Driver Hits Parked Cars in Novato Collision


Driver Hits Parked Cars in Novato Collision

Hi, I’m Ed Smith, a Novato car accident lawyer. We all know drinking and driving is dangerous and against the law. When it happens, lives can be lost, people injured and property damaged. An accident in Novato on February 19, 2017 illustrates how property damage may occur as a result of drunk driving accidents.

What Happened

At about 12:20 a.m., an SUV crashed into two parked vehicles in the area of Hector Lane and Alameda Del Prado in Novato. According to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesperson, the driver was the only occupant in the SUV, which overturned prior to the collision. An investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the crash. Police said the driver is being tested for drugs and alcohol.

Reports from the scene indicate that an ambulance was requested by law enforcement officials, and the SUV driver was taken to a local hospital. No further information as to the driver’s condition is available at the current time. It is also unclear whether the parked cars were occupied.

Legal Remedies

The most important question for the owners of the parked vehicles is how they will recover damages. If the SUV driver has liability insurance, it will cover any damage to the vehicles. However, if the driver does not have insurance, there are three options open to the owners.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

The first depends on whether the owners of the parked vehicles carried uninsured insurance on their vehicles. This covers damage done by an uninsured driver. Since the number of uninsured drivers in California has been estimated at 25 percent of the drivers in the state, uninsured/underinsured driver insurance is a good idea. For those who have this option, damage is covered without the insured paying a deductible. However, the amount paid by the insurance company may be limited, depending on the company and policy.

Reporting Claim to Own Insurance

Another way to recover property damage is by reporting it to your own insurance company when the other driver lacks insurance. In most instances, collision insurance will cover damages to a car owner’s vehicle caused by another driver whether that driver was at-fault or not. The downside to paying for damages using your own collision coverage is that you will be required to pay a deductible, and your insurance rate may increase. However, your car accident attorney can request that the insurance company refund the deductible after the defendant is proven to be at-fault for the accident.

Filing a Lawsuit

The third remedy is to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. Statistically, this may be limited by the driver’s ability to pay. However, a car accident attorney may be able to work out a payment plan with the uninsured driver.

Does Drunk Driving Make a Driver Negligent in an Accident?

Proving negligence is crucial when an accident happens. In most cases, it is necessary for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant did not act in a manner that a responsible person would in a similar situation. However, if a driver violates a safety law, regulation or statute, and as a result someone is injured or property is damaged, he or she may be presumed negligent under California Evidence Code 669. This is called the doctrine of negligence per se. This allows the person to be considered negligent if he or she violated the law. Since drunk driving is a violation of the law in California, proof that a driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident is proof of presumed negligence. This can be used to recover property damage.

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Novato Personal Injury Lawyer

Hi, I’m Ed Smith, a Novato personal injury attorney. If you have suffered a serious injury in an accident due to a negligent driver, please call me at 415-521-2515 for free and friendly advice. Outside of Novato, you may contact me toll free at 800-404-5400.

Since 1982, I have helped California residents recover just and fair compensation in all their personal injury cases.

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