For all that’s been said about drunk driving, little is said about how to recover when you’re the victim of that drunk driver. Roughly 3% of the crashes in the state of Missouri involve a DUI.
Although vehicular accidents happen every day, drunk driving is totally preventable. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offer statistics on the subject:• People who drive drunk do so over 300,000 times, but only 3,200 are arrested for it• The average age of the largest group of drunk drivers is 26 to 29 years of age• The average drunk driver has done so over 80 times before being arrested for the first time• Two out of three individuals will be involved in a drunk-driving incident during their lifetime• An average of 29 people per day die in the US in a drunk driving crashThese accidents leave a considerable number of injuries in their wake, as well as fatalities. Individuals who are the victims of drunk drivers have a considerable road ahead for recovery.
Victims Of Impaired Driving
The Missouri State Highway Patrol recognizes the trauma that drunk driving victims experience after such a crash. Established in 1997, the MSHP’s Filling A V.O.I.D. (Victims Of Impaired Driving) program offers assistance, support, and information to victims and their families to help them recover after a devastating accident.An officer contacts you after the incident to explain the program and direct you to the resources needed. The number for the Crime Victim’s Hotline is 1-888-773-1800. You can ask about your rights and about the case. A victim’s advocate will be made available to help and to ensure your rights as a crime victim.You can also register with MOVANS (Missouri Victim Automated Notification System) to be notified about upcoming court dates, offender status, and parole hearings. Additionally, you will also need to send a letter to the prosecuting attorney to secure your rights so you can be kept informed about your case (available on the website.)The MSHP’s website also offers forms and letters to request accident-related documentation, such as traffic crash reports, reconstruction, and other relevant public records.
Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund
Missouri also has an established fund to help victims of crimes such as DUI recover some losses. This includes lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, counseling, and other related expenses. Property loss is not included.The crime must be reported to the proper authorities to be paid, within two years of the date of the incident or its discovery. Expenses are paid for three years after the incident date. The Fund is considered a payor of last resort, and there may be additional restrictions involved.
Civil Vs. Criminal
A drunk driving accident is both a civil case and a criminal case that is separate from each other.The criminal case is filed by the state, based on blood alcohol content (BAC, >.08%), field sobriety tests, and other factors. The prosecutor is not involved in recovering damages on behalf of the drunk driver’s victims, only to invoke penalties such as fines and jail time against the defendant.The civil case is the personal injury lawsuit that you and any other victims of the drunk driver can file against the defendant. This requires any victims to go to court and attempt to collect money from the victim, as well as his or her insurance company. For the civil case, you should have a personal injury attorney to represent you both in court and in front of insurance companies.The statute of limitations for filing a claim after a drunk driving crash is five years.
KC’s Premier Accident Law Firm for Drunk Driving Accidents
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.