Still Get Compensation if You Total Your Car During a DUI?
What happens if you total your car during a DUI? You may be able to file a claim with your insurance company for compensation to cover your losses in two cases:
Your Insurance Policy Does Not Have DUI Exceptions
Not every insurance policy includes exceptions for DUI charges and other criminal acts. A DUI lawyer can review your policy to determine if you are eligible to file a claim for compensation.
A Lawyer Handles Your DUI Charges
Just because you were arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania doesn’t mean that you’ll face a conviction. A lawyer can handle your DUI accusations. Lawyers may take steps to:
- Have your charges dismissed
- Have your charges reduced
- Enter a plea bargain for reduced penalties
- Represent you in court to secure a verdict in your favor
Insurance companies in Pennsylvania should cover your losses if a lawyer shows you were not driving while impaired at the time of your collision, or if they can get your charges dismissed.
Can You Get Damages from Someone Else After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Driving under the influence is against the law in Pennsylvania. However, driving impaired does not automatically make you “at fault” for an accident. For example, another driver could run a red light or ignore a stop sign and strike your vehicle.
If you sustain serious injuries as a result of the other driver’s actions, you may have a chance to file a lawsuit outside of Pennsylvania’s no-fault laws.
What Other Effects Does a DUI Have in PA?
You may total your vehicle and sustain serious injuries in a DUI accident in Pennsylvania. Depending on the results of your case, your insurance may choose not to cover these losses. Furthermore, a DUI conviction can lead to other repercussions, including:
- Time in jail
- The suspension of your driver’s license
- Increased insurance rates
Fortunately, you can turn to a DUI lawyer in PA for help handling these charges. Your lawyer can take steps to limit the impact of a DUI accusation on your life.
Speak to Us if You Totaled Your Car During a DUI
If you total your car during a DUI, you can end up facing the full costs of replacing your vehicle as well as criminal charges. Fortunately, you can turn to an Upper Gwynedd traffic crimes lawyer at the McKenzie Law Firm for assistance.
You can get in touch with us after your collision by calling or completing our online contact form.