Understanding Pennsylvania’s Drunk Driving Laws and Victim Rights

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Drunk Driving Laws and Victim Rights

Drinking and driving is illegal and it is dangerous. With all of the transportation options that are available to the public, there is no excuse for drinking and getting behind the wheel. Yet, some people will still make poor decisions and when they drive drunk they can cause accidents. In Pennsylvania, the risk of an encounter with a drunk driver is quite high. There are over 40,000 DUI arrests in Pennsylvania every year.

If you were injured in a drunk driving accident in Pennsylvania it is important to know your rights. Obtaining financial compensation for your losses is critical. Drunk driving is completely unacceptable misconduct and when a drunk driver causes your crash, you may be able to hold them accountable for paying for your damages. A Pennsylvania car accident attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP can help you with your car accident injury claim.

What Can You Do After a Drunk Driving Car Accident in Pennsylvania?

Understanding Pennsylvania's Drunk Driving Laws and Victim RightsDriving while intoxicated makes it much harder to react to changing situations on the road, to see clearly, and to safely operate a motor vehicle. Drunk drivers can cause car accidents that result in serious injuries and death to themselves and others. After a crash that a drunk driver caused, you have legal rights and you are entitled to protect yourself.


Drunk drivers can have civil suits filed against them for the losses that their behavior caused victims. Civil suits hinge on negligence. Meaning, that to be successful with a civil suit you must prove that the party that caused your harm was negligent. Drunk driving is negligence.


Drivers in Pennsylvania must have car insurance. As a result, a drunk driver should have at least the minimum insurance coverage and some may carry additional coverage beyond the required amount. Depending on the insurance a drunk driver has, a victim can pursue the maximum amount of compensation for losses.

Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance (UIM) Coverage

Having UIM coverage is usually recommended. You do not have to carry this extra coverage but given the fact that not all drivers follow the laws, it is not a bad idea to have it. If someone is willing to break the law and drive drunk they may also be unconcerned with having auto insurance. When an underinsured or uninsured motorist hits you, this coverage will allow you to file a claim against your insurance.

Third-Party Liability

While a drunk driver can be liable for causing a crash, so can other third parties. For example, if a driver became inebriated from being overserved at a bar, that bar may be liable too.

Speak with an Attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP

Victims of drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania also have the right to have legal counsel representing them and helping them secure compensation. 

After a crash with a drunk driver, do not wait to connect with an attorney. For more information about what to do after a drunk driving car accident in Pennsylvania, you are welcome to meet with an attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP to schedule a free consultation at (215) 731-9900.


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