Court Rules That Insurance Company Must Cover Accidents Caused by DWI

Recently, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office reported that more than 750 people were arrested on various drunk driving charges between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day, a period it calls the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”

Normally, a drunk driver’s insurance company has a duty to compensate the victims of a drunk driver’s negligence. However, an insurance company took a novel approach: classify the act of drinking and driving as an intentional act so that the accident falls outside the scope of coverage.

In a case out of San Antonio, the victim of a drunk driver got a jury verdict $244,000. When the insurance company refused to pay the verdict, the victim had to file a second lawsuit. The insurance company’s position was as ridiculous as it was simple: the drunk driver made the intentional choice to drink and drive, intentional acts are not covered by the insurance policy, thus the insurance company did not have to pay for the damages.

In the second lawsuit, the court issued a scathing ruling, beginning its opinion with the following sentence: “Only an insurance company could come up with the policy interpretation advanced here.”

The court stated that if it accepted the insurance company’s interpretation, plenty of common causes of car accidents, such as eating and texting while driving, would no longer be classified as “accidents.” The court noted a long list of cases that classified drunk driving collisions as “accidents” and held that accepting the insurance company’s interpretation would defeat the entire purpose of auto insurance.

This opinion is a victory for Texas drivers.

The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have decades of experience, and have handled hundreds of cases involving drunk drivers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, call us today at (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211 for a free consultation.