It’s one of America’s Worst problems: people getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and driving after consuming alcohol. Despite all the public information campaigns and the formation of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, people still decide to drive when they really shouldn't.
Drunk driving causes more than 100,000 crashes every year in the US, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means about one fatality every 50 minutes, costing $44 billion a year and leading to lives lost, permanent injuries, and post-accident emotional trauma that debilitates victims. Even though the number of drunk driving accidents has declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for as much as 28% of traffic fatalities.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, after the drunk driving accident, consider talking with a Kansas City drunk driving accident attorney about your rights and how to proceed. Attorneys like those at Kansas City's Popham Law firm are well versed in how to properly represent their injured client and fight for compensation for their injuries.
How A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Can Help
Drunk Driving accidents have two separate components: the criminal case and the civil case.
Following the accident, the police conduct their investigation at the scene of the accident, including tests for blood alcohol content (BAC) and field sobriety. They may issue a ticket or arrest the other driver if they discover intoxication. The driver will later have to appear in court and may face fines and jail time.
As the injured driver, you will have to file a separate civil claim to recover damages. A Kansas City drunk driving accident attorney can investigate your case, gather documents, and prepare your claim.
Your medical bills, your vehicle, your income—all of these and more are impacted after a drunk driving accident. To be reimbursed for accident-related expenses, your civil claim details how much that accident cost you to recover from and how your life was impacted.
Compensation is also called “damages,” and can include:
· Medical expenses, current and future
· Lost wages
· Lost future wages/lost earning capacity
· Punitive damages, such as pain and suffering
The amount you recover will depend on the seriousness of the accident and the extent of your injuries and losses. Even with a criminal case, the other driver will not be immediately held liable for your injuries. You will have to demonstrate their liability in the civil claim and show that the driver’s intoxication and subsequent actions were directly responsible for your injuries.
Missouri personal injury includes comparative negligence. That is, your settlement could be reduced by a percentage if you are found to be partly at fault for the accident.
For instance, if the other driver is found to be 75% responsible for the accident, but you were 25%responsible, your final settlement would be reduced by 25%. That’s why you should work with a drunk driving accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident who can thoroughly investigate your accident and build your case.
KC’s Premier Accident Law Firm
We can’t change what happened, but we can help you move forward after a drunk driving accident.
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in all kinds of accident cases, from simple fender benders to accidents involving injuries and property damage. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or use our online contact form to get started.