June and Ward were on their way up Route 191 towards Hancock to visit June\’s mother. About a mile before Equinunk, Ward noticed a car coming in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed traveling in the middle of the road.
June became extremely agitated and started to yell at Ward to pull off the road. Ward was able to move his vehicle off on the side of the road as much as possible but part of his vehicle remained on the macadam. As the vehicle approached, Ward realized that, in all likelihood, there was going to be an impact with the vehicle and extended his right arm sideways to try to protect his wife. Sure enough, the oncoming vehicle sideswiped Ward\’s vehicle shaking it violently. Fortunately, neither Ward or June were seriously injured but the impact was significant enough that both of them sprained their necks and low backs.
The state police were quick to respond as the other vehicle did pull over eventually. The driver of the other vehicle was rendered a breathalyzer test by the state trooper, and it became readily apparent that the other driver was visibly intoxicated. The state trooper would cite the other driver on the investigative report. As it turned out, the other driver had a 2.4 alcohol blood level or three times the legal limit.
Neither Ward nor June had serious injuries, and Ward\’s coverage on his vehicle was for limited tort which means he could not sue the other driver unless he sustained a serious and permanent injury.
Question: Will Ward and June have any recourse against the drunk driver?
Answer: Yes, despite the fact that Ward has limited tort, because the accident did involve a driver who was found to be driving under the influence, both Ward and June will be able to bring suits against the drunk driver\’s insurance company. This is one of the exceptions and was meant to be another factor in trying to convince people not to drive while intoxicated.