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A drunk driver drove his van into a tree in Sequim earlier this week. A passenger in the van suffered serious personal injuries.

Two interesting and often over-looked legal issues arise from accidents like these.

First, the injured passenger has a valid claim against the driver of the van for causing the accident. In fact, the passenger can recover under the driver’s insurance policy as well as her own policy’s “underinsured motorist” coverage provisions (if the driver’s limits do not cover her damages).

Second, under Washington law violation of a criminal statute is “strong evidence” of negligence, making her claim easier to prove. This is especially important where a person is injured by the actions of a drunk driver (and rightly so).

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.

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