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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Compensation After a Drunk Driver Hits Your House

    A drunk driver went off the road, through a homeowner's yard, and hit the homeowner's house. The homeowner has made an insurance claim for repairs, but insurance doesn't cover the time that the homeowner had to take off of work to address the damage and get the openings in the house boarded up. The homeowner will also probably have to miss some work to deal with contractors, as the home will need extensive repairs.

    Also, although nobody was physically injured, the homeowner's children are traumatized and are afraid that another driver is going to hit their house. They are having trouble sleeping at night.

    What compensation can the homeowner recover under Wisconsin law?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Compensation After a Drunk Driver Hits Your House

    If the children need therapy, as the property damage resulted from a crime, coverage of the cost may be available under the state victim compensation program.

    The homeowner may be able to recover for lost wages, if the losses were necessary as a result of the accident. That becomes less likely for the scheduling of contractors than for early efforts to secure and weatherproof the property. If the drunk driver has insurance, the homeowner can see if the insurance company will pay a claim for lost wages.

    Wisconsin allows direct claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress, provided that a plaintiff proves the elements of negligent conduct, causation and injury (severe emotional distress) and the claim is not otherwise barred by public policy. The question here would be whether or not the trauma experienced by the children rises to the level of severe emotional distress. That is an evaluation best made by a personal injury lawyer who can review the full facts and speak to the children's counselor(s).

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