So, the question is: Are Debts for Personal Injury Resulting From DUI Car Accidents Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
Thankfully the Bankruptcy Code protects DUI personal injury victims. Section 523(a)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code states:
Accordingly, debts for personal injury resulting from a DUI car accident cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. With that said, note that the section only applies to debts for personal injury or death. Debts for property damage after a drunk driving car accident may be dischargeable.
How To Prove That The Personal Injury Resulted From A DUI Car Accident
In many cases, the creditor will use the prior state court judgment as proof the injury was the result of a DUI car accident. Absent that judgment, the creditor can still establish the required elements to deny discharge before the Bankruptcy Court. Those elements are as follows:
the debt resulted from (1) a death or personal injury, (2) caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by the debtor, and (3) the unlawfulness of the operation because the debtor was intoxicated from using alcohol, a drug, or another substance. (In re Felski)