Pedestrians are vulnerable. They move slowly and have no protection. They’re particularly at risk when there are drunk drivers on the road.
Drivers have to watch out for and try to avoid hitting pedestrians:
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary (RCW 46.61.245).
But that doesn’t always happen. And it’s rare that drivers have enough insurance. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, pedestrians get the benefit of UIM under their own auto policies if they get hit.
But there’s usually never enough auto insurance when a drunk driver’s involved—even if the drunk has a large policy and the pedestrians has UIM. That means it’s almost always necessary to bring a claim against the bar or tavern.
RCW 66.44.200(1) prohibits the sale of alcohol to “any person apparently under the influence of liquor.”
Businesses that violate the statute by serving drunk drivers will be civilly liable to third-party victims for damages caused by their patron. Barrett v. Lucky Seven Saloon, Inc., 152 Wn.2d 259, 262-63, 96 P.3d 386 (2004).
It’s important in every personal injury case—particularly one involving alcohol—to hire a top-notch personal injury attorney to tap into sources beyond auto insurance and maximize recovery.