Whether your car insurance company will pay for a car totaled in a driving under the influence (DUI) accident rests on the wording of your policy agreement. In some situations, the insurer will deny coverage because you were partaking in illegal activity. In others, the insurer may cover the damages.
If you are involved in a car accident that involved alcohol intoxication, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, the liability portion of your insurance will pay for the other driver’s accident-related expenses and financial losses, including the cost of their vehicle if it is totaled.
Your insurance is likely to pay for your vehicle as well if it is totaled, which could, in turn, increase your insurance rates significantly in the future.
How a Lawyer Can Help After a DUI Accident
The first thing you should know about a DUI is this is a charge that only applies to underage drinking in Texas. A drinking while intoxicated (DWI) charge applies to adults over the age of 21. A DUI and a DWI both come with its own set of penalties, and should not be used interchangeably. You can still be charged with a DWI even if you are underage, since it depends on the circumstances and the attending officer’s discretion.
In the aftermath of a DUI accident, you could face criminal charges and penalties. In addition, anyone injured in the accident can sue you for collision-related expenses.
A lawyer can help limit your fault and liability post-accident by:
- Examining the machines and devices used to test your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for accuracy and calibration
- Taking measures to potentially limit your criminal and financial responsibility
If you are found responsible for the accident, your insurance company may raise your rates or drop you altogether.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in Texas
Every registered vehicle owner is required to purchase and maintain continual auto insurance in the state of Texas. Liability insurance is the minimum insurance coverage you can buy that demonstrates your ability to accept financial responsibility in the aftermath of a collision.
Liability insurance minimums are:
- $30,000 per person for injuries
- $60,000 per accident for injuries
- $25,000 to cover property damage
The details of the insurance plan you purchase will be covered in the wording of your policy agreement.
How Your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Is Defined in Texas
You are considered legally intoxicated if your BAC is higher than .08. If you are younger than 18, a DUI is a complex traffic ticket that could prevent you from driving for a significant time and is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
As an adult with an elevated BAC, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony with the potential of jail time and hefty fines. One of the most serious consequences of a DWI as an adult is a conviction means you can never have your criminal record sealed in the future. Having a lawyer by your side can lessen this possibility and limit its impact on your record.
The Short- and Long-Term Costs of a DUI Conviction
A DUI comes with serious consequences that can negatively impact every area of your life, even outside the question of will car insurance pay for a car totaled in a DUI accident. If you are arrested or convicted of a DUI, it can affect your academics, community standing, public appearance, and career.
If this is the first time you have been charged with a DUI, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, you may face:
- Up to a $500 fine
- Anywhere from 30 days to 180 days of license suspension
- Eight to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol awareness classes
If you are charged with another DUI offense, these penalties increase in severity, especially if you are driving with a child under the age of 15. Additionally, if you receive more than two DUI convictions, you may be required to install a special ignition switch in your vehicle to prevent you from driving if you have been drinking.
A DUI conviction can also increase your insurance rates significantly. If you were involved in a car accident and received a DUI, a lawyer might be able to help reduce the legal and financial impact of the accident.
Learn How a DUI Affects Your Car Insurance
Will car insurance pay for a car totaled in a DUI accident, or will you be forced to pay those accident-related expenses out of your own pocket?
A lawyer can help you determine a course of action to follow after a DUI. We are here when you want to put more than 30 years of experience to work for you. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 to manage the legal ramifications of a DUI and the financial aftermath of a car accident.